Mike’s mother was older when she had him and she struggles with alcoholism.

It had been a tough time for Mike and his Mom. Mike’s father had never been a permanent fixture in his life as he had his own struggles with alcoholism and hoarding. Mike and his mother had been living in community housing and on a very limited income. On top of that, Mike’s mom had been battling breast cancer for the past five years and had only recently received a cancer-free diagnosis.

When the Family Reconnect team met with Mike and his mom, it was clear that the small family was suffering from stress, exhaustion and worry. Mike was mad at this mother for her drinking, feeling that it made her sicker during her battle with cancer.

Mike’s mom was using alcohol as an escape, and she used it to deal with emotions and feelings. Her drinking was having an impact on their ability to communicate and deal with conflict. It was clear that until Mike’s mother was willing to seek treatment for her addiction, home life would continue to be hard.

Through months of weekly family sessions, Mike and his mother’s communication improved, however it was clear his mother’s battle with alcoholism was far from over. The counsellor worked with Mike’s mother to mitigate the impact of her drinking using a harm reduction approach, to ensure that she had safety measures in place for when she did drink.

Although things aren’t perfect for Mike and his mom, they are vastly improved thanks to the support they received from the Family Reconnect team. Mike and his mother continue to live together. Communications are vastly improving and there are much fewer conflicts than before. Both are in counselling, and making progress.

At our last meeting, Mom had begun a yoga class in a nearby community centre, the first time she was regularly leaving the home in over a year. The smile on both of their faces when they shared this news is worth more than words can describe.


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