The worst thing imaginable was happening and I couldn’t stop using meth. My son was taken from me, ripped from my hands by the authorities and rightly so, I was using drugs in front of him. We were homeless and hopping from motel room to motel room just trying to survive another day. It was absolutely no environment for a child.
I felt like a failure. I tried to stop using on my own and could not figure out why my willpower had failed me so miserably. If you’re not an addict or an alcoholic you probably won’t understand this, but I just couldn’t stop. It was a compulsion that went beyond choice. In court, I asked and practically begged for inpatient treatment and that’s how I found Arapahoe House’s New Directions for Families program.
I had been using meth as a coping skill for 18 years. I was tormented by my emotions and used so I wouldn’t feel. Life as an addict was the only life I had ever known. When my son was taken, he placed was in foster care for 10 months. I knew I wouldn’t be able to retain custody of him if I didn’t face my problems head on. Today, he’s in treatment with me.
My days here at New Directions are filled with promise. I call group therapy sessions “classes” and the therapists “teachers” because I’m learning how to build a better life. It’s not easy work but trudging through the mud is worth it. I know I did this to myself and I take responsibility. I also know that I have an addiction that I will have to manage for the rest of my life. I’m going above and beyond in rehab. I don’t want my son to ever see me use again.
As mother and son, we are working on normalcy. I have a lot of self blame for what I put him through. I was only meeting his basic needs; I didn’t validate him. In treatment I’m now facing it all. My heart and mind are healing and I’m learning to be a parent for the first time.
I hear a lot of moms in treatment say that their children are their reason for drug addiction recovery, and that is definitely true for me, but I’m also doing it for myself. I’ve learned here that I’m worth it and that without sobriety, everything else crumbles. In the event of an emergency on an airplane, we are instructed to put on our own oxygen masks and then help our loved ones and other passengers. That never made sense to me until I started treatment at Arapahoe House.
I know this sounds cliché but all I want is to be happy. It’s that simple. I don’t’ want to be a rock star and I don’t need to be wealthy, I just want to be happy and that means having my family, my independence and helping others.
At 201 days in recovery it feels like anything is possible. I know I have a good heart and that I can do great things. I’m motivated, dedicated and open. I want to pursue my dream of becoming a midwife.
It fills me up to see my son happy, to see him safe. I’m growing just as much as he is. He shows me affection, he trusts me and he knows I’m coming back each and every day. It has become empowering to get through tough times. I take one day at a time and I’m so thankful I’m here. All because of Arapahoe House I have a second shot at life.