Here you can read about Sarah, Mark and Chrissie who have found support through COAP's message boards and free online counseling service.
Coping with dad's alcoholism
Sarah (22 years old) has been a member of COAP’s online community for over 3 years. Sarah's dad is an abusive alcoholic. Sarah joined COAP posting messages about her dad's alcoholism. Sarah was 19 years old she moved out of her family home and decided to not stay in contact with her father for a while. When Sarah lived at her family home with her father she often felt fearful, and she would barricade herself in her room during her father's drunken tirades. For Sarah it has been a continual struggle to emotionally and financiallly support herself. Sarah developed her own drinking problem and depression. When Sarah started to receive help for her drinking she got back in touch letting us know that things were getting better for her.
COAP provided a safe space for Sarah to write the words she could not say....
We have been here to read words that Sarah felt she couldn’t say out aloud to anyone. Peers from the online community and mentors have read her posts about the abuse she witnessed in her life, the grief of her fathers alcoholism, and later on the shame of turning to drink herself. At times when Sarah felt she couldn’t cope anymore we strongly encouraged her to seek as much support as possible and to not go through it alone.
Brother's addiction to cannabis and computer games
Mark aged 14, first posted a message on the COAP message boards as he wanted advice on how he could deal with his older brother's addiction to cannabis and computor games. His brother's addictions had become worse over the past couple of years. In his first post he was very upset and anxious and wrote about how he had to listen to arguments, which could become violent, between his brother, mum and dad. He felt unable to bring friends round to his house through fear of his brother starting an argument, and didn't feel he could talk to his friends or family about what was going on.
How COAP counselling helped Mark to seek suppport from his school...
Members from the COAP online community replied to his messages sharing experiences and ideas of what helped them in similar situations that Mark described. After 6 months Mark than contacted COAP counselling where he recieved the support of an online counsellor. It was through the email sessions with the counsellor that Mark made the step to then seek the help of his school counsellor.
Living with an alcoholic mother
At 16 years old Chrissie joined COAP. Chrissie was finding life very difficult living with her abusive alcoholic mother, both hating and loving her. She has never known her mother to not have a drinking problem. Her anger was unpredictable and frightening. She felt isolated locking herself away in her room.
Drinking at weekends, Chrissie feared she would turn out like her mother and develop her own drinking problem. Like other young people in our message boards Chrissie developed her own depression. At times when her mum's drinking escalated, Chrissie would self harm to cope with everything. In COAP’s online community Chrissie was able to share what was really going on for her.
Helping Chrissie to feel less alone and build the confidence to seek further support...
COAP has been a regular, safe, and anonymous place for Chrissie to write about her mother’s drinking problems and seek advice and support about how to cope. Mentors and peers have identified with her feelings, helping to reduce the effects of isolation for Chrissie. Chrissie has found that COAP is a place she can trust, somewhere to share her good and bad days. COAP has very much been a place where Chrissie has been actively encouraged to find others she can trust – helping her to tell other trusted adults including her GP where she was able to get counselling.