Heroin Support Blog

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Dear Mom - Thank You For Not Giving Up On Me.

A while back, someone posted about finding her daughter in a seedy motel and she gave her a phone and asked her to text every once and a while.  I have been looking for it because I want to tell that person that after reading the post, I went and wrote a letter to my mom but there are so many posts.... I have been trying to mend a very broken relationship with my family. Something about that post really got to me and I NEEDED my mother to know that I loved her.

So I wrote her a letter below and I want to share it with you all. It's taken me a while to share this because it makes me very emotional but I feel that there are mothers out there, suffering and maybe this will give you some hope. So here it is:

YourChild

Dear Mom,

I follow this group on Facebook called "Heroin Support". Anyone who has been touched by the heroin epidemic is invited to share their story. This group is the best thing ever for someone in recovery. I get a whole lot of support and reminders as to why it is so important to keep moving forward. Today, a mother of an addict shared this:

"Was a rough night. Found my daughter at a seedy hotel after not seeing or talking to her for over a month and a half. I didn't try to have her come with me or lecture her on coming clean. I handed her a bottle of Narcan and a phone. I told her to keep it on her at all times and asked if she'd send a text every once in awhile to let me know she's alive. I gave her hug, let her know I loved her and walked away, not knowing if that's the last hug I will ever get. Feeling heartbroken tonight. "

It made me Sob uncontrollably. It made me think of you. I know I have put you through hell. It's not something I feel good about and every time I mess up, I know it's you I hurt the most. The problem is, I have this disease called addiction. The most misunderstood of all the mental and physical disorders combined. I do not JUST choose to use and make bad choices. It's like a darkness that overcomes you. It is a chronic illness in the brain that will never ever go away. In it's simplest terms, it is defined:

"Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works."

I can tell you, regardless of how long I have sober, not a day goes by where I do not think about it. Not a day goes by where I am not reminded of the wreckage I have caused because of my addiction. One of the hardest parts about getting sober was looking back and owning up to the horrendous path of destruction I had caused, not just in my own life but, my family and friends as well.

While you may, never in your life understand what I have been through, my behaviors or my actions; just as I may never understand the some of yours, I have hope that you will consider 2 things:

1. I love you. I love you more than words and feelings can even emote. You are my mother. Mom. Mommy. Momo. No one in this world holds that title but you and the saying blood is thicker than water holds absolutely no meaning to me. I believe you chose me. You didn't just have a child, you picked a child. Not just any child, me. You picked me. If that is not love then I have no words for anything else.
Unfortunately, there is a genetic component here that makes me physically different than you. It took me a long time to understand that and, why it had such an effect on our relationship. Not to mention the generational gap. Regardless of my make up, genetic history and potential risks, you still adopted me and loved me as I was your own. You did a good job mom. You instilled a lot of values that have made up who I am and, believe it or not, kept me out of a lot of trouble. I know I was hard on you. I am sorry you are nothing but perfect as a mother and even more so, a grandmother.

2. I need you to remember, this is a chronic illness of the brain. Even in sobriety, an addicts habits may rear their ugly head. I am not perfect but I am trying so hard. It may not seem like it to you and dad but you have to see that what I do in my life and where I am is such an accomplishment for me because I did not think I would even make it to 18. I thought I would just die. To have been through what I have, to have over come my worst, its something of a miracle to me. i would not change a thing because everything I have been through was something I needed to do to find myself. I have worked on myself harder than I ever thought possible and I was doubted by myself and everyone around me a the entire way. It will be a lifetime of fighting and I am okay with that. Just like anyone would fight a life long disease, there is going to be mishaps along the way. But no matter what, I have many things to fight for now. I don't want to give that away.

So as I close, I want you to know that for every mistake I have ever made, you were there. When I fell, you showed me how to get back up. When I got lost, you gave me the tools to find my way. And when I got sick, you stood by my side and showed me the meaning of strength and getting well. I am a better person because you showed me how to be. I know how to love because you gave that love to me.

I know how to be a mother because the woman who raised me showed me that the word "mother" actually means unconditional love.

I just want to say thank you. Thank you for never giving up on me. No matter what I put you through, all you had was love.

Love always and forever.

Your daughter.

Charlie Elizabeth - Oakland, CA
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