Are you a parent in pain? Have the destructive choices and behaviors of your son or daughter left you an emotional wreck? Is their struggle with mental illness pushing you to the edge? Do you isolate because you don’t want to “lose it” in public? We’ve been there. We get it.
If you said yes to any of these questions, then I have a word of hope for you. After my eighteen-year-old daughter left home to pursue a life of substance abuse and self-injury, I fell headlong in a pit so dark and deep I wanted to die. I just wanted to escape the excruciating pain.
I found a way out of that pit of despair. You can get out, too.
How did I get out?
I did many things, but the single most effective one was finding a support group. Coming out of isolation and connecting with others who were suffering like I was, turned out to be a vital key to regaining my emotional health.
You need to be in a support group, too – a Hope for Hurting Parents (HHP) group. Six years ago, after we had healed a good bit ourselves, my husband and I started a group for parents like ourselves.
What does an HHP group look like? Why is it so life-changing? Here are a few reasons:
– It’s safe and confidential. What’s said there and who you meet there, stays there. There is freedom to honestly share things you never talked about before. You’re able to let the pain out.
-We focus on us, the parents, not on our children or how to fix them. (We can’t. We can only change ourselves!) We focus on processing our emotions and feelings so we can be as healthy as possible. If and when our child comes to their senses we need to be as healthy and strong as possible.
-We discuss relevant topics that help us learn and grow from our difficult experiences: grief, anger, enabling, forgiveness, guilt, powerlessness, etc. We learn from each other.
-We’re honest with our questions and struggles. It’s okay to not be okay. We discover we aren’t the only ones. Many have walked this path before us. If they survived, we begin to believe we can, too.
-We look to God and His Word, the Bible, for encouragement, wisdom, guidance, inner healing and hope.
-We pray for each other and for our children. We believe prayer is powerful.
If you’re interested in starting a Hope for Hurting Parents (HHP) support group, please contact us by leaving a comment here. We will help you. We just completed writing a Facilitator’s Manual for those who want to start a group. It has helpful tips and how-tos, plus content for seventeen group sessions, enough material for eight months if you met twice a month like we do.
Even in your pain you can make a difference – and we can help.
There is purpose for our pain. How wonderful is that?