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Dorothy - Stop trying to fix it, get the right support

For decades I sought answers to my daughter Ebony’s lived experience of psychosis. After many hospitalisations I’d lost hope of things ever changing for us but connecting with Flourish Australia turned our lives around.

Caring for a loved one who’s struggling with mental health is felt by their whole family. Ours has been a long and often overwhelming journey since Ebony first experienced issues at the age of 12. We had no idea what was happening and put it down to her getting caught up in the wrong crowd and just being a bit of a brat. There were times I barely recognised my daughter anymore and trying to cope with her behaviour consumed all my energy which impacted her siblings and led to losing a thriving family business.

Eventually I hit the point of breakdown and after being bounced from one helpline to another looking for answers, I had to accept advice that I lacked the skills and understanding needed to support Ebony in a way that would be transformational for her. I felt like the worst mum on the planet when I told her she could no longer come home to live with us and encouraged her to participate in rehabilitation.

Finding Flourish Australia made all the difference. I had no idea about recovery-focused support like this that meets her needs in such practical ways day-to-day.

With the right support, in just 12 months Ebony turned her life around and I was freed from burning myself out trying to be her saviour.

We were no longer stuck in cycles where things would tick along well for a while then suddenly erupt into chaos that disrupted every aspect of our home life. I watched my daughter grow from a troubled teen into a mature adult who manages her life with confidence. It gives me peace of mind now that I’m in an over 55’s development where it isn’t possible for Ebony to stay with me.

I’m so grateful for the gentle way Flourish Australia supported her to work through her fears and transition to living independently in home of her own that she values because she’s earned it for herself. Knowing she is settled frees me to focus on my own wellbeing and interests.

We’ve learned so much along the way and I’m so proud of her progress. Now I can look forward to our catch-ups because I can talk with my girl the way we used to before she became unwell. I no longer feel anxious about answering my phone to unsettling news, I can just relax and enjoy being her mum without trying to fix things.

I want to encourage anyone who is struggling to know what to do to help a loved one experiencing a mental health issue to stop trying to do it all on your own and reach out to Flourish Australia. You may otherwise actually hold your loved one back from the help they need to thrive in their life.

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