With Mother's Day around the corner, I could not help but think about the terrible and stressful times I put my own mother through during my drug addiction. I wanted to share this because I know as addicts, we may feel like we’re the only people who could do such bad things. If you have done something wrong during your addiction, you can always make up for it in your sobriety, and you are not alone. Our mothers are usually our biggest supporters. No matter what you do, there is always a chance to say you are sorry and show you care about the woman who brought you into this world.
High School Years
As a younger kid, I was always focused on sports and spending time with my friends and would laugh at people who smoked pot or anything else. That all changed during my junior year in high school. Issues with my basketball coach and my introduction to the drug lifestyle changed my thoughts on drug users. I went from high school hero in my freshman and sophomore years to basically a flunky by the end of my senior year. I stopped playing sports, skipped school regularly to smoke weed, and stayed out all night on the weekends.
I began ignoring my mother's rules because I wanted to get high and be with my friends. This started with disobeying her curfew. My mom wanted me home early on school nights, but I would return home when I felt like it. I do not blame this on being an addict, but I began to realize that I could get away with my behavior. After this, my behavior slid even more downhill. Ten years later, I still feel remorse for all the trouble and stress I put my mother through.
My addiction took me to some dark places. It became so bad that I was causing problems with my family. My senior year I was introduced to cocaine, Xanax, and oxycodone (oxy), and the last one would be the drug that brought me to my knees. I don't remember how it got so bad, in part because I have many memory lapses because of my drug use, but I will never forget how I treated my mother.
My senior year, my mother had to miss work to attend a parent-teacher conference in the morning. The conference was horrible: my guidance counselor brought in a stack of papers with every class that I missed. It was thicker than a Bible! I remember the look of disappointment on my mom’s face when they told me that if I missed any more time, I would not be able to graduate. After the conference, my mom went to work and I skipped class to smoke weed with some friends. My friends and I were all arrested that day, the first time I ever had a run-in with the law. My mom had to leave work right after she arrived there late because she had to pick me up from the jailhouse. This was all just the beginning of the trouble I placed on my mother.
Things grew even worse after I graduated from high school. I was no longer talking to my friends from high school that were good kids. Instead, I was meeting new “friends” through my involvement with drugs. I remember my mom asking me why she didn't see certain people anymore and she would always encourage me to hang out with my old friends.
I told my mother to get out of my business and that I knew what I was doing. Well, of course, she was right and I was wrong. I began to distance myself from my family, when they would leave for work, I would come up with ways to get high for the day. I was unable to hold a job for more than two months and I never had any money. My mom hated coming home after work because she knew I was going to ask for money. That well finally ran dry as I was causing problems between my mom and stepdad.
My addiction was in full force now. I began stealing from my family to get money for drugs. I would be home all day and would rummage through drawers and closets, I even stole my grandfather's wedding ring that he left with my mom, although I didn't know it was his at the time. Some nights I could hear my mother crying as I lie in my bed and it was the worst feeling I ever experienced.
Finding Sobriety and Making Amends
After all the late nights out, disobeying my mother, and sneaking out of the house worrying my mother sick, I could finally end my addiction to prescription drugs. This came after I was taking drugs way too much and made the transition from oxycodone (oxy) to heroin, as many drug users do. This is when I knew my drug use was getting out of hand. I sniffed heroin for about a month before I decided to go to rehab.
My family fully supported me and was so happy that I finally decided to end my addiction. I knew that I had a lot to work on and that going to rehab wasn't going to magically cure me, but I was ready for the challenge.
I was twenty-two years old at the time and now I am twenty-nine. Within that time, I could go back to school, earn my bachelor's degree, find a great job, and move out on my own. My mother is very proud of me and she reminds me at least once a week how proud she is.
Although I had to leave my family to live with my father halfway across the country for me to get my life together and miss my mom and family deeply, I know it was the best decision for me at the time. So, even if I am halfway across the country from you, I want to let you know that, Mom, you are so appreciated, and I could not have asked for a better mother.