Addiction Treatment Gave My Daughter Back to Me
As a mother, you only wish the very best for your children. Christine’s daughter, Rachael, had a bad relationship with alcohol and cannabis for years. She’s now thirty, and recently completed the residential addiction treatment program. This is Christine’s story.
She completed treatment about five months ago, and since she’s been out, she’s bought a house with her partner in Central Queensland, in the middle of nowhere, actually. Treatment has given her confidence, maturity and as a result she’s become more caring.
I knew for years that Rachael was having issues with both alcohol and cannabis. Every time I’d try to confront her, she’d say, “I’ll do something about it”. However, nothing changed. It went on and on and I realised the truth of that old phrase, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.
She had to make up her own mind about going to rehab, which eventually she did.
She came down the steps one day and said, “guess what, Mum? I’ve rung a few clinics and I’m going to rehab.”
I nearly fell off my perch.
“WHAT,” I said. I couldn’t believe it.
What triggered the change of heart was that Rachael’s partner, broke off their relationship, because he didn’t want drugs and alcohol in it. Rachael had moved home and I’m not sure if she would have gone to rehab if Ken hadn’t broken things off with her.
Rachael said, “that was the catalyst that made me realise that I couldn’t go on”.
Rachael picked The Hader Clinic Queensland because it was a residential program. She had spoken to the doctor here about it six months before, and she was told that she could go to a clinic as a day patient.
She said to me at the time, “that’s no good, I know myself too well.” She thought she’d go to day rehab but as soon as she got home would be on the grog or the weed.
We had an amazing drive down from Port Douglas to the rehab clinic on the Sunshine Coast. It was a good time for both of us. We had a lot of laughs, we communicated really well the whole way down. It took us four days and three nights to get there with seven or eight hours of driving each day.
Yes, we had a great time. We’re more than mother and daughter, we’re best friends. She’s always told me everything that goes on in her life and always comes to me with her problems.
That’s why I say, it was up to her to take the initiative.
You have to want recovery. It’s no good trying to force someone into recovery, they have to want it for themselves. The good news is that Rachael and Ken are back together.
She’s even got herself a job now. She’s working in a nursing home doing administration and arts and crafts with the residents – which she just loves, because she is very artistic.
Ken, her partner, is a chef who has taken on regular work, rather than split shifts so he can be with, and care for Rachael.
He’s been absolutely marvellous, very supportive. Thank God for Ken and thank God for the Hader Clinic Queensland.
I participated in The Hader Clinic Queensland’s family work online and Ken did a visit to the rehab on the Sunday before he picked her up to bring her home.
She spoke to me extensively about her experience in rehab. At the end of rehab, Rachael felt like she was leaving a bunch of brothers and sisters, because they always helped each other out. She felt that she lost a special bit of support upon leaving.
Rachael attends online meetings five or six days a week. She says that her experience of the meetings is up and down – depending on which one she goes to – and that sometimes she just needs the connection with others who are dealing with the same issues that she is – they can support each other in recovery.
She did struggle a bit and got a bit teary at the thought that she could never celebrate another event with an alcoholic drink.
However, she’s found some non alcoholic beer that she really enjoys and has moved on from that. Nobody knows any different, you can still socialise.
The day I dropped her off at the office at the rehab, the staff told me that I was free to leave..well I just burst into tears. I think I drove as far as Charters Towers and thought, “I can’t drive and cry at the same time!”
So… I had to wipe those tears away and put my foot down.
It’s really been a blessing. I guess my take home message is that the person has to be ready to recover. There’s mental illness in the family and I’ve just learned you can’t always push them. They have got to be ready to get help.
I was very hands off in letting her deal with it. There were always gentle hints and as I said, that Ken broke up with her.. that was the catalyst. She was drinking more than she was earning and then buying weed on top of that was ridiculous.
Plus, her health was shocking. She’s got a rare blood cancer – and all the alcohol abuse was exacerbating all the symptoms – and she knew that. She wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to tell her that she was drinking herself into an early grave.
Her health is much better now. She has more energy, and she’s mentally much better too.
Before treatment, she was continually in tears. Since she’s come out of rehab there have only been tears once or twice for truly legitimate reasons.
The whole family is very proud of Rachael for taking the steps towards recovery. She didn’t want to hide it. She thought I might be ashamed, but, I told her, “no way, that I couldn’t be more proud”.
I shared her story with our family and friends, because we are proud of her. It’s no longer hidden.
I am grateful to the Hader Clinic Queensland for giving my daughter back to me.”
Queensland’s only private rehab centre with ACHS accreditation
We are proud to be the only private drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre in Queensland to be independantly accredited.