About one year ago I had my first chat with Jonnie from Parent Support Link. It was not easy to make the appointment. The decision to seek support isn’t one that you take lightly. It follows an acceptance that you are overwhelmed by problems and unable to solve them on your own. Back then, that acceptance felt like failure. Looking back now, I understand it was actually the starting point of my journey to overcome my problems. Today, I feel free from the negative emotions that populated my mind back then, and I am more able to support the ones I love.
As a single parent, protecting and guiding my children was my foremost concern. And I was quite good at it. Sickness, emotional turmoil, school difficulties… I was able to help them through all. It made me think there was no problem my children would face that I couldn’t solve. And then my oldest became a teenager.
Your little one becomes an individual and makes decisions that you cannot understand or agree with. Like using drugs. For the first time, I didn’t know why it happened and there seemed to be nothing I could do to stop it. It occupied the entirety of my mind space. It made me feel like a failure not only as a mother, but as a person. I learned about PSL from a chain of recommendations of some beautiful souls I was lucky to meet in my journey. School staff told me about Catch22, a counselling service for youth involved with drugs. It was Catch 22 who, seeing what an obvious mess I was at the time, referred me to PSL.
I sat at my first meeting thinking I was doing it for my son, to get the tools I needed to help him. Wrong as I was, I was never corrected. I was never told why things were happening or what to do about them. I was never judged for feeling the way I did. What I found in the seat in front of me was a mirror that gave me back my reflection. Seeing and hearing myself, I remembered something I had forgotten about. That I was a mother of a troubled son, but not just that. I was also the mother of a well-balanced son and a friend, a lover, a professional, a daughter and a sister. Even more, I was a traveller, an outdoor enthusiast and a lover of stories read, written and watched. The mother of the troubled son was going through a hard patch, but the rest didn’t need to suffer because of that. By understanding that my teenage son was just one part of my life, I could accept the truth of my relationship with him: that it was not my fault he started using drugs, that I had no control over it and that I didn’t have the power to stop it, only he did. My mind has cleared a lot of space and I feel I got back the energy I used to have before. My love for my son has not shrunk one bit and I will always be wanting to help him… when he requests my help. All the other areas of my life have benefited from this new state of mind. Regarding my son, I think not feeling he is the centre of my life has unburdened him too and he is more communicative.
I will always be grateful to PSL for guiding me in my journey, through individual and group meetings. Life-changing help truly can be just a call away.