WARNING! THIS PODCAST IS ABOUT A SERIOUS TOPIC AND MAY BE HARD TO LISTEN TO.
Last week I received some horrible news. News that I hoped that I would never hear. A young girl, someone I had seen grow up and had been very close to, passed away. She died at the age of 21, not quite making it to her 22nd birthday.
I met this young lady when she was just a little older than my daughter is now. Her mother and I had been the best of friends for many years. We went on camping trips together, had cook outs, went to the pool, played games, watched movies… we were over at their house almost every weekend just hanging out. Our kids played together. We were like family.
Until my best friend in the world, started using drugs. From then on the woman whom I loved like a sister was lost to me. We no longer hung out, we no longer did things together – once I found out about her addiction I had to remove myself from her life to protect my family. I couldn't have an addict around my kids.
But her kids were still there. I couldn't take them with me even though I desperately wanted to.
This young lady and her younger brothers went through hell after we were gone. A hell that I never really knew about until recently. They all ended up being removed from my one time friend's care. She lost everything to her addiction – her cars, her home, her marriage, her kids and ultimately her freedom. She is now incarcerated for crimes against her children that occurred while she was high (at least I have to believe that would be the only reason she would have done what she did).
As I write this post I still feel a huge sense of loss for the woman I used to know. The woman whom I considered a sister and whom I now hold a great deal of anger toward. Finding out what happened to her children, seeing the damage that she caused – I can't even describe how it feels to be honest.
And now, after having to attend the memorial service for her daughter, the young lady I watched grow up, knowing that this bright, amazing young woman became an addict herself and died from an overdose…I find that I am even more disgusted with her mother knowing that her indifference and abuse led her daughter down this path.
After I returned home from her funeral I found myself wanting more than ever to make sure that my kids know every day how much they are loved. I mean I tell them every day that I love them but it is more important to me now to also make sure that they feel loved AND secure. That no matter what they know that I am in their corner.
Because when it all comes down to it what this young lady wanted more than anything was for someone to love her. And the one person who was supposed to love her unconditionally no matter what, loved a crack pipe more. Yes I know that sounds harsh, but it is the reality that this young lady and her brothers faced. And it scarred them.
Today's podcast is not a happy one. It is not funny or sweet, but it is something that I feel is so very important. Making sure that our children know, TRULY know, how much they are loved is important. Whether they are getting straight A's in school or are grounded for breaking curfew… they need to always know. Because I have seen what can happen when they don't…
And if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please please find the help that you or they need. It is an awful disease that kills people, breaks up families, destroys lives… and most importantly causes major trauma for the children in our lives.
Visit Recovery.org for help.