Our daughter’s addiction had taken us down a very long road to the darkest of dark places, to the point where I could only see one way out of that living hell. My wife and I were lost in a fog of desperation and isolation that had rendered us incapable of making the simplest of rational decisions. We had totally lost our way on how to deal with the terrible situation that we found ouselves in. 

We were signposted to Props when someone on the outside stopped us in our tracks and made us aware of just how dangerous the situation had become, this literally became the first step to saving our sanity and our 35 years of marriage.  

Scepticism reigned supreme as I made the initial call, after all we had been down this well worn path many times before, nothing seemed to impact on our situation. Our first meeting with Props proved to be an outpouring of raw emotion with many tears, we at least left safe in the knowledge that someone was only a phone call away, the first support ‘Prop’ was in place. 

During our second appointment we were offered Bespoke support either as an individual family or to take up the invite of being part of the ‘Craft’ intervention course (or indeed a combination of both) where we would meet other families who found themselves in a similar situation to ourselves. This in itself proved to be of enormous comfort, knowing that we weren’t alone!   

There was no magic wand or complex formula to ‘fix’ the situation. The Craft course took us back to basics. Julie and the team taught us how to communicate with our daughter again. In a non judgemental or threatening manner, they also taught us that every action both positive and negative has a consequence which can have a massive impact on relationships. They also taught us that the key was to be consistent and not to make empty threats. Just as important we were taught to make time for ourselves. Our daughter railed against us attending the meetings but this was our collective ‘me’ time and we began to look forward to the meetings. We realised we were starting to laugh again something that hadn’t happened in a long time. Our peers really became like a second family. 

My wife took great comfort and was eternally grateful for Julie’s support whilst I was away.  Julie made her feel that there was always someone she could turn to and that she would never be alone, someone who cared and could offer invaluable advice and support. We were both enormously impressed when Julie would ring and begin the conversation by saying ‘I’ve been thinking ………’ this shows that it’s not simply a 9 to 5 job to the staff at Props but a true vocation adding to the sense of caring and support that you get by engaging with Props. 

Props have taught us how to live again and  having a degree of normality back in our lives is wonderful. Yes we may still have nagging doubts but the fog has definitely began to lift and we can see a brighter future. Our daughter has been sober for 4 months now and has returned to her career after years of turmoil and stress something we never envisaged just a few short months ago. If she does relapse (God forbid) at least we have been equipped with a set of skills that have proven to work in giving us a coping strategy that supports our loved one.