When confronted with a life-changing decision, some may experience the actual moment when the decision becomes clear; when your heart, mind, and spirit align and agree on the best path forward.
Our loving, good-natured teenage son had been on a downward spiral, making poor decisions at every turn, and completely withdrawing from our family. Unknown to us at the time, he was clinically depressed, anxious, and considering suicide. To numb his pain, he had been experimenting with many different drugs. We tried everything we knew to reach him. Nothing seemed to work. He appeared, instead, to be drifting further and further away.
Then, the fateful day came when, although we did not know it at the time, we were confronted with a life-changing decision. We saw on my son’s phone that, yet again, he was arranging to buy drugs. My throat felt like it was closing. We were terrified for his safety. Trying to hold back the tears already welling up in my eyes, I whispered to son as much as to myself, that he was giving us no choice but to ”send him away” for treatment.
He looked at me as if I were a stranger. His words stung:
“F- you Mom! If you send me away I will NEVER—EVER—speak to you again!”
The boy that only months before came to me with open arms seemed lost and unreachable within his own body. I stood there speechless, my cheeks wet with tears, our choice clear.
Our son was “gooned” exactly one week to the day later.
Even though I knew that by sending my son to a wilderness program and a therapeutic boarding school we were giving him a second chance on life, once he was gone I went dark. I was overcome with guilt and regret. I blamed myself. I blamed my husband. I blamed our disjointed parenting. I perseverated on all the things my son (and we) would miss. I felt my daughter’s unspoken anger. I sat alone in his empty room for hours. I wasn’t sure I could find any light, or if I even wanted to.
But soon, it was enough. I had spent decades blending my years of advanced education along with my personal and professional expertise to help women overcome stumbling blocks and blossom in areas of health and healing.
I was qualified to help people just like me.
I spoke to myself as I would my clients and returned to a healthy lifestyle. I sought support from my community. I spent time in nature. I practiced gratitude and mindful breathing. Slowly, I regained my sense of self, and with it, joy returned.
Soon after, given my qualifications and now, first-hand experience, I became the “go-to” for other parents embarking on their own similar journeys. As I mentored these parents, I saw a collective need for connection, understanding, and guidance. And so…
I launched Along Their Way to support parents through the parallel process that comes with parenting a troubled teen or young adult. Does this story sound familiar? If so I can help!