From: Dahlonega, Ga
School: University of North Georgia
The Chronic Effect of an Addict
The Chronic Effect of an Addict
When I reached the age of seven, my biological parents got a divorce. I still remember the feeling to this day and often wonder how I could have changed the outcome for me and my family. The truth is, there is no answer. I have learned a lot throughout my twenty years of life so far. The most important thing being this: You cannot change someone who sees no problem with their actions, and you cannot expect to pull your wagon if it is weighed down with someone else’s burdens.
I was born into a home of two parents who both had addictions and twenty years later, still have them. My mother has been an alcoholic and drug addict since I can remember, and my father has carried the alcohol addiction as well. I never asked to be brought into a situation so unfortunate, but God had other plans for me, and I think him for the trials, even as broken as I am today. Thankfully, my sisters sheltered me from a lot growing up. There were nights that we would spend alone, and the oldest in the house being ten to seventeen years old. There were days that we had no food in the pantry, because the next high or sip was a little more important. I remember the nights where I would ask where my mama was, and she would be in jail. The list goes on, but I am not here to dwell so much in the past. I started a new school, made new friends, and got used to a “new world” as my daddy and stepmother got married when I was ten years old. We started attending church, my daddy and I both got saved, and he poured the alcohol down the sink. I did not see my mama much, but when I did, I would always be so sad to leave her. We would tell each other that we would be okay and that one day, we could be together longer. She would always tell me to stay strong and to not let anyone run over me. When I was thirteen years old, I was forced to stand in a court room and tell the judge that I did not want to see my mama again, because my daddy and stepmother told me that they would never do anything else for me if I chose to see her. This is when my mama picked her bad habits back up. There are countless times that I, along with my friends and their families, would see her mugshot on the front page of the newspaper. My whole life so far, I have watched my mother suffer from an addiciton to drugs.
My senior year of high school, things started changing. My daddy picked the alcohol back up and I remember finding the bottle of vodka hidden under the sink, and the crown royal in the fridge. I would pour it out little by little so that my daddy would not notice so much, but it was a few sips less. I graduated high school in 2018, when my daddy divorced my stepmother. I started my freshman year in college broken, sad, and confused, once again. I started believing that life was a boomerang that constantly came back with the same passengers. I could have a relationship with my mama though, at eighteen years old when she still thinks that I sleep with teddy bears and use training wheels. The last time that I saw my mama, she was shriveled up smaller than me because of the meth addiction. This time was different, and she explained to me that she had gotten into some trouble again, but this time the consequence would be prison for life, the rest of MY life. I started trying to put the puzzle back together, only to find that a lot of pieces were missing. I ended up being able to attend court with my mama who was forty-four years old and was able to help her out of trouble as her twenty-year-old daughter. She started to straighten up while my daddy continued to pour from the bottle. Fast forward a year and I go to visit my mama before going back to college. I find her walking along the side of the road, and she was on the way to get her next hit of meth. My mama let me take her to her next drug, something that she would have never done sober. I have never been in the situation where a meth head was asking me to take her to her supplier, but I froze and locked up, scared of what would happen if I did not take her. I left and called my sister crying, but she already knew the feeling, because she was the mother to our mama her whole life. She told me that grown people make grown decisions, and we must let them, because everyone in the family tried to help. She told me that she has already hurt her life by trying to help, and that I was too far ahead to lose everything for someone who will never change. I am twenty years old with a daddy who believes alcohol is more important than my college tuition, and a mama who chooses drugs over our only chance at a relationship. That does not define me though.
I believe that I was dealt the hand I received for a reason. I believe that reason is right here, right now, while you are reading this today. I write this on the first day of my third year of college at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA. I am striving to be accepted into a Pharmacy school in two years, where I will become a pharmacist. Why a Pharmacist? I have worked in a pharmacy for going on three years now, and I believe that a lot of pill and drug addictions not only start there but end there as well. I strive to be that person who catches abuse, counsels, attempts to prevent it, and catch the ones who sell it to people like my mama, the person I took her to that day to get high from the meth in the house and then chase it with a sleeping pill. I want differently than my parents. I do not want to depend on a drug or bottle of vodka to take my problems away. I do not want my children to be yelled at by a drunk dad because they do not realize their kid is being the best that they could be. I want to be the walking testimony of how to escape an addicted home. I strive to come out on top and not fall into that alcohol and drug addiction. I am the one who gets to choose that happy ending that I mentioned earlier.
No one will ever understand quite the damage that a state of euphoria can do. The scars and bad memories still linger in the back of my mind. I am not thankful for the addictions, but I am thankful that it pushed me to spread awareness. My hopes and dreams go out to all the families suffering from this today. I hope that they realize it does not always have to be this way, because you do choose your happy ending. I see my mother strung out on drugs and an alcoholic father for the twentieth year of my life, and I often ask the question, “What could I have done differently?” I could not have done anything differently to change their actions then, but I was lucky enough to escape the downfall. So, I ask myself the same question again but in a different form, “What can I do now?” Now, I use the strength I have gained to face another day and opportunity to spread the awareness that I hope will save the lives of many others.