It was just another normal day for Lilia. She chased down her coffee with a shot of whiskey, before waking her children up to take them to their first day of school. With backpacks on and excitement in the air, Lilia walked her children to school, kissing them and wishing them well. Lilia headed back home, where she continued to fill her glass while doing the chores. At 12PM on the dot, her husband called to check in on where she was and make sure she was not doing anything they had not agreed upon for the day. At 1PM she took a nap, and woke up at 2PM, finished off a couple of glasses before walking to pick up her children. This was Lilia’s normal, and it had been this way for the past 15 years. She needed the drink just to cope with her day and prepare for the evening.
There was a time Lilia could faintly recall, when there was joy in her life; when she looked forward to seeing her husband, when she brought home her twins, and when they first bought their house. But that was a distant memory, and now all she knew was this- numbing herself daily, to make it through.
One school day, Lilia woke up to several missed calls from the school. She had accidentally overslept pick-up, and when she heard the key in the lock, her heart sank as she knew it was going to be a long night for her, one full of bruises.
That night, the verbal abuse escalated to physical violence towards Lilia and this time, toward her children, too. She realized their home was no longer a safe environment and the altercations were affecting the children emotionally and psychologically. She needed help. Lilia didn’t know what to do, she wanted desperately to leave but she couldn’t afford rent on her own and was worried that her own alcohol abuse would not allow her and her children to receive assistance as a family.
The next day, after her husband left for work, she searched online, and found Radiant Futures and called the 24-hour helpline. After speaking with an Advocate, Lilia was able to create a plan to safely get her and her children to Radiant Futures’ emergency shelter. Once they were settled, Lilia met with her Advocate to create a plan for what she wanted out of life and for her children. Lilia was fearful to share about her excessive drinking as she was concerned if her Advocate found out, her children would be taken away. After several weeks, Lilia learned about Radiant Futures’ Overcoming Addiction, a harm reduction counseling group. When she asked her Advocate about the group, Lilia was relieved to learn about the harm reduction approach and disclosed to her Advocate that she would spend most of the day drinking.
Lilia decided to enroll in Radiant Futures’ Overcoming Addiction (OA) 8-week program and signed up for the Coping Club. The OA program (a harm reduction program) and the Coping Club gave her tools and behavioral skills to help reduce the harm caused by alcohol and substance use. During this time, the family received counselling, parenting classes, Personal Empowerment Program, and participated in therapeutic art.
The family is still healing, and they are thankful to have a safe, supportive, and creative environment where they can continue to process their experiences and learn healthy outlets for their emotions.
If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please call our 24/7 Helpline at 877-531-5522.