As the New Year began I considered what I wanted to achieve. Feeling like I needed a project or something creative to inspire me and build my enthusiasm, I pondered returning to study, becoming involved in some sort of youth outreach or doing something creative on the home front such as sewing or photography.
Being time poor with regard to adding anything new to my already busy life, it suddenly dawned on me to extend my current volunteering role in ToughLove to a leadership role. Having been a member of ToughLove for over a year now I felt that it was time to take on new challenges and assist at a group leadership and perhaps Queensland Management level. I have now had the title of Public Relations Officer for Corinda group bestowed upon me. It is a great honour and one which I take very seriously. I have always been enthusiastic about marketing and public relations especially when it is for a cause which I am passionate about. I am a true advocate of ToughLove, the support and information which it provides. It does work!!! As Public Relations Officer for the group I will be promoting our group and the ToughLove program to schools and the community at large.When I first came to ToughLove I was desperate for a solution as many other parents are, when faced with such challenges as teenager turmoil, drug or alcohol related violence and mental health, psychotic episodes, to name just a few. I remember sitting patiently listening to the information given at orientation, all the while wanting a quick fix, an instant solution to turn my feral teenager back to the beautiful innocent little blue eyed girl she once was.
Now I am the person taking the new, battle weary, parents through orientation, being very aware of the circumstances which have brought them to the group. They too are looking for quick fixes, someone or something to make it all better NOW!!! They are warmly welcomed with the time-honoured greeting “We’re glad to see you….. We’re sorry you had to come.”My message to new parents is to just keep coming to your ToughLove group where you will receive information, support and the comfort of knowing you are not alone in your struggles as there are other parents enduring similar circumstances to you. There are also parents who have endured challenges, learnt new skills, received support and information from their toughLove group and who are now enjoying a positive relationship with their ToughLove kids. I am one of those parents.
So here is an update on my own ToughLove story.My Toughlove daughter is now making a life of her own, taking responsibility for her own health and happiness and for her own choices. She now lives in Melbourne. I visited her a few months ago and was amazed at the transformation. She has gone from being an angry, defiant, feral teenager with little to no respect for her parents or herself, to a beautiful young woman, blue eyes sparkling with health, revealing a renewed enthusiasm and zest for life and a hope for the future. My beautiful blue eyed girl is now a beautiful young woman who has taken ownership of her problems and challenges and has taken responsibility for her own destiny. She regrets the anguish which she caused her parents and is making amends.
This is a ToughLove success story.It can be your ToughLove success story.
It won’t happen overnight but it will happen!!!