JOANNE | Woodland Park, CO

“We may not solve all the world’s problems, but we might solve just a little of them by helping others.”

My family had a history of substance use disorder. Growing up around it was stressful and emotional. My parents divorced when I was 15, and I struggled with feelings of abandonment. I did a lot of partying in high school, eventually dropping out and I started drinking more and more. I didn’t feel like anybody cared about what I was doing, and so I struggled in my teens and twenties. 

I ended up having two beautiful boys in my twenties. When we moved to Colorado, I met my future husband. He had two children of his own. Together, we created one big family. At the time, I was still drinking heavily, but I was still functioning. I was there for the kids at their games, but I drank during their sporting events because I didn’t know what else to do with my life. I had no interest, no genuine interest of my own.

In 2018, I finally had my last drink. I joined support groups and did the work to find recovery. When one of my sons had his own struggles with addiction, it led me to CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training). It showed me how to help my family and also how to help myself. The communication skills you learn help the entire family. 

CRAFT has brought so much to my life, like communicating with loved ones without accusations, being kind to someone in the recovery process, setting boundaries, and caring for myself without taking on the consequences of others.

Today, I’m a part of some support groups, with CRAFT being one of them. CRAFT is open to all friends and families who care for someone who is struggling with a substance use disorder. If you have substance use disorder in your family, there are ways to address it and become the family you need, and want, to be. I think that what the world needs is just openness and vulnerability. We may not solve all the world’s problems, but we might solve just a little of them by helping others.