I love the idea of people dropping keys of hope to others by sharing their personal stories and experiences.
I am an adult child of an addict. My parent was addicted to crack-cocaine as I was growing up and struggled hard to balance having children, and succumbing to the monster of addiction.
For years I hid. I spent the majority of my younger years hiding where I lived, things that I saw and heard, feelings that I felt and things that happened to me.
At times I would hide physically, out of fear for my safety or simply not knowing what else to do.
Other times I hid in the psychological sense, seeking comfort and some kind of security.
At any given time I hid behind anger, resentment, and an overall numbness. It was simply how I coped. I spent so much time mentally checking out into my own wonderland, and hiding, that I missed out on a childhood and learning how to do ‘life’ sort of things.
As an adolescent and well into my young adult years, I made choices.
I made choices that were wrong, unhealthy, and definitely made for all of the wrong reasons.
I felt stuck in the wheel of a generational mess, that was my ‘normal’ and was what I thought was just how my life was supposed to go too.
I allowed anger and resentment to fester and turn into what I felt was validated blame; this, I manipulated into nice fertile ground- a place ripe for me to start an unhealthy adult life of my very own.
I lived what I knew and rested on this as an excuse to destroy my own life.
I had a baby, when I was a baby myself.
I dropped out of high-school.
I started living with a young man who was just as messed up as I was emotionally.
I began using drugs to cope with my life and the repercussions of my choices.
I became an addicted, empty, hate-filled, resentful vessel of a human being.
I blamed everything on my addicted parent.
If only she had ….x, y, z.
Meanwhile, my son was observing me.
He was absorbing my behavior, and was hanging in with me blow for blow as I dealt with all of the impact and the repercussions of my choices.
One afternoon when I woke up in a hospital bed. I looked around the room.
I had no idea where my son was. All I knew was that a nurse had just told me that I was stable and they needed to do some specific blood work to identify the true culprit behind my falling down and hitting my head while waiting in line at the post office. The ambulance drivers could only assume drugs were involved. Prescription drugs are tricky that way.
I didn’t magically get better that day that I ripped out the IV’s and bolted from that hospital before family services were notified about my blood work up. (That was my fear and concern at that time).
I can’t say that my recovery from my dependency began that day.
But that day, I knew. I knew my child should not live that life.
Somehow I just knew that it needed to stop and it had to start with me.
That same year, I did enter a recovery program.
It was there that I was offered love, support, and a stable and safe place to share.
I spent the first year detoxing and crying. My emotions and moods had to stabilize and try to regulate themselves. Sharing my childhood horror stories helped me to sort through buried emotions. I was able to get it all out and begin the process of forgiveness.
The second year was mostly spent on trying to learn to accept God’s forgiveness, learning to forgive myself, and mustering up the courage to ask forgiveness to the long list of people who I had forgotten, used, abused, stolen form, or simply disrespected in some way.
The next few years were spent focused on learning about who I was.
Not what small town society labeled me or my family as.
Not what my bondsman thought I was.
Not who judges, officers, or anyone else thought I was.
Not who my family thought I had turned into.
Not who I thought I was ‘supposed’ to be because of the fabric from which I was born into.
Just me. Who I was as my very own, grown-up, adult person who had the freedom to choose the kind of woman who they wanted to be.
That, has been a blessing. A hard, long, exhausting, journey- but one FULL of blessings.
My oldest son was 4 when I entered Recovery.
He has very little, if any, recollection of the kind of mommy or woman that I was.
Here’s why I want to share my story. I just want other people to know that it is never too late to change. Never.
No matter how much we’ve missed, how many mistakes we’ve made, or how far gone we feel like we are or have screwed things up….. it is still okay to want to change. We can still change, and it will benefit our family for generations to come.
I am 32 and am only approaching my 9th year in Recovery. I have earned my GED and have gone to college. I am married now, and have a stable, fun, happy, imperfect, life that I thank God for this new shot at life.
My mother is still struggling in her late 40’s, and my younger brother is a struggling alcoholic.
I am now really focused on staying committed to my boundaries, and learning more of the truths of codependency and what that means in my life.
But most importantly, by the Grace of God I am alive and healthy. Drug-free and very grateful to be living a life that reflects who I truly am, and one that I don’t mind my 3 children observing.
Thanks for reading.