Powerful words from a mum who we were privileged to support on our Family Focus project.
Addiction….a horrible word, and one of those things that you think will never affect you or your family. But it’s something that can affect anyone, any family. I had a career, a good one. Things seemed perfect; partner, longed for child, lovely home, stable job. True, I’d had problems and things from my past but I thought that had been and gone. Slowly I started to unravel. Stress, loneliness, thoughts of my past, mental health, eating disorders….all seemed too much at times and my coping tactic became alcohol. I tried to hide it, tell no one, keep going, but that can only carry on short term. After a long period of denial I sought help from Horizon (treatment services in Blackpool), they were great, helping me to see that I could make changes and move forward. My worker talked to me about my daughter and asked if she needed help. At first I was scared, surely this means Social Services? But no, they referred us into Young Carers at the Carers’ Centre. I was dubious at first and my partner felt that we were letting the world into our lives but I knew that addiction wasn’t just affecting me but those around me too. Blackpool Carers has been a lifeline for me and my daughter. They have helped me to believe that I can get better and achieve things in life again. We talk about my addiction, I am not judged, I am looked after and encouraged, I can be honest and open. I am given time to cry, think and talk, I feel safe there. If I’m having a bad day I can phone my worker and talk things through, no judgement, just a listening ear and voice of reason. The support helps me to keep motivated in my path towards recovery. My daughter has had support to talk about addiction and started to understand it. She has been given time to ask questions about addiction, alcohol, how it all works, something that she has never been able to speak with anyone about before. Our relationship has suffered due to addiction. She will always be my little girl and I will always want the best for her but at times we find it difficult to understand each other and find a way through. Her time with Blackpool Carers has helped us to talk about things more, we have a long way to go but it is a positive start. I have really noticed a difference in her confidence, she looks forward to her time with her worker, they have fun but also this gives her time to talk things through and cry if she needs to. Our support worker has encouraged my daughter to keep a journal which she shares with me. This is helping us to learn to listen to each other and talk about things again. She has started to attend respite sessions and trips where she has made good friends and had great experiences; it helps as she now knows that she isn’t the only one who has pressure and worry at home. Support from Young Carers has helped me and my family to look towards the future and believe that things can get better. I am preparing for detox and rehab in the coming months and although it will be difficult to leave my daughter, I know that this is what will give us the best chance of a positive future. I would love to become a volunteer at Beaverbrooks House in the future to help to continue the great work that goes on there. Thank you to Blackpool Carers for caring and believing in us.