Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Smith.
Lisa, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was a teacher, and my husband was the soccer coach. We lived in a nice neighborhood, volunteered for the PTA and belonged to the local pool. We were the typical family that exists in so many neighborhoods around the country. But despite our very normal-looking lives, our family was dealing with our son’s drug addiction.
Shame and fear isolated us and I spent precious years yelling, crying and searching for help and answers. Suggestions about “Rock Bottom” and “Tough Love” did not feel right to me as a mother, and as I navigated this path, it did not appear that anyone had walked in these shoes before us. We felt alone and without hope.
I searched for answers and help for both myself, my son and the rest of my family. In desperation, I realized that my son was walking further from help, and I was also on a path leading to sadness, guilt and shame. What I came to realize is that the only one that I had control over was myself, and I became determined to regain purpose and happiness in my own life, rebuild the family relationships in jeopardy and love my son, the young man that I knew him to be, separate from his disease.
In that moment, I discovered the science behind what my heartfelt. My ability to work on creating healthy boundaries, communicating with compassion and continuing to love my son where he was at – immersed in a disease that he could not control was the only way out – for both of us. I could not help my son if I did not first save myself. It was only in my own recovery that my son was able to believe in himself and his value as a person and regain his desire to seek his own recovery.
I now work with families stuck in the same isolation and despair as I was as a Certified Family Recovery Coach. I use the science-based practices of CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), Invitation to Change and Motivational Interviewing to guide families to their own recovery and lead their person in addiction to healthier choices. I have hope that all families fighting the battle of addiction can regain peace and hope and learn to live their lives with intention, led by love and compassion, as we are only promised today.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Prior to working with families, I spent 20 years as an educator. When the pandemic hit, it became even more clear that families were struggling to find help to navigate the overwhelming challenges that they faced. Addiction, trauma and mental health concerns were isolating families even further. This is when my life experience and desire to work with families in a more comprehensive way became apparent, and I spent time gaining national certifications and training to work directly with families in their personal challenges with substance misuse.
The path to Addiction Recovery is never a straight one, nor is there a guaranteed “Happy Ending.” The struggle that families endure is very hard, but in the end, it is rewarding to see families find enjoyment and purpose in their own lives again. Working with families to change the stigma of Substance Use Disorder both in their own lives as well as in the greater community by giving a face to the disease is the way out of the shame that is attached to addiction. Those who suffer from Substance Use Disorder are people with friends and family members that love them. Walking with families as they learn to reconnect and reframe their dialogue with their loved one is very rewarding and brings hope to so many other people who have not yet reached out for help.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a Certified Family Recovery Coach. I work with families who have a loved one with Substance Use Disorder (addiction). Through coaching, educational speaking and advocacy, I help families and communities navigate a path of compassion, well-being and hope.
As a Recovery Coach, I combine the philosophies of Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), Invitation to Change and Motivational Interviewing alongside mindful and intentional living practices to bring a compassionate and holistic approach to healing from the trauma of addiction in a family system. I walk alongside your journey and help you define and live out your individual values. I work with individual family members, with groups of families in an interactive class setting, and as a speaker to community groups centered around advocacy, family recovery, labels, and the compassionate treatment of addiction recovery.
What matters most to you?
What matters most to me is that families who have been affected by their loved one’s substance use know that they are not alone, and they can help their loved ones and reclaim purpose and peace in their own lives simultaneously. It is important to include family recovery in the cycle of addiction and give hope and health back to those affected. I have seen firsthand the power that family recovery can have on the lives of so many. The path that I was searching for in my own family’s struggles has been paved with success, and I am here to show you the way.
- Email: Lisa@reclaimrecover.org
- Website: https://www.reclaimrecover.org/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reclaim_recover/