Jan Brown on SpiritWorks Success Stories

Living with recovery is different for every family. Hear one woman's experience.

The beginning of this year, we had a young girl. I think she was about 8 or 9 years old, and when her father left to go to treatment, she came alive again. It was amazing. And before that, she had been diagnosed with ADHD, had the beginnings of eating disorder issues, was very shut down, and her father went away to treatment, and her mom, by good fortune, was able to find SpiritWorks. She came through our program. She no longer takes medicine. So it just really changed everything, and her mom didn't think that this kid knew anything about her father, and she may not have necessarily known specifically what was going on, and so we hear things like-- We had this one little boy, and he said, "My mom drinks iced tea every day." And I said, "Well, what's different?" "She doesn't drink iced tea anymore." Well, iced tea really wasn't iced tea. But every day she came home in the afternoon and had a cocktail, but she told her son it was iced tea. And that story has always really stood out for me. I think most recently the most profound story that we've heard in the last few months is there is a young boy, 12 or 13 years old, and his father embarrassed him. And so this little boy decided that he was--his solution was he was never going to be embarrassed by his father again. His father showed up at his soccer game, and he was drunk, and he was loud. And so the little boy's solution was that he just quit playing soccer. And we were--one of the curriculum items is around making healthy decisions. And so we went through this process, and here we thought he might think, "Well, next time I can make a different decision." He said, "Nope. I like that one. I'm still not going to play soccer. I'm going to play baseball instead." And so we never tell them that their choices or their decisions are bad or wrong. We just offer them the opportunity to say, yes, in order for you to survive, this is the decision that you made. You know--perhaps these are some other decisions that you could make next time.
Posted on BrainLine August 5, 2009.