Addiction is a disease, and there are horrible impacts on both the individual and their families. For many who fall into its cold, cruel grasp, they often find themselves dealing with such turmoil alone, having been abandoned by their friends. Entire families are often destroyed when a family member has this chronic condition, and the parents struggle to find a way through the chaos and pain.
Barbara Decker is a mother who went through great lengths to reclaim her own life and find strategies to encourage her son, Eric, to come back to the delightful person he has always been. Her journey culminated in some strong realizations and practices that she has been teaching through her advocacy online.
Barbara Decker’s advocacy was born the night her phone rang. An uneasy feeling came about, and her world collapsed when her son’s roommate informed Barbara that something was wrong. Arriving at their apartment, she discovered he was disoriented and speaking gibberish. The police arrived and led him to a waiting ambulance in handcuffs, adding more weight to her anxiety. Things went from bad to worse when the doctors revealed her son had a Substance Use Disorder and had become addicted to drugs.
For a parent who had always been there for her child, the news shattered Barbara. A sense of failure and guilt overwhelmed her as she realized that he had been using drugs for years. “I blamed myself and couldn’t find forgiveness or peace of mind to reach the clarity I needed to be a support for Eric as he traveled through his own journey of addiction,” she revealed.
This became a years-long journey as Barbara set up an intervention and insisted on therapy, rehab, counseling and everything to break the hold addiction had on Eric. Although Barabara only wanted her son to get better, he ended up angry at her and often out of touch. Barbara was consumed with worry and fear every day, and eventually, she decided to try yet another time, and reached out to a psychologist again. She pleaded with him to please just tell her how she could “fix” Eric. While he could not provide her with what she wanted, Dr. K gave her the words she needed to hear. “There’s nothing you can do that will help your son,” he said, “Only he can choose recovery.”
Those words gave Barabara the epiphany she needed as she realized that the best way to help her son was to help herself first. While it initially felt selfish, Barbara conducted some research and worked hard to improve herself. The process was difficult, but after investing time and effort to reinvent herself, she succeeded. The outcome not only changed Barbara’s life but also left a positive impact on Eric’s.
“I can proudly say that Eric chose recovery for himself in 2018 and has rebuilt an amazing life for himself for over three years with no relapses,” she shared proudly, “He got help because I got help.”
Utilizing her knowledge, Barbara Decker became a Certified Family Recovery Specialist and started a program to help others in similar situations. She established a small beta group in May 2019 that has produced thousands of students using her methods with success. While the program primarily consists of mothers, occasional brave fathers reclaim their own peace while changing their own behavior to encourage their children to choose recovery. Entire families come back together.
“I want other parents to know there is a different way through this, a way that works for everyone who uses it, the Love Another Way Framework,” she shared. Barbara hopes that people can discover her approach to improve their lives and encourage their adult children to make changes in theirs.Learn more about Barbara Decker by visiting her official website.