3 Common Fears of Mothers Seeking Treatment

3 Common Fears of Mothers Seeking Treatment

By: Yolanda Lancaster, BSW, CPRS. LADAC II

3 Common Fears of Mothers Seeking Treatment

3 Common Fears of Mothers Seeking Treatment

Seven years ago, when I entered treatment, I was a mess. My focus was on getting through my withdrawals, and I wasn’t able to focus on anything else. After detox I began to feel human again until I realized I was going to be away from my children. My instinct was to run to them, beg their forgiveness and promise to never leave them again. However, I’d spent most my children’s lives begging forgiveness because of my addiction to methamphetamine and morphine. I was physically present for most of their milestones, but I wasn’t there emotionally. I was constantly thinking about how I was going to get high. My children were not my priority. So why was it so difficult to seek treatment as a mom? Here are 3 common fears of mothers seeking treatment:

“I can’t be away from my children for this long.

In reality we’ve been absent from our children’s lives for the majority of our addiction. Some of us may have been physically present, but we weren’t there emotionally or spiritually. I wanted to explain to my children how my disease hindered my ability to show them love. Guilt consumed me. However, within the first week of treatment my counselors helped me realize it took time to get here, and it would take time to heal. From this point, I began to believe in a power greater than myself. I believed I could be restored to sanity and returned to the lives of my children.

“I’m afraid someone will take custody of my children.”

Custody is complicated, but when a mother is actively seeking treatment it strengthens her ability to parent. Historically judges rule favorably to parents who have completed treatment.

“I don’t want my children to be scared because I’m in a treatment facility.”

Cumberland Heights has a beautiful campus on the banks of the Cumberland River. There are relaxed areas to visit with children including a playground and gymnasium to allow for play. Although it was wonderful to see my children while I was in treatment it was also emotionally and physically exhausting. I hadn’t been fully present with them in such a long time it took a lot of effort to become an attentive parent again. At this point the treatment center began to represent a place of healing opposed to a place secluding me from my children.

After going through treatment and especially the family program, I was able to realize one day clean with my children was worth more than a year high. Today, I would say the time spent away from my children in treatment was actually the most present I’ve ever been with them. I’m grateful for the ability to be present with my children, which I’ve learned to do through a 12-Step program. Now I have an amazing relationship with both my son and daughter, and we’re all learning how to be in each others lives.


Yolanda Lancaster graduated from Lipscomb University with a Bachelors of Social Work in 2015 and received her LADAC II in December 2016. She is a primary counselor in the Women’s Program at Cumberland Heights and sits on the board of Mending Hearts, a nonprofit treatment center for women. She is actively working her own 12-Step program, as well as nurturing, repairing and re-building relationships with her children.

5 comments on “3 Common Fears of Mothers Seeking Treatment”

  1. I’m a friend of Yolanda’s for a long time we are from same home town. I can honestly say “I knew her when”. Eight years ago we were in a county jail together, and consequently we were sent to Nashville at the same time. One day we were in my car and I was contemplating going home because “I can’t live without my kids”, “I’ve got to get back home to them!” I said this with honest intentions and true pain. I’ll NEVER forget what Yolanda said to me, “yeah me too, the problem is I never get to stay”. Well I went home she stayed and of course my disease was waiting on me and those words of wisdom she spoke became my story.. seven years later she is still clean and has a relationship with her children, me not so much. But the God of my understanding was not finished with me, my best friend Yolanda fill Lancaster came to our hometown and brought me to Nashville with her she told me on the way there “your just gonna do what I say” she got me in treatment and has supported me my whole journey. I have almost 18 months clean and sober. This past year I took my son to Nashville shore and the smoky mountains! I’m great full I went to treatment and to be cleaned and sober!

  2. Yolanda is my sister in recovery. She is always willing to do whatever it takes to help the addict find recovery. As a parent in recovery I didn’t hide it. My daughter knows about what recovery has done for me. She loves Yolanda also. Yolanda is one of the most giving people I know.

  3. Yolanda was an inspiration to me ! Almost like a superhero!! She basically saved my life by understanding me and understanding how it felt to be “broken”. We had an unbelievable connection it was powerful and it was a blessing . I felt God put her in my path for a reason. For the first time in a long time someone believed in me and fought for me and guided me towards the right direction . God and Yolanda moved mountains for my son and I ! 8 months sober ,Have my son ,have a job, and I have peace . So I just want to say thank you Yolanda and Cumberland Heights for helping me and giving me light in my darkness!!! Love you Yolanda !!

    -Cayla M

  4. Yolanda was such a big part of the reason I stuck it out and finished my 30 days!! I desperately missed my 3 boys!! Anytime I was waivering Yolanda was there to give me some words of wisdom and a swift kick in the ass! I will be a year sober Jan 17 and could not have done it without her!

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