Recovery is Possible

A Mother's First-Person Account of her Daughter's Recovery from Substance Abuse

Today’s my daughter’s birthday… 

In more ways than one. Because today also marks the third anniversary of my daughter’s sobriety. It’s been a long road to get here. Megan was in the 8th grade when she had an attempted suicide. Thankfully, she recovered, was diagnosed with depression and mood disorder, and began to see a counselor for her mental health. In the 9th grade, it seemed like Megan was okay, but she was still struggling. In the 10th grade, she started messing around with alcohol.

I knew she needed help beyond what I could offer. Volunteers of America had a facility in Eagle River where they treated teens with addiction issues and offered mental health services as well. In her first month there, the daily goal was just to get her up off the floor. She would just lay there and refuse to do anything. It was persistence that finally broke that wall down. 

Volunteers of America was real with her. They loved her. 

They had expectations for her that she couldn’t escape.

When your child is in a program like Megan was, it can be very scary. I had a lot of feelings wrapped up in it—failure (I should have seen more signs) and guilt (I should have intervened sooner) and shame. But Volunteers of America saw the big picture and provided services to cover the whole family. My experience with VOA was that it was such a great wraparound service. I didn’t feel like Megan was being sent to someplace far away where I didn’t know what was happening and I didn’t have contact with anyone. They were very involved with the families and I felt very included in what was happening.

That’s how Megan and I learned that recovery is possible. 

And after she graduated they gave us so many resources for her to get involved in different groups. And those groups sustained her—she’s three years sober, in college, doing phenomenally.

I found out that Volunteers of America touches people’s lives in Alaska in many ways. It’s not just limited to teens who struggle with addiction, it also supports people when they come out of addiction. It provides them with life skills, a sense of accomplishment, and the confidence needed to navigate the world around them. The way VOA reaches into the community in such a multitude of ways is amazing and frankly something I haven’t seen from any other organization.
These kind of issues—mental illness, addiction, and abuse—aren’t problems that were ever meant to be solved alone. You need a community of persistent, loving, educated, caring people. When you have that-- success is possible.

We thank everyone who supports Volunteers of America’s community of care—people like you-- for making it all possible.

With Gratitude, 

Rebecca and Megan