A Mother Reflects on Her Daughter’s Addiction, Part 1
by Cathy Taughenbaugh, Parent Recovery and Life Coach and Founder of Treatment Talk
I clearly remember the day when I discovered that my daughter was using drugs.
I was devastated.
I was also filled with shame and confusion.
My daughter started out life as a typical little girl growing up in a suburban neighborhood on the SF peninsula. She excelled in school especially during her elementary years.
She was a Brownie, a girl scout, played soccer and softball, and performed in theater productions. She had many wonderful friends, a quick wit and fun sense of humor.
It was during middle school that I noticed her grades had started to slip a bit.
The first two years of high school were smooth. She joined the water polo team, as well as the swim team and made some close friends. I felt that I knew her friends’ parents, since most of the girls had grown up together.
During the last two years of high school things started to get a bit rocky. Not dramatically, but we noticed. She kept her curfew, many of her friends remained the same, although there were a few new 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 was accepted to college in Colorado and I flew back with her one August morning, sending her off with the hopes and dreams of any parent.
Those hopes and dreams were dashed after her first semester, as she was soon on probation. After the second semester, she needed to attend CSM in order to return in the fall.
But after the dismal fall semester of her sophomore year, college was over. She took a part time job washing dogs. But that soon fell apart as well.
I flew back to see what I could do.
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.
In my next blog post, I will write about our family’s action plan and our journey towards recovery.
If you suspect substance abuse with your child, don’t be in denial, like I was. Take action to help your child avoid going down the path of dependence and addiction.
Cathy Taughinbaugh is one of three Bay Area moms writing Parent to Parent ~ a blog sharing concerns about substance abuse. Lisa Frederiksen, Author Speaker Consultant and Founder of BreakingTheCycles.com and Shelley Richanbach, Certified Addictions Specialist, Peer Facilitator and Founder of Next Steps for Women, round out the Parent to Parent team. Check back every Wednesday as one of these moms will share their expertise and personal experiences with substance use, abuse, addiction and recovery. And if you find yourself in any one of their stories, consider attending their March 3, 2013, Substance Abuse Workshop for Parents.