It is no big secret to those who know me personally that I am the mother of a child who was addicted to drugs. He is several months into his recovery from heroin and opioids, Xanax and whatever else he could get into his veins compliments of the local street pharmacy.
As we all know who live it, this is a daily struggle to someone brand new in recovery. They wake up every day and have to think of ways of changing their behavior until they fall asleep at night. For many, this is a daily struggle which is why having a great
support system is very important.
Those in this area suffering from addiction have to go away
sometimes five, six, hours; sometimes several states away just to get treatment. Why? We should have the treatment right here.
Here in Martinsburg, it is also no big secret that those who come back here after treatment do not often attend the proper meetings because they just aren't safe to go to. A sad reality we had to face with our son when a dealer spotted him going to one a day after he came back home.
He's an adult, not a child. I cannot be with him 24/7 so I have to rely on my Higher Power for peace in all of this.
Just as important as the 12 Steps are to an addict, those steps are important to those of us who love an addict as well. Throughout their struggle, we too become lost somewhere along the way. We became addicted to the addict. The entire addiction cycle is insane and we often live it too. There is an insanity involved in loving an addict.
Most of all, we too need to heal.
Those who are close to me know that I am now walking the 12 Step Program. I just completed the worst step I have come to so far. In case you are wondering. That was the Step Four. We make that moral inventory of ourselves and ask the question, Who Am I? We realize the character flaws and what this addiction has caused us to become- the person who loves an addict.
Step Four was not an easy one. I hadn't realized that my son's addiction had turned me into the person I was on the inside filled with bitterness, anger, sometimes denial, but a lot of the time the lying and the covering up of his disease. I made a lot of excuses but I always blamed myself. Right, a long with the need to control the addiction and fix it knowing I could never do that.
Step Six is: I am ready to have my Higher Power remove all of my character flaws!!!!
I am ready to move onto Step Seven: I humbly ask my Our Higher Power to remove my flaws and shortcomings.
These steps I've walked so far are part of my daily life now.
I no doubt bore friends and family to death because I have another language that I often speak when the conversation comes to anything about my children or about addiction. Or a conversation about this heroin epidemic in our community.
I speak often about how this has affected someone I love as well as our community as a whole. There are so many still struggling. So many have lost their loved ones in this battle of addiction to this powerful drug.
These steps have shown and continue to show me in my daily walk that there is another way. It is up to each of us to reach out and grab it. Walking the Steps is renewing and refreshing and has shown me just what is meant by Serenity and Peace.
I first give thanks to God, My Higher Power because without him I know we wouldn't be here today enjoying recovery with our son if it were not for Him watching over our son.
I thank God for the guardian angel who was watching over our son on July 11, 2016, and opened the door to a brand new Newness of Life for our son.
I thank God for Justin and the Newness of Life. Without him and his program of showing love to those affected by this disease we would either still be struggling with the disease of addiction or our son would be like so many others- gone. Because of Justin's program our son was able to start the first steps of healing in Huntington, WV. He found love when he felt he didn't deserve any. He was given a new life when he felt like he didn't want to go on living.
To those locally struggling, reach out to Justin Or to Kevin Bowman who will soon be opening The Lazarus House here in Martinsburg, WV.
I am also so thankful for those friends who chose to stay and be a part of my life and for those new friends I have met along the way when I chose to come out of the closet of stigma.
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