I’m from a small town in a state most people don’t even think is real, and I just wanted to share my story with others because I can’t keep it to myself at this point.
I’m not an addict myself, nor a recovering one, but I have many family members who’ve fallen into drugs and alcohol themselves. My mom is one I remember most clearly, due to how much she’s changed from it. I mean, my mom has always been crazy, no doubt, but when she started using drugs, everything just got worse. She started to get so skinny I didn’t even recognize her anymore and she started to make me watch whenever she would shoot up whatever it was, when I was only 7-8. I never understood really what was happening, and good god do I wish I never found out what she was doing. It became so bad that she started to rely on me for her own emotional support, only to tear me down the moment she had her fix. I was only in second grade. It made it impossible to make friends, and it still affects me today in every interaction I have because somewhere in the back of my mind, that’s all I can think of. My Aunt also is an addict, currently going through therapy and rehab. I’m just holding my breath at this point because this is the fifth time, since I was little, that she has been through rehab. Now she’s a mother too, and I just see patterns repeating and I don’t want to see them. That kid doesn’t deserve to see her mom slowly lose a part of herself to addiction, and I sure never want my cousin to be used as an emotional crutch.
I have minimal contact with my mom now, only talking to her when I know she’s off whatever drugs she takes now, and I refuse to spend more than 24 hours with her. I also try to keep my cousin away from her mother, even if it hurts me to keep her at a distance.
Thank you, Josh, for sharing your story, and thank you for making this outlet for everyone going through addiction or those affected by addiction. I hope my story can help those dealing with family addiction and let them know they aren’t alone no matter how much it feels like the rest of the world is cut off from you, and what happens to you. Never lose hope.