When you read this, you might be a bit like me over a year ago

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When you read this, you might be a bit like me over a year ago: I had tried everything to help my beautiful daughter feel happy with herself and with life in general, but nothing had worked. I felt like every day was a matter of survival.

I never thought it would happen to me, being an educated person with ample access to knowledge and resources. But suddenly I found myself with a 17-year-old, fighting against anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating problems. She had a lot of symptoms of post-traumatic stress, including – but I only found out later – some suicidal thoughts. My daughter was this sweet, vulnerable, and sympathetic being, struggling so hard to cope with life.

I doubted if she was at the right place when she entered Yes We Can Clinics (YWCC). There were youngsters with severe drug problems and a history of violent behaviours. The clinic approach came across very harsh and, in a way, traumatic. But we had ran out of options; we had tried psychologist support, psychiatric help with medication, a puppy, she had used alcohol and drugs, nothing seemed to work. It was my daughter’s own idea to go to YWCC.

Looking back, YWCC was a fit, as there were many similar life-stories, and all were treated using the same principles. She learned the tools and methods to help herself, and when back at home she applied them. Still, her trauma was in her body, and anxiety and depression remained to block her from living a normal life. She stopped school, which helped, as it only added to the stress. That was a big decision of which she was not proud. The reactions of our family made her feel even more like a failure. That was a big deception to swallow, also for me. So, we distanced ourselves from those unable to understand her trauma and her responses to her trauma. Another painful chapter.

Now she is full-time working on her healing; she wants to become a therapist and I am sure she will be a very good one. She reaches out to former fellows when in need, she actively consults therapy experts, she reads poetry and meets up with “colleagues” of the Narcotics Anonymous group. She stands, be it with ups and downs.

As a mother, I am also working my way through. Besides balancing the relationship with my daughter, I read a lot on trauma and its treatment, I have become an even bigger fan of bodily therapy, I follow classes on psychology and psychiatry, and I participate in weekly parent support groups with We Thrive.  In essence, I work on identifying my own patterns, analysing them, and changing unhealthy behaviours.  At the moment I am working on acceptance, patience and trust and I have learned more about avoiding being passive-aggressive and co-dependent.

The We Thrive group provides a knowledgeable group and ´a home of understanding´, which is so important. I feel very privileged to be part of such a welcoming group of parent-experts who help me be at peace with my life and the life or my daughter.

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