Our guest today is Cathy Taughinbaugh from Treatment Talk.
I know Cathy from the A-list blogging Club. Cathy is a mother, a wife and a former teacher. Her family has been on a journey through the depths of addiction, finding hope, recovery, and miracles along the way.
"The lady I met with was very nice and told me that she thought I was ‘fabulous.’”
I had to pause and take a breath as I thought about my daughter’s words. I know she is fabulous as all moms think their kids are wonderful.
I emailed her back, “You are fabulous, so glad she saw that.”
She is in a good place right now, interviewing for jobs, and trying to make a move to northern California. She is employed in the field of her choice, and is in no rush to find a new job. Both of those things, besides being “fabulous” are in her favor.
This hasn’t always been the case for my daughter.
She started out life as a typical little girl growing up in a suburban neighborhood in northern California. She excelled in school during her elementary years.
As she entered middle school, her grades started to slip just a bit. She had many friends, tried different activities to participate in and seemed well adjusted.
When high school began, she had a good first two years. She joined the water polo and swim team which kept her busy after school. She continued to be very social and had a “nice” group of girlfriends.
The last two years of high school, the grades started to slip again. Not dramatically, but we noticed. She kept her curfew, many of her friends remained the same, although there were a few news ones that made me a bit curious and concerned.
Her father and I prodded her onward and encouraged her to do better, monitored her whereabouts, and tried to be on top of all that was going on. Graduation came and went.
She left one August morning with her brother and I on the flight to Colorado, to the college of her choice. Things went well for maybe a month. Her boyfriend at the time moved back to be with her. He was not attending college and did not have a job at the time. This was a red flag to me, but wanting her to have a college education was important to us, so we thought we would take the wait and see approach.
A year and a half later, when she had dropped out of college, could not keep her job and was out of rent money, I went back to see what I could do. We had made the decision that we were done sending checks. She needed to own up to her life choices.
The rug was pulled out from under me when she finally admitted she was addicted to drugs. I should have known, and wondered why I didn’t know.
I know now. I was in denial.
She made a good choice at that moment in Colorado. She made the choice to come home with me. She made the choice to make a change and find a better way to live.
The three of us, including Bella, her recently acquired Rottweiler made the flight back to California. Within one week she was on yet another plane to Utah to attend a Wilderness program for five weeks, and then on to Southern California where she was in treatment for another three months and in a sober living home for six months. After leaving the program, she remained in southern California, and has lived in apartments with wonderful young women from her program.
A local junior college in southern California is where my daughter started college again. She graduated from the state university in 2009. A job in a grocery store helped pay expenses while going back to school. After graduating, she sent out applications for nine months until she found her present position. She has been promoted twice in the year and a half that she has been employed with the company.
She has made the decision that she is ready and wants to come home to live closer to her family. She has come full circle.
My daughter is not the only young woman who has successfully completed a treatment program that is fabulous. They all are.
Mature beyond their years, these young women are insightful and have embraced a spiritual component to their lives. They are humble and grateful for what life has to offer them. They appreciate the simple things, like their warm bed every night.
These young women, who often seem invisible, know that life can be hard due to poor choices and the disease of addiction.They also know that there is always hope.
Your life can change when you dig deep, overcome your fear and take on the challenge to begin again.
"It's never too late to be who you might have been." ~ George Eliot
Cathy Taughinbaugh is the mother of a former crystal meth addict. She writes on addiction, recovery and treatment at Treatment Talk.org. You can follow her on twitter @treatmenttalk. Please email this post to the mothers and daughters that you know are struggling with addiction.
Wow–What a great story. I can picture the scene all too well. Where I grew up–a rural area near a small town–drugs were everywhere. I left the area when I was really young (17) partly because of that; I just couldn’t handle being around so many drugs and drug addicts anymore (I had my foot in that door for awhile and knew I had to get it out). Some people, some much older than me, got into crystal meth and all that, and a bunch of people I used to know are doing long jail terms now for dealing. It’s a terrible scene.
Your daughter is so very lucky to have a supportive mom, even with that little spell of denial (normal, seems to me, but at least you saw it). I knew parents who were in complete denial of just about everything around them and never got out of it–they were too wrapped up in their own problems or their worlds and didn’t look very deep at much of anything. Where I grew up, there was never any involvement or help in so many kids’ lives, in any way.
So nice to hear such a happy story–thanks for sharing!