From: Leawood, KS
School: University of Missouri
The cycle of addiction
mother is a fantastic woman who had been a victim of abuse by addicts
in her family. Unfortunately, she realized in her later life that she
had fallen into the trap that many individuals in her family had also
been victim to. She began drinking with her friends more, then by
herself, and then every night. In recent years, she was not able to
go a day without alcohol. Because I am the youngest, I never truly
got to know my mother before she began drinking alcohol. It made me
feel as if I didn’t even have a mother when she would drink at
night. Unlike other kids my age, I had to go to Alateen every week to
cope with the situation. I was filled with hate for this woman who
was supposed to love me more than anything, especially alcohol. There
was a day a few months ago where I could not contain my rage. We
began discussing her drinking, and she claimed that she was going to
quit. This was a promise that she never really learned how to keep.
her falling prisoner to her demons, I am very excited to say that my
mother has been sober for over five months now. I never really
thought that I would be able to say that. Throughout these months, I
was reintroduced to my mother as a person, not as a disease. I never
knew how remarkable she was because I was blinded by hatred. Every
day I have found myself breaking down the walls of hate I had and
replaced them for a woman that I felt like I never knew.
most unfortunate part was that she felt like she had to hide from the
rest of the world, even her loved ones. It turns out that she had
many underlying mental health problems that led her to drink. Many
individuals struggling with alcoholism are using it as a coping
mechanism to fight the issues that are truly causing them distress.
There is such a stigma surrounding addiction and addiction treatment
in this country, which lead individuals to refrain from getting help.
As a community, we need to make treatment more accessible to all
people and treat it like any other disease. We never know what other
people are going through that led them to addiction.
cannot even begin to imagine the strength it would take to overcome
an addiction like she had. I know some days were painful for her. We
have been going through many family issues, such as losing jobs, and
she has remained steady and calm throughout it all. She is the
strongest person I know. I never got to hear her life stories and how
much she has conquered until recently. I can tell her everything, and
she does not judge me. She is not embarrassed of her disease but uses
it to help others like her. My family lost a cousin to addiction a
few years ago and always participate in a 5K in his honor. I was
always proud of my mom for showing up to it, but this is the first
year she can run it as a recovering addict. She has been running
every day in order to prepare for it. She is living her true life the
way she always intended to. She has inspired me to pursue addictions
counseling as a career. I strive to be half of the person she is now.
I could not be prouder to be her daughter.