The Crazy Thing About Addiction [Part I]

I’ve seen a post circulating around Facebook that drives me nuts to no end, so I thought it would be fun to give my side about addiction.

We’ve all seen the “addiction is a choice” posts, talking about how calling addiction a disease is only enabling the addict and therefore allows them to feel sorry for themselves… Please.

Now before you sigh, roll your eyes, and stop reading this post, let me say that I am absolutely not in complete denial of those arguments. Yes, the moment someone decides to stick a needle in their arm, they are making a choice, and in some cases, I’m sure it does give addicts an excuse to keep using; however, to broaden the statement to apply to an entire group of people without consideration of how they were raised, why they made the decision to abuse these drugs, and what exactly does go through an addicts’ mind, is ignorance in its purest form. Let me begin by sharing my story.

For those that grew up along side of me in school, you probably have heard bits and parts of my story and know that drug addiction is a topic in which I am extremely passionate about. If there’s one thing that I hope to accomplish in my life, it is to speak out to those that are affected by a loved one’s decision to engage in such a damaging, heartbreaking addiction. I want you to know that you are absolutely, 110% not alone.

From my childhood, I remember cuddling up with my mom on the couch to watch Oprah every afternoon. I remember trying to squirm away from her as she tickled my feet. I even remember the way her thin, beautiful blonde hair laid against the back of her leather jacket. I loved this woman. I don’t doubt for a second that she loved me, too. We all have times in our lives where we have regret for the choices we have made, and that is part of the reason I have grown to forgive, cherish, and move on.

FullSizeRender (2)

I don’t have much of the paperwork on what happened, nor do I even really care to see it. Out of respect for all involved, I’m going to put this into the most courteous, easygoing way that I can. The paperwork I do have shows that on August 27, 2004, a “safety plan” was put into place by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. For lack of better words, our mother was struggling with addiction and my father was never in the picture. I was only seven and my little sister was four. This “plan” stated my sister and I were going to move in with our great-grandmother under the care of herself and my maternal aunt. To this day, I am grateful to these women for taking my sister and I in, keeping us away from the struggles of the foster care system. By November 15, 2004, the official order appointing guardianship to our great-grandmother was finalized.

As you can probably imagine, two kids at the ages of seven and four wouldn’t really understand the severity of what was happening. So my sister and I moved to a new school and started completely different lives. We started living with our aunt, uncle, and five cousins.

For a long time, the change wasn’t something that kept me awake at night. When I was old enough in school and big life events like first dances, recitals, and games began to roll around, I realized that something in my life was very different than a lot of my schoolmates. My mom was never in the stands during basketball games. She was not the woman to get me ready for school dances, and she was missing out on all of the great things I was accomplishing. I grew bitter. How could the woman that gave birth to me not care about me enough to be there for something so important in a child’s life?

My mother was in and out of prison throughout all of my elementary, junior high, and high school life. There were periods of times when I so badly wanted to talk to her that I had her write letters to my friends’ addresses from prison, in fear that I would get in trouble for talking to her. In her letters, my mother often denied the responsibility of us not being together, and this would send me into a rage. I eventually stopped responding to her letters, swearing I was done with all of the hurt and anger that she had put me through.  My friends and teachers that were oblivious to this situation made jokes or comments at school about hearing someone with my name being arrested for meth (My mother and I have the same name). Two of the times I found out about my mother’s arrest was because a teacher at school made a comment to me after hearing my name on the radio or television. I was nowhere near being able to get away from the pain that addiction had caused me.

It was somewhere along my junior or senior year of high school where I decided I was done being angry. Holding onto the resentment and despise that I had for my circumstance was only holding me back and keeping me from truly being happy. I honestly believe that if you want to be truly happy, you have to forgive those that have hurt you, and move on. I decided to see her off and on, and she even made it to one of my softball games my senior year. That was the only time she ever saw me play a sport. After long debate, the day before I graduated high school, I decided to call her and invite her to my graduation.

My mom saw me graduate high school.

hs

Throughout my entire life, seeing her in the bleachers that day stands out to me as just a truly beautiful, incredible moment of forgiveness, love, and progress. Although addiction has many downfalls, there can always be beauty found in something so ugly. No matter what an addict struggles with, we shouldn’t be so quick to turn our backs on them. You never know if you could be the one person that strikes the chord that leads them to recovery. Everyone on this earth has a purpose, no matter what mistakes they have made in the past. Take it from me, forgiving someone that has caused you pain is hard. It’s incredibly hard, but not impossible. The only way we can truly be happy with ourselves is to lose ourselves. Lose anger. Lose resentment. Lose barriers. Lose anguish.

Choose love ♥

Continue reading “The Crazy Thing About Addiction [Part I]”

To the Father of my Children – Letters Before Birth

I met you in the fall of 2016. You know the story, so I’ll spare the details.

