“The skills I learned in CRAFT have made a huge difference in our lives.”

My niece is in the early stages of her recovery, so I’m caring for her two children. I refer to myself as an auntie-mommy. 

I’ve learned that loving someone in recovery means you have to give them and yourself grace through this process. My niece struggled with methamphetamine use at a very early age. Using such a powerful substance at 16 affected her brain, so she was stunted emotionally. As she’s recovered, I’ve seen her change and grow. There are difficult days for both of us, but I remind myself it’s a process. 

I started CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) classes during the pandemic. When I logged on, I felt strange seeing all these people I didn’t know. As I heard their stories, I had the ‘aha’ moment, “I’m not alone in this.” There were others out there who understood what I was going through. 

CRAFT taught me to speak to my niece in a way she was ready to hear. I learned to wait for the right time to talk to her and when to give feedback. In CRAFT, we call that the “hook.” Learning communication skills and waiting for the right moment are essential. 

It’s been a struggle, but I waited for that right moment, that hook moment. And today, I’m happy to say my niece is ten months into recovery. The skills I learned in CRAFT have made a huge difference in our lives. 

When you can relate to somebody going through the same thing, you build a bond with people. You know that they’re in that world with you. You can lift each other up, pull each other up when you’re feeling down; there’s that connection.