April 6, 2012

Mothers of addicted children cope together online

Barbara Theodosiou’s life changed dramatically four years ago when the mother of four discovered that two of her sons were caught in a storm of drug addiction.

The south Florida woman found herself at a loss and didn’t know where to turn or how to deal with what she called a nightmare. She couldn’t deal with the reality, began to withdraw from life and literally took to her bed.

“It’s a living nightmare and I just couldn’t face it,” Theodosiou says of her isolation. Being a woman of great personal success, having been the founder of the Women’s Business Mastermind Group, she didn’t know how she got into her situation. Not to mention she had other children to think about. So, she decided to take action.

Roughly two-and-a-half years ago, Theodosiou started The Addict’s Mom Facebook page as a way for those in her same position to be able to communicate and bond. It gained thousands of fans. Now, she has developed and grown it into a membership website, The Addict's Mom. She says the website is easier to control than the Facebook page and has more features.In its first few weeks it already gained 700 members.

“The reason I started The Addict’s Mom is because I literally went into bed when this happened,” Theodosiou says. “And when I came out with The Addict’s Mom, people started coming out with their stories.”

She says that in the addiction cycle, so much focus can be put on the addict themselves, but the whole family—particularly the mother—also is in pain. They also need an outlet. Even a place to talk with each other seems to be a welcome outlet, she says, as the new chat feature at The Addict's Mom is used all the time.  

On the site, aside from bonding and communicating, members can also get resources on valuable low-cost options to help their addicted children. Members can write their own blog posts, add videos, chat with other members and get the support they need from professionals who can help them with co-dependency issues and enabling. Mothers can also submit stories about their own personal journeys with addiction.

“The need for mothers to bond and connect and just not be alone in this, it’s just amazing,” Theodosiou says. “I always wanted to have it, because what usually happens is the mother will isolate and not want to talk to anybody, and The Addict’s Mom has provided a place where they can communicate. And it’s almost freeing when you express to everyone and talk to people. And I think it’s so important for the children that are not addicts that the mother is well.”

Today one of Theodosiou’s sons is in recovery.

She says she’s thankful she fought her way out of isolation and found purpose in her life again, for herself and the sake of her other children.

“To me, what’s most important is raising awareness for the mother. (The Addict’s Mom) is such a need because it seems like the whole focus is on the addict, but during the process the whole family can be destroyed.”

Click here to visit The Addict’s Mom.

-Greta Lieske

 

Homepage photo courtesy SOMMAI/freedigitalphotos.net.

 

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