Addiction has always been a part of my story. There is not a time I can remember that it hasn’t affected my life. Being the youngest of 4 kids, both my parents had their own addictions. My mother’s being primarily crack and my dad’s alcohol. My mom would tell me that she did every drug when she was pregnant with me, and I came out fine. I have 10 fingers and 10 toes – so to them, I was fine….
Growing up as the baby, my parents’ addictions were in full throttle. My dad built and designed IndyCar engines. My parents were both always on the road, which left us to basically raise ourselves. I don’t want to say that I don’t have fond memories of my mom when she could actually be a mom. I do know she loved us kids the best she could. But most of my childhood, I remember my mom would leave for days at a time out on her binges, so my dad was the person I was closest to. He passed away when I was 14 from skin cancer. My mom coped with his death the best way she knew how, which was putting drugs & men before her kids who desperately needed her.
At 15, I moved out on my own staying with different friends. I dropped out of school & of course I started smoking weed and taking pills. That was my solution to all my problems, so I thought. Pretty soon it was leading to my problems. I got in trouble when I was 19 for dealing cocaine and ended up in going to prison. I was introduced to CA (Cocaine Anonymous) but thought the literature didn’t pertain to me. Unwilling to admit to myself I was an addict.
I had my first kid at 25. He was the absolute love of my life. I did better for a time. But frothy, emotional appeal seldom suffices. Before I knew it, I was in and out of jail. Living in work-release with my son just trying to stay afloat, but quicksand was all around me. The more I ran from becoming my mother, the more I realized I was just like her. I started using heroin & quickly gave away everything I held dear. I lost custody of my son. Got in a relationship out of convenience. Began to get beat up almost every day. The punching & abuse didn’t bother me much because I already felt dead inside. A shell of the beautiful vibrant woman I loved.
I ended up having 2 daughters in that chaos & gave them away for drugs. I had lost my children, and almost lost my arm from an infection from shooting meth. I had overdosed a few times only to be saved from Narcan. My Mom was the only person left in my life who would talk to me. Still none of that was enough for me. I didn’t know a way out.
But God did. He saved me when he sent me to jail this last time. I wanted to be done but didn’t know how to stop using the only thing that made me feel “normal”. I stayed in jail 4 months longer waiting to get into treatment somewhere, anywhere, any thing had to be better than what I was living. I was desperate to live. I got accepted into a sober living house & walked away from absolutely everything in my past. People, places, & things all gone. There I was loved so purely. I had never experienced love like that from a stranger. I started learning about my disease, & why I couldn’t stop even when everything in me wanted to. I went to meetings every day and IOP 3 days a week. Then, I found out I was pregnant.
Oh, what was I going to do?!? I didn’t know, but God knew exactly what I was going to do. I became the senior resident at the sober living house I was at. I continued to work a program, go to meetings & talk with addicts who had found a way out. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do when the baby got here. I couldn’t live at the transitional living house I was at with a baby. I called everywhere just trying to have a safe place to stay with my baby where I could focus on my recovery while being a new mom. Heart Rock was the only place I could do that. God opened that door for me. I became the senior resident at Heart Rock soon after I got there. Two months later, my son was born on May 14th, on Mother’s Day. I call him my little start over token, because this baby never has to know a mother who is an addict. I get to have another shot at life & being the mother my kids deserve.
Things have definitely not been easy for me since he was born. I’ve dealt with things sober I never knew I could. Complications from labor, hospital stays & my mother passing away. I stayed sober and determined in my recovery. I have a spiritual solution to all my problems today & know how to react to life today when it shows up. I no longer am “the victim” in my story.
God continues to open doors for me that I walk through in absolute faith. I GET TO work with other women with children trying to get sober. Walking with them in their journey. Share my experience, strength & hope. Be an active participant in my 2 boys’ lives. Because someone loved me until I could love myself, Heart Rock took a chance on me. Allowing me to grow more than I ever knew possible. I have an active change in my attitude, behaviors & thoughts. I’m truly grateful to say as I’m writing this today, I have 17 months clean & sober from all mood & mind-altering substances.