This is an anonymous, true story that far too many of us can relate to.
People have different outlooks on life. They have different lifestyles, different upbringings. All people feel pain, and that pain needs to be coped with. Most people cope with things differently. Some manage that pain healthier than others. Many turn to drugs to numb the pain and heartache that they are feeling. To say that my mother has been through Hell and back is an enormous understatement. She is the strongest woman I know, hands down.
My mom had always been the motivating type. The mom that would bend over backwards for me. The mom that would pack my lunch for school and leave a cute note inside. I loved those notes, even if I was always embarrassed for my friends to see them. She would do my laundry and put my clothes away- I miss that more than anything now that I live alone. She would drop everything to help me, love me, and support me. As I grew older, I slowly began to see her fall into the abyss of addiction.
Accepting the fact that my mom is an addict is not something that I want to admit. It isn’t something that I want to say, and it is for sure something that I do not want to believe. My mom is my superhero and saying that she is not impervious is tough.
Let’s talk about addiction- it is the Devil’s work. It is something I do not wish upon anyone. Many only can see a narrow scope of addiction. People think that it only affects the addict, but it affects the people around the addict just as much. It changes your life for forever. It makes you look at life differently. I have learned a lot from having a parent that slowly became an addict.
I am a big believer that out of every situation there is always a lesson to be learned. On the positive side of facing this addiction, it has made me more understanding. It made me realize that most addicts are trying to take the pain away from some type of trauma in their life. It made me realize that everyone has some kind of “addiction” in their life that helps them “escape” from reality.
But on the negative side of addiction, I’ve lost my best friend, my safe haven, my safety net. Someone that knew me more than anyone else in this world. Someone I could trust and rely on. The one I could completely open up to. Much has changed over the last seven/eight years, and it’s because I am maturing and opening my eyes to the truth.
I try to talk to her about my life, my struggles, my success, my pains. I try to talk to her about one day getting married and having a family of my own. Sometimes she acknowledges that I am talking to her and other times I feel like a ghost. I feel like a ghost in the sense that she is standing there and can hear me but she isn’t responding or acknowledging that I am there.
When I get to talking or thinking about the pain my mom has caused me (non-intentionally), it feels like a knife has gone straight through my chest, and I’m one with a high tolerance for pain. I felt like I have sacrificed parts of my life to try and save my mother, to try to help her understand that she isn’t only hurting herself but the others around her.
I lay in bed some nights and cry out to God in prayer that he blesses me with the strength to overcome. The perseverance to push forward and find forgiveness in my heart. I pray for my mother that she comes back stronger, and that she fights the demons inside of her. I try to help her in any way possible, but I am not one to help someone that does not help themselves.
To others that are in the same boat as me, just know everything will be alright. God has a way of working everything out for the best. With what I’ve been through, it has made me a stronger person mentally and I believe that it will make you a stronger person as well.
Some advice that I would give others in my position:
1. Open up about your feelings and don’t keep them “bottled up”. I kept my feelings bottled for so many years that I would have random outbreaks of my emotions towards people that did not deserve it.
2. Figure out why the person is addicted to their drug. It will give you a lot of peace and understanding of why they do what they do.
3. You only get one set of parents, so love them unconditionally.
4. I know it is mentally draining, so find your happy place. Something you can do to keep your mind off of it.
To my mom, I love you unconditionally. You raised me into who I am today, and I cannot thank you enough. I pray that whatever pain you are feeling that you find peace in it all and come back stronger than ever. I want my best friend back because I need you more than ever at this time in my life. I love you.