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‘I hired a private detective. ‘For a few hundred more bucks, I can bring you face to face with your mother.’ Every time the phone rang, I hoped it was her missing me.’: Woman details life with addicted mother, ‘I vowed to be the best mom I can be’

“The doorbell rang at 6 a.m. I opened the door to see my mom standing between two policemen, muddy and handcuffed. She’d call me ‘Bucky,’ knowing I was self-conscious about my teeth. When I was 19 and getting married, no mom. When I was 20 and having my first baby, no mom. I had the same phone number for several years, but she never dialed it again.”

‘He was homeless and I was embarrased by him. Now he’s free, and I’m chained by all the grace I couldn’t bear to give.’: Woman urges forgiveness after losing dad to overdose, ‘My regret is stronger than all the anger I felt for years’

“I got mad when his food stamp card was denied and I had to cover groceries. It wasn’t about the money. He’d comment on my ‘new haircut’ and I was enraged because he’d already seen it many times. It wasn’t about my hair. I drove him from doctor to doctor, rehab to rehab, short tempered. My regret is now stronger than all the anger I felt throughout the years.”

‘I lost my virginity without my consent. I went from pregnant at 15 to waking up in county jail with a suicide suit on.’: Woman details battle with addiction, self-love, ‘I decided to choose life instead’

“I spent 10 years numbing my pain, always trying to be the loudest in the room to hide the shame. In the depths of my darkness, being a young mom just wasn’t an option. The party life was for me. Until I met Eric. We met on an online dating app, then locked eyes at the gym, not knowing the other would be there. I knew instantly I would spend the rest of my life with him. I had to make a decision: be ashamed of my journey, or allow it to propel me forward.”

‘We cry in the car until we can’t breathe. We suck it up, smile. We hug our babies tight, because we could never imagine someone beating them repeatedly.’: Woman shares harsh reality of social work, ‘Next time you see a social worker, tell them thank you’

“‘All social workers are is baby snatchers.’ It’s dealing with the 5-month pregnant momma who just relapsed on meth. It’s talking to the girl molested from ages 3-15. It’s losing your client to suicide. Listening to the 17-year-old who was kicked out and has nowhere to live, or the widow who lost her husband of 50 years and doesn’t know how to live again. It’s crying when your client finally says, ‘I am beautiful, I am loved, I am enough.'”

‘You’ll never get out of this hole. Just go back to your old friend, heroin.’ I spent the night in jail, tying bedsheets around my neck.’: Man who battled addiction 9 years now owner of state’s largest recovery center

“I put the sheet around my neck and waited. I just couldn’t let go. I could hear the voices in my head saying, ‘You can’t even do this right.’ When I was released from prison, my family wouldn’t take me in. After too many broken promises, they were done with me. I owed $33,000 in child support and $100,000 for my crimes. ‘You’re going to be okay.’ My prisonmates saved my life. They took me in when I was too far gone.”

‘Lindsey, you have a problem.’ I shuddered in fear. I was lying on the bathroom floor. ‘No, no, no. Not again. Is this really happening?’: Woman 401 days sober after grueling addiction to alcohol, ‘I promise you, life gets easier’

“The night before, on my 21st birthday, I participated in an escapade that led my boyfriend and I into a terrible fight at a country club. The cops had to break us up. Nobody knew I’d spent hours in a holding cell after being arrested. Or that I’d blacked out on the highway and cheated on a few of my boyfriends. Or even that I’d drink a bottle of wine after my nursing shifts and show up to work hungover, my patients’ lives in my hands. I didn’t want to believe I had a problem.”

‘After rehab, I manipulated my mom into dropping me off at a bar. ‘I’m not an alcoholic.’ I got drunk and high that night.’: Woman overcomes heroin and alcohol addiction, ‘God put me on this earth to make an impact’

“I knew nothing about heroin. But I did it. That missing feeling I had inside of me for so long was gone. It felt warm and like I was being hugged. It felt like I had arrived. In my mind, I was a heroin addict, not an alcoholic. I got drunk and got high that night. I would share needles with whoever. I found out I had contracted Hepatitis C. One of my best friends, who I used with, had been sober for 18 months. If she could do it, so could I.”

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