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I am certified personal coach, author, artist, and the mother of eight adult children and seven grandchildren. Over the past many years, I have worked with a cooperative women’s art gallery, created and owned a children’s book publishing house, founded the Lakewood Service League, and worked as a residential realtor.
In 2013, my life took a turn when I was forced to acknowledge that my daughter Crystal was a heroin addict. For the next five years, I went down the rabbit hole of so many parents, hiding in the darkness and obsessed with trying to fix my daughter’s addiction. Crystal would eventually end up living on the streets, and I would end up spending many a night, awake and isolated, fearing for my daughter’s life.
In December of 2017, I woke to a CNN story featuring Crystal shooting up heroin in an alley, visibly pregnant and being confronted by an Albuquerque policeman who offered to adopt her baby. The story went viral, picked up by media outlets throughout the world, culminating in an appearance at Trump’s State of the Union by the policeman, his wife, and Crystal’s newly adopted daughter.
The life I had so carefully guarded was now thrust into the light and I felt exposed and vulnerable. In 2018, I wrote and published my story, Surrender: A Love Letter to My Daughter, which chronicles my journey through Crystal’s addiction and my own inner struggles. This book has given me the opportunity to share my experiences, connect with other parents, and offer support.
Through publishing my book and connecting with so many people who were seeking advice and comfort, I realized I wanted to go a step further in the support I could offer. In January of 2021, I entered the Jay Shetty Certification School to obtain my coaching certification and enhance my skills to better serve parents swept up in the opioid crisis. When children turn to substance abuse, parents become victims as well, often buckling under the stress, guilt and stigma attached to this disease. My goal is to assist parents in developing strategies for healing, setting boundaries, nurturing themselves by implementing healthy habits, and finding peace amidst the chaos of loving an addict.