Sydney and Louise

As Ed Spatola aptly puts it, “Recovery is a beautiful thing.” Recently, I had the honor of being invited to a women’s meeting to celebrate my daughter’s sobriety birthday. This was the first time I’ve ever attended such a celebration with her, and I couldn’t feel more privileged.

You may wonder why this is such a significant event. The truth is, this journey has been my daughter’s, not mine. As much as I’ve been curious about her path, I’ve learned to step back and let her own it.

Many of you know me as the “family whisperer,” guiding families through the maze of mental health and addiction issues experienced by their loved ones. In doing so, I always emphasize that it’s not your role to probe into their meetings or what they’ve shared. It’s not your place to count the days of their sobriety; let them do that. The greatest gift is to one day be invited to witness their progress.

Yesterday was special; I attended my daughter’s 19th sobriety birthday. I listened and watched, tears welling in my eyes. She admitted that she hadn’t wanted me present before because she wasn’t confident she could maintain her wellness journey. Her words moved me profoundly.

So, here’s the moral of this story: stay steady. Families, engage in your own wellness programs. Take care of yourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Learn to set healthy boundaries and allow your loved ones the space and support they need to become who they’re meant to be. For me, yesterday was filled with joy, and today, I recommit to my own recovery, taking it one day at a time.