– Chelsea’s mother, Melissa
(Names have been changed to protect client and mother’s privacy.)
As an elementary school student and middle schooler, Chelsea was a bright shining star who always strived to do her best. She was a friendly, happy-go-lucky child who had lots of friends. She loved sports and was a good role model to younger girls.
“Family life was always good, not perfect, but good. Our kids’ activities were all supported. We provided them with what they needed, including a Christian education. We traveled, camped and attended church.”
When Chelsea was in high school, Melissa began noticing behavior changes and thought they were simply evidence of a teenager needing to “find her way”. Then, at Chelsea’s 21st birthday celebration, Melissa realized her daughter’s unhealthy behaviors were becoming more severe and problematic.
Over the next several years, Melissa watched her daughter struggle through abusive relationships, marriage, kids, divorce, depression, substance abuse and jail. Chelsea denied she had problems with substance use and mental illness and refused help. It was gut wrenching for her mother to witness but Melissa chose to demonstrate tough love and good boundaries.
“I would always pray. The situation was out of my control so there was nothing I could have done differently. I did all I could, which included sharing my concerns with her. One day I looked right at her and said, ‘your only hope is inpatient treatment.’”.
Chelsea finally hit rock bottom and took the advice of her mother by participating in and completing inpatient treatment. It was exactly where she needed to begin her healing. While she was in the controlled environment, she was able to gain a healthy perspective, understand her choices and find a glimpse of hope. Her mental health and substance use treatment continued when she enrolled in the CFS Dual Diagnosis Intensive Outpatient Program.
Melissa understands the heartache and tangled web of addiction, mental illness and treatment. She has participated in family treatment sessions for all seven of her siblings and now for her daughter. She knows the importance of supporting loved ones: “I will continue to support anyone that needs it because it does not just stop when you graduate. The support is ongoing.”
Melissa has been involved in Chelsea’s recovery every step of the way. Her advice to other parents on this journey is to:
“We have our daughter back and that is the biggest gift I could have been given. Today, I watch her set healthy goals, communicate her struggles, and act in ways to stay healthy. It’s truly remarkable! My gratitude goes out to Chelsea for her perseverance and to CFS for their guidance.”
For higher level of care programs like Chelsea’s, there are start-up costs such as recruiting and hiring qualified Christian clinicians, and training our team to deliver evidence-based care that is properly integrated with Christian principles. Generous donors help make this quality distinctly Christian care accessible to more people.