A dedication to mothers with alcohol and drug use, written by our amazing counsellor, Ailsa.

This is too big of a topic to cover in one passage. But we decided to attempt it in a small way because our incredible counsellor, Ailsa, describes it with so much compassion, warmth and eloquence.

These mothers face colossal criticism, harsh judgment and stigma from our society – due to what we believe is a lack of understanding. The stigma creates a mountainous barrier for women to be honest and seek support.

I urge you to read with an open mind, and share the passage with others, so we can work to reduce the stigma, and strive to support ALL women.

‘We often feel like the luckiest in our program because we get to work with some of the most hard-working, brave, and softest women we’ll ever meet. These women invite us into their homes and families, and we learn so much from them every day.

‘They face barriers in every system, judgement at every turn, and are always asked ‘why the addiction’ but not ‘why the pain’, even though they are just coping with pain in the best way they know how.

‘Each one of these women has a big story they carry with them – They all have significant trauma, have experienced domestic violence, and many are unmothered mothers who have never been safely parented themselves.

‘Yet somehow, they find a way to become the most beautiful, nurturing, protective mothers, because they desperately want to give their children what they never had.

‘In the last few years, we’ve witnessed these women go on to become aged care workers, childcare workers, foster carers, peer workers, real estate agents, team leaders, counsellors, tradeswomen, and corporate officers. These women are resilient, they are powerful, and they are stopping the cycle of trauma for their children, and for their children’s children.

‘It takes a village to raise a child, and most of these mothers have never had a village. It is just magic seeing what these mothers create for their children when they do.’

— Ailsa, Nurturing Families Counsellor.