Disclosure: Names have been changed for privacy and use in this post and advertisement. We’re letting you know, because we believe in full transparency and honesty.
We all want the best for our children… and we might not say it out loud, but we’re carrying around these silent fears in the back of our minds… Fears about how they’ll turn out, the decisions they’ll make about drugs, drinking, LIFE… but we
buckle down. We create homes, we work, we run them to doctor appointments, cheerleading meets and basketball games, and we wear our brave “I-can-do-everything-face”… In other words, we do it all, and we do the best we can…
That’s exactly what Lisa did when she had Jenny…
“I was in denial. I know they say the addict is in denial, well so was I… My Jenny? Addicted to drugs? No way.”
Look, no one signs up to have a child that’s addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s not like we get in line and fill out an application or something… no one asks for this. We were just your average family. Phil, that’s my husband, (well ex-husband now),
and I both worked a lot. We ended up separating when Jenny was 12, and eventually divorced.
My daughter was a cheerleader; she had a lot of friends. She was a happy kid – so I thought… I was juggling everything, you know how life is: working, the bills, getting her to school and cheer, dealing with my ex – the back and forth, and all the fights that come along with that.
I found out later that she hid things from me in high school… There were minor problems I knew about here and there, but I never dreamed she was using drugs…
She moved out with a few friends of hers right when she turned 18, which didn’t surprise me because she was always very independent. She was working at the local coffee shop, and going to the junior college here in town. I’m sure you can guess, none
of that lasted very long.
She didn’t move back home though… She just started traveling around town, moving in with different friends – never for very long. She was in and out of a string of dead-end relationships.
“I’d hear from her once or twice a month, mainly when she wanted to borrow money.”
She was always between jobs that she “had to quit due to an abusive boss or horrible company”. There were promises to repay, but I never saw any money.
She’d come visit occasionally, and she’d usually show up on holidays. The whole family would be there… Those were fun. She was always in the mood for an argument, and I wanted her there, but honestly, I was embarrassed. A couple of times she was barely
coherent. Of course, according to her, I needed to lighten up. After her outbursts and opinions, she’d usually sneak off to the family room, fall asleep, and miss the entire day. I’d just think, ‘well at least she’s here, and if she’s sleeping she
won’t be screaming’…
I Knew Something Was Wrong
I asked her what was going on so many times… I’d offer help, and told her she could come back home and start over. Any time I brought it up she ended up angry and screaming, as she explained that she was an adult, she can make her own decisions,
her life was great, just because she makes different choices than me doesn’t mean they’re wrong, and she didn’t need me trying to control and change her… Meanwhile, she’d be bouncing around different apartments, living out of a bag… The apartments,
from what I could tell, never even had furniture in them. The repo man called the house almost daily, we were on a first name basis; and I was fairly certain at the time that she had never held a job more than a few days.
I felt hopeless, and really alone. It was hard to talk to friends about it. They’d recite things they had read or watched on Dr. Phil like, “you have to do tough love”, and then another would say, “no, no, tough love is out, you have to try this new
thing”. I was in a bad place myself, it was really stressful wondering all the time… Is there anything I can do? Am I doing enough? Do I loan her money when she asks? The money thing was awful… She’d usually say she hadn’t eaten in a couple days,
and that all she’s asking for is $20. She knew I had $20. She knew I was worried about her and wouldn’t let her starve… My friends and family wondered why I let it get to me so much, and why it was so hard for me to say no, but I felt like I needed to do something; and I had this crazy “mom-guilt”, like maybe her addiction was somehow all my fault.
One morning while I was at work I got 3 calls in a row from a number I didn’t recognize on my cell phone. I finally picked up on the last call. It was a nurse from County General Hospital in the next town over. They had Jenny there… She had been there
alone for 2 days. A stranger found her and brought her in; she had apparently overdosed and had been in really bad shape. She didn’t have any I.D. on her, of course, so they had to wait for her to come-to in order to find out who she was and contact
I was panicked. I rushed straight to the hospital.
I Had No Idea It Was This Bad
She had always denied everything up until now, but when I went there, she was different. She was crying and apologizing, and said she was really scared. She said I didn’t understand her and that she wasn’t just not listening, that she tried on her
own and couldn’t stop, she didn’t know what to do. She also had no idea where she was or who she was partying with when she was brought in. If it weren’t for that stranger, she could have been dead. She said she couldn’t live how she’d been living
any more, and she wanted help.
I had no idea what to do… I was in the hall making some calls when one of the nurses, Dawn, asked if I had a few minutes. We sat down, and she shared that she had been through something similar with her son. Except in her case, he was hospitalized
3 times, and he had been in and out of 5 different rehab centers.
He was now finally 6 years clean… His visit to the last rehab finally worked. I asked her what the difference was; he had told her the people there were different… she said I’d have to give them a call to understand, but that they know something
called “the turning point”, and why he was really doing the drugs, and why he was stuck…
She wrote down the name of his rehab on a card and encouraged me to give them a call… I spent the next 3 days googling, researching and calling rehabs everywhere. I had so many questions and concerns, and I needed to find a rehab that could really help and who also accepted our insurance, because I had no way to pay for it. It was a lot more difficult to get help and answers than I thought it would be. By
the end of the third day, I was frustrated (to put it mildly), and feeling hopeless when I remembered the card Dawn had given me. I grabbed it out of my purse and decided to make 1 last call before giving up for the day…
“It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.”
A lady named Jaquae answered, and I began telling her how I’d spent the last few days searching for what to do, where to go and all about my daughter… She was really easy to talk to and patient with me, even through me
asking what seemed like a million questions… Talking to her was such a relief; she actually made the process seem easy. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I‘m not a drug counselor and I don’t do professional research.
This was such a huge job, and I didn’t know the answers… I knew this was the place for my daughter, so we got her in right away.
A Conversation That Changed Everything
My daughter has been clean and sober for 3 ½ years now… I’m so grateful Dawn told me about her son, and about the Vogue Recovery Centers… To say that life is different these days is a major understatement. We talk all the time, we go to lunch,
we’ve even gotten our nails done a few times… I finally have the relationship I always wanted with my daughter. I have so much hope for our family and my daughter’s future now.
My only regret is that I didn’t find and call the center sooner… I wish we could have gotten her there before it came to this. I’m on a bit of mission now to spread the word. I just want to help other parents who are going through this. It’s a lonely
place to be, which is actually weird because we’re not alone, according to “the statistics”, millions of parents are struggling to help their kids with their addictions right now.
After my daughter’s experience and recovery, I want them to know there’s hope for everyone now with this center… Our kids deserve a chance. They deserve to live their best life, a life without drugs and alcohol. As the mom or dad of an addict, it
still falls on us to be the good parents and do the right thing. It’s still our responsibility. They still need us to take the next step. Our kids need us to make the call. In the end and right now, we are all they got.
So, I want to be your Dawn and pass along the information. My daughter got her help at Vogue Recovery Center, as I mentioned above. Give them a call at 888-216-9246. It’s free to talk to them,
so you have nothing to lose. If they could help us, they can help you. We’re in this together…