But I most remember the way I scoffed to myself that you were not the kind of guy I needed to get involved with. I mean, I was just out of a long-term relationship, in the middle of my military training and living nearly 900 miles across the country from home. Not to mention, you had hair to the middle of your back, played in a band, and shared debatable political posts on Facebook that made me think to myself, ‘This guy is different. He’s not typical and his mind seems intriguing.’

But some part of me must have thought I was better than the hot drummer from a county over because I always swore to myself I wasn’t interested. I gave you the silent treatment many times and showed my sass early on.

Thank goodness you didn’t give up.

You were relentless and determined to get a response.

I finished my military training and came home- where you lived just a town over. At this point, we’d never met face to face, so you were really the first person I saw when I got back to Illinois.

And we’ve been side by side ever since. It’s like the world put us together; our gravities collided. I don’t know if I believe in fate, but I do believe in giving in to natural attraction, even if it’s scary and unexpected. Taking those journeys is what life is all about, even if you make a mistake or fall along the way. I think life will pleasantly surprise you in many ways; just by taking that leap of faith.

The spark between us is still very much alive today. You still make me laugh more than anyone and watching you become a father has been one of the greatest treasures of my life. I’m always cheering you on – whether it be your career or something as simple as watching you show our daughter the most sincere and affectionate love she could ever be given. I trust you and I love you forever. There is no one else on this planet that I’d rather share the adventure of parenthood with than you.

Thank you for showing me compassion throughout my journey into motherhood. I have no doubt the second time around will be just as amazing as the last.

Five more days til we complete the family we started five years ago. 🤍

13 days to go…

Well, friends. We are 13 days away from baby day.

We go to the hospital for the planned C-section on the 27th unless labor progresses on its own before then.

We are under two weeks away.

I say ‘we’ although it feels more like ‘I.’

Ya know… I carried this baby. I tore my body up. I suffered and puked and cried and endured the pregnancy on my own. Somehow it still feels selfish to take all the credit. I’m conflicted, however, because a cesarean is no joke and I’m the one going under the knife. To be honest, I’m scared to death to do it again, but I understand it’s something I’ve got to do. I’ve expressed my worry to my fiancé and he is very supportive and doing his best to understand, but in the back of my mind I still know that after all, it’s me that is ultimately going through this. Not him. He is in a way – but not really.

So yeah, I’m anxious and worried and scared.

So send good vibes and wish us luck on a healthy remaining two weeks!!! Because I’m doing my best to try to keep my mind at bay, but it’s been a struggle and every day that we get closer is another day closer to me freaking out!

I can do this. Almost there.

35 weeks

We’re at 35 weeks, everyone! I’ve officially made it inside the 30 day mark. This is almost cause for celebration (almost)!

Today I had an ultrasound and he was measuring one week ahead and nearly SIX pounds. It’s always reassuring to see your babe appear healthy and growing while in your womb. Not everyone gets to experience that, so it’s something I try to enjoy although pregnancy can be a struggle.

Four more weeks. I can do this. I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

(Even though I don’t have the nursery completed or a hospital bag packed)

EOD Thoughts: 09.26.2021

Another weekend has come and gone.

Saturday we celebrated some friends at their wedding

(It was nice to get out without Della – we haven’t had a date night in quite a while)

And Sunday we did some household chores and finished the night with a short hike and some time at the playground

We even snuck up on six deer grazing on the other side of the water!
She sure loves going down slides!

I’m thankful for my family and friends always

And I’m thankful I’ve only got four weeks of pregnancy left!

The Day Following the Harvest Moon

Last night was the bright harvest moon. Today I’m looking out at this soybean field that stretches across the street from my front porch, and I’m thinking, ‘Look at the beautiful and gradual change of color within this field. How lucky I feel to have had my hard work pay off and to purchase my own home. And one with a view like this, at that!’

‘A lot of pain, sweat, and tears was shed before I got here. I remember the days dreaming of what I’ve got now.’

Today I’m especially stricken with pride as I enjoy the beautiful day’s views from a front porch swing.

For Years to Come

There is no handbook on how to deal with heartache

There is no medicine to cure the pain

How can the one you love most use words that pierce your heart like a knife to bare skin?

It’s not the first time

And won’t be the last –

Your words have such impact on someone who reads into every clue from your brow

I study you

My absolute favorite person

The one I know most about

The one I revolve my life around

Why do I feel I’m more in love with you than I feel like you’re in love with me?

You hide your true emotion behind words that sting like a hornet

Its harsh pain will eventually dissipate

But you’ll remember how badly it hurt in that moment for years to come

EOD Thoughts: 09.14.2021

New phone finally!

You don’t realize how hard your life is without a smart phone until you gotta try to get by without one.

How scary it is to even get on the road knowing you don’t have a way to make an emergency call if needed.

Couldn’t access all of my work websites because I wasn’t able to two-factor authenticate my apps via text messaging codes.

I’m hopelessly phone-reliant

Even though I don’t wanna be