One of the most rewarding and difficult jobs is being a parent. We will always hope and pray that our children will grow up to be successful adults. However, as many of us know that is not always the case. In many instances, the disease of addiction wraps its ugly arms around our children. In my case, I have a daughter with long-standing serious addiction problems. My belief that hope is eternal keeps me strong. 

My daughters battle.

My daughter has fought so hard over the years and to this day still battles. Our daughter has had multiple relapses and has attempted to take her own life. She started with alcohol in her teens, progressed to opiates, and recently has returned to using alcohol. My daughter is a bright and pretty young lady who has a college degree, a family and friends. As a result of her addiction sadly she lost many jobs and recently saw her marriage come to an end. She has children that anyone would be so proud of. Through it all she has been able to maintain her relationship with them, although at times it’s been difficult.

A lifetime of struggle.

My daughter has been in and out of many treatment programs over the years. Each time we hope that this will be the last one she will ever have to attend, however that has never been the case. Recently she seriously relapsed on alcohol which resulted in her being admitted into a hospital. Her relapse compromised her health where it could have been much worse. This relapse was very serious, we can only hope that she realizes once and for all the seriousness of her addiction. She will be attending a treatment program, participating in AA and have an individual therapist to help her with her recovery. But will it be enough?

We will never give up.

My wife and I have never given up on our daughter and never will. We are both so afraid that one day her addiction will take her away from us, but we cannot dwell on that. Rather we must continue to help her and fight on her behalf. We are her parents that still unconditionally love her and always will. No parent wants to have their child suffer and to watch it happen before their very eyes. We hope for the best for our children, that they can grow up and lead a happy and successful life.

My struggle as a parent.

I think back to all the wonderful times we shared together as a family. And then I am reminded of the overdoses, the trips to emergency rooms and treatment programs. She is my daughter with who I developed a wonderful relationship.  It has hurt me to see what has happened to her. No one has ever helped me to understand what the impact would be as a parent. As a parent, you experience many feelings from being hurt, anger, confusion, depression, frustration, fear and so many more. The biggest is just not knowing what to do or how you can help.

Hope is eternal!

I am writing this in hopes that it will reach someone so that they will never give up on their children or themselves. The best we can be as parents is to be there for our children as frustrating and as difficult as it can be at times. I do not have the answers, because if I did, I would be writing something much different. A how-to book. What I can do is to support my daughter during these difficult times and engage her in treatment and AA. I want her to have the life I always dreamed of for her and for the life she always talked about. This I will always hope for now and tomorrow. Today starts another journey in my daughter’s life that I hope will be positive and life-changing in a good way.

The bottom line is I will never give up and I hope she will not. Hope is eternal!

 

Author

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. Bob has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration. Bob has over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities. In looking at his career one of the reasons for his commitment to addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for your words, Bob. I have taken them to heart. Hope springs eternal. Absolutely. I’m sending you and your daughter my prayers and good wishes for recovery and well being.
    Dave R

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