And so we have a teenager. An awkward teenager, a cuckoo in our nest.

Laura had braces fitted to her teeth, we were told this would happen when she was young, some back teeth missing. Appointments at the orthodontist took place in the city. A city she now lives. I prefer she lives there, I prefer not to dread seeing her down my street, see her face, see she has been drinking again.

Laura played the piano, went to girl guides. At the age of eight she was awarded swimming badges: bronze, silver, and gold.  She was fearless of water, sea or pool, she never considered what lurked underneath.

We moved to a bigger house, brand-new on a building site. Laura would dig for treasure in the excavation piles of earth. From her finds, she collected empty antique bottles. We did not know the abundance of empty bottles in her future.

Laura’s early teens were spent in our company. As a family we continued to do the things we loved. Was she a moody teenager? No more or less than any other. She liked a joke and bought an attachment for a car’s exhaust. She popped it in her uncles’ new car. He drove off to a tremendous fanfare, stopped the car and cursed the dealer who sold the car.

Laura amused us all with her take on life. We did not know of the heartache to come.

Follow my blog: Addict Child – Lesley Sefton. My journey as the mother of an addict.


I am the mother of two adult daughters, both much loved and cared for. The eldest thought she could handle social drinking and party drugs, she could not. There is a journey addicts relate to - their journey. As a mother I have healed through the written word. This is my journey.

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