Since the start of spring I have been at war with a family of woodchucks.
And the woodchucks are winning.
They have dug their way into my vegetable garden feasting on parsley and kale, despite my best efforts to keep them out with miles of chicken wire. They are decimating my flower beds. They have taken over the space under my porch. And their brazen running through my yard in broad day light as the superhighway to neighborhood hideouts is driving my little rescue puppy crazy.
I’ve tried all kinds of homemade remedies to humanely mitigate the problem: black pepper, red chili powder, nasty smelling concoctions from the local hardware store, ammonia-soaked rags tossed close by their liars, and the aforementioned chicken wire barricades.
All for naught.
I feel like Bill Murray’s character in the movie Caddyshack – minus the explosives, of course.
My patient husband has witnessed this fiasco and finally advised me to call in pest control professionals. I am sure they will have humane strategies that will be more successful at managing these critters than my own.
Sometimes there comes a point when you just need to reach beyond your best efforts and get some professional help.
It was like that when our family was in-the-midst of dealing with crisis’ spawned by the family systems illness of substance use disorder. In the beginning, we tried on our own to find close-to-home solutions to help our son such as tutors, adolescent specialist doctors, counselors, and school support.
But as this heartbreaking progressive illness progressed, we realized we needed the experience of recovery professionals to help our family find solutions.
We targeted the help we sought to those who were experienced in dealing with adolescent substance abuse. With this help, we began to get some traction that ultimately led us to a residential treatment and structured aftercare program for our son.
It was hard to admit we needed support that went outside the boundaries of what was familiar. But seeking help from trained recovery professionals truly did make the difference in our family finding recovery solutions.
I am deeply grateful for those who stood with us in that time of difficult challenge and guided us with wisdom and compassion. The process was not an easy one, but now more than a decade later, our family still reaps the benefits of what we learned from those professionals.
And now for this weekend’s task of learning how to manage critters…
How have recovery professionals helped your family?
Please share here. We can all be inspired by our collective experience, strength, and hope.
Nancy and her son, JP, are co-authors of Unchained: Our Family’s Addiction Mess Is Our Message. Their book tells the true story of JP’s descent into opioid and alcohol addiction and homelessness to recovery to become co-founder of a treatment healthcare system.