Hi, I’m Pernilla. I’m Here For You. You Are Not Alone.

Hi, I’m Pernilla. I’m Here For You. You Are Not Alone.

Pernilla's picture


My name is Pernilla and I am a mother of two young children and in long-term recovery. I am very passionate about issues related to recovery, about connecting with other parents in recovery, and about helping all parents be better prepared, equipped and supported in tackling drug and alcohol issues. Having support for my alcoholism and addiction has been invaluable to me, especially during the first few months of my recovery. 

Having a place to go and share my story and hear others’ stories and struggles has saved my life.  For this reason, I am also very enthusiastic about working with the Time To Get Help community and hope that parents struggling with addicted teens and young adults have a place to come and feel supported.

Growing up, my parents fought a lot, which caused a lot of tension in my household and led to great anxiety for me. In my early teens I was eager to do anything I could to get rid of these negative feelings.

At 14 I was offered alcohol for the first time. After the first sip, the anxiety was gone and I felt some relief. After that, all I wanted to do was drink. I drank heavily until I was introduced to drugs at 19 years old. I made it through college somehow, and after graduating I got a job as a nightclub doorman. In this environment my drug use escalated.

After three years of working in the nightlife scene, the feelings of hopelessness and despair from all the alcohol and drug use became overwhelming. One such dark and desperate night brought me into a place of such despondence that a friend recommended I go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and I agreed to go the next day.

Admitting I had a problem and that I needed help was the first step, and it was an immense relief. I went to my first meeting on July 23rd, 1998, and I have been sober ever since.

I often ask myself why I have been able to stay sober since my first AA meeting, and I attribute it to the magic that happens in AA meetings and to the fact that I was ready and completely surrendered to the fact that I was an alcoholic. There is still no doubt in my mind that I suffer from the disease of addiction and alcoholism. I know that if I picked up a drink today, I would want another and then another.

Recovery is not easy and takes a lot of work. When the drink or drug is taken away from someone, there is still much to work to do to understand the underlying issues that triggered the impulse to drink or use in the first place.

I volunteered to be Time To Get Help’s community manager because I want to be a first point of contact for parents seeking help.  I am here to assist with anything from how to use the Time To Get Help website to answering a pressing question or leading you to get help the right help for your child. 

Parents, I am here for you; know that you are not alone.




Community Manager, Time To Get Help

The Partnership at Drugfree.org


P.S. Feel free to shoot me an email: http://timetogethelp.drugfree.org/contact.


User Comments

MotherWarrior's picture

Thanks for your story, Pernilla. What a blessing you were able to reconnect with yourself. When people use alcohol and drugs, they disconnect and lose their way because they can't access that internal compass, which has been re-magnetized, you might say, toward the drug rather than toward what we are here to do on earth (love and be kind). It's almost impossible to feel gratitude when one is using, which is why, I think, 12-step programs work so well for some people; they emphasize gratitude, finding hope in the little things in life.

Pernilla's picture

Thank you for your kind words Mother Warrior, and what you say is so very true. Over and over again I am reminded that people can change especially in places like AA. I see evidence of it every day - this is what I deem to be my higher power and this is what I gather hope and strength from.
Love and be kind! Yes indeed!

Julie's picture

Congratulations on your recovery, Pernilla. Thank you for sharing your story -- and for volunteering to be the community manager for Time To Get Help. I know you are helping many parents every day. What an inspiration you are!

Jerry Otero MA's picture

Dear Pernilla,

Thanks for sharing and for taking on this enormous responsibility! There can be no doubt, that parents who check in on this website will be helped a great deal by the contributions you are making in your role as the Time to Get Help Community Manager.

Your lead by example takes courage and conviction, and will undoubtedly provide comfort and solace to a great many who may be struggling with questions about what to do about their child's drug abuse. And, while there are none among us who can lay claim to having all the answers, I believe that together we can arrive at workable solutions to the ongoing challenges of keeping our kids safe so that they can grow up to be all that they can in an increasingly complex and demanding world.

Both, friends of Bill and mere Earthlings alike thank you for all that you are doing!

CathyTreatmentTalk's picture

Hi Pernilla,

Thank you for sharing your story. Hearing other people share their stories has helped me understand why my children turned to drugs and alcohol. This is a wonderful place where parents can come to receive help and understanding. Resources like this are so needed as parents continue to struggle with the substance abuse of their children.

It has be wonderful connecting with you as the Time To Get Help’s community manager. You are a valuable resource for all those that are searching for answers. Thank you for all that you do!

take care,

Cathy Taughinbaugh

Pernilla's picture

Thank you for your kind words Jerry and Cathy. Thank YOU both for all you do. I learn from you both so very much.