Mother and Daughter Follow in Each Other's Footsteps to Lead Others Into Recovery Sheila F. couldn't shake the nagging guilt she felt early in her recovery. Yes, she'd found new life and new hope for herself, but what kind of example and course had she set for her pre-teen daughter, Lindsay? "I felt so terrible about not being the parent I wanted to be for Lindsay when I was in active addiction," Sheila shares. "Would Lindsay have the coping skills she would need for life? Would she be able to develop healthy relationships? How much damage was done, and how much could be undone?" Sheila got her answer one afternoon when the inquisitive 13-year-old Lindsay asked about something she'd been noticing. "Lindsay said, 'Mom, you talked about doing something called surrender—and you seem so different now. How do you do that?'" Lindsay recognized that her mother had somehow managed to transform herself and her life. She realized that people had the capacity to change. What a powerful lesson for Lindsay. What profound parenting relief for Sheila. "I believe that moment of insight altered the trajectory of Lindsay's life. It was a divine gift." Fifteen years later, as addiction professionals, both Lindsay and Sheila are dedicating their lives to helping other moms, daughters and families change the trajectory of their lives. Open to New Direction In 2013, three years into her own recovery from alcoholism and on her way to earning a master's degree in divinity, Lindsay switched gears, took a leap of faith and enrolled at the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies (now the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies). She was preparing to begin chaplaincy training when a series of coincidences pointed Lindsay in a different direction. Within her circle of recovery, it seemed that every woman she admired had a connection to Hazelden. Some were treatment alumnae, and others were Graduate School alumnae. "Either I hadn't heard of Hazelden or hadn't been paying attention, but suddenly all of these women I respected were mentioning it. I thought, 'Hmmmm, what's going on here?'" Then a recovery friend offered to introduce her to a spiritual care professional at Hazelden, so Lindsay made a visit to the Center City, Minnesota, campus. The final confirmation for Lindsay came a few weeks later in the form of an email. "Out of the blue, I received a message from Hazelden with the subject line, 'Thinking of becoming an addiction counselor?'" Lindsay recalls with a laugh. "I have no idea how I ended up on a Hazelden mailing list, but the message came through loud and clear." Lindsay graduated with a master's degree in addiction counseling in 2014. Today, she works as a counselor on the Dia Linn women's unit at Hazelden in Center City. Soon after Lindsay graduated, it was Sheila's turn to take a leap of faith and change direction. At Lindsay's urging, Sheila applied to the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Having overcome a life-threatening infection that required 18 months of successive surgeries, transfusions and hospitalizations—and making an against-all-odds recovery—Sheila found herself at a crossroads in life, unsure of her next move. "Lindsay worked on me for quite a while about applying to the Graduate School," Sheila recalls. "I wasn't sure I wanted to merge my personal life with my professional life, but I told her I would follow through with the application process and, if accepted, well, it was meant to be." Sheila received her acceptance letter, and within a month, relocated from Florida to Wisconsin where she moved in with Lindsay and her young family in order to attend school. After earning her master's degree in addiction counseling in December of 2016, Sheila returned to Florida where she is currently pursuing state licensure as an addiction counselor. The Courage to Change Once again, Lindsay had seen something in her mom that had the potential to transform lives. "My mom's recovery program is so strong," Lindsay relays. "She has sponsored countless women over the years and made such an incredible difference in people's lives. I knew she could help so many more people if she had the professional credentials to practice as an addiction counselor." Through the best of times and the worst of times, Lindsay and Sheila describe themselves as one another's biggest cheerleaders. "We've faced so much together," says Lindsay. "We believe in each other." The mother-daughter duo also believes in the transformative potential of addiction treatment and recovery. "Addiction has been very prevalent in our family, and I'm incredibly grateful today to say that recovery is prevalent, too," Lindsay shares. "We feel so honored to be carrying a different legacy forward—a healing legacy—both in our families and in the communities where we live and work."