One of the most rewarding aspects of the #OYACommunity is connecting with other parents who are on the addiction and recovery path with their children. Together, we share experiences with the hopes that it helps other families facing a similar situation.
Today’s guest blogger is the Jennifer Jinks Yates, the mom of a young woman who is overcoming Methamphetamine addiction. She writes about recognizing the signs, to getting her daughter into treatment and now supporting her in early recovery. We wish Jennifer and her daughter Abby the best as their journey continues. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JYTS68
I realized very quickly I had no idea who my child was. About a year ago I knew something was going on; the violent outbursts, the weight loss, hallucinations.
Of course, she looked at me right in the eyes and lied; “I swear I’m not on drugs.” I believed her.
I even took her to a gastroenterologist because of her vomiting and diarrhea episodes. I later learned she was actually just what they call “dope sick.”
One night last fall she called me in the middle of the night hysterically crying. “He beat me up bad, mom. Come get me.” I met her at a gas station, dried blood on her face and windshield busted out.
I asked again, “…are you on drugs?” “Yes, mom. Yes!” she yelled. I’d love to say I was in shock but I already knew in my heart.
She told me she had been using drugs, mainly methamphetamine, for over years. Smoking it, snorting it, and within the last year, injecting it. I look back and that is when my instincts kicked in. Prior to that, I truly had no idea.
Back to the night I met her at the gas station, how broken and tiny she looked in her car. I brought her home and called her father.
We had her in treatment within 72 hours. I felt peace for the first time in a while.
I drove her to the treatment center three hours from home. Leaving her there was the hardest thing I’ve done since burying my mother at the age of twenty-five. I cried the whole way home. I cried almost every day for a while, uncontrollably at times.
Thinking back and wondering, “How did I not know? Did I ever really know her at all?”
Two weeks in she convinced me she learned her lesson and was ready to come home. I reluctantly went and got her.
I was the queen of enabling at that time.
Three days in and she was at it again. Her abusive boyfriend brought drugs to my home while I was working two jobs. I previously told her if she relapsed she could not live in my house. Two weeks before Christmas she moved out. I prayed and prayed for her. A few weeks later she asked me to come get her again. I told her I would only if she would agree to return to treatment, and she did. That was early January, 2015.
Immediately she was a different person. She stayed in rehab until the staff said she was ready for sober living. She will graduate from sober living in a few weeks. While I am nervous about her returning home, I have to give her a chance. She has done all she has been asked to do.
I have had several people who knew her the first rehab visit say she is a totally different young lady. Our battle is far from over. She feels like sober living is a bubble protecting her from the scary real world.
What I got out of all this was strength I never knew I had. The enabling stopped after I took her to rehab the second time.
It is unimaginably difficult and breaks your heart, but in the end it will save their lives.
Enabling kills, it is that simple. By doing drugs these addicts are killing themselves anyway. Enabling helps that process.
Addicts do not have a soul. They are empty shells doing whatever it takes to get the next high. Once they are so deep into addiction, they are no longer in control. Enabling the addict will get you nowhere. They aren’t themselves.
Letting the addict to hit rock bottom quickly makes them see they have no other option but to seek treatment.
I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know my daughter. She has my eyes and sense of humor. She is very well liked where she is. She is excelling in her job, earning employee of the month for the last three months. I have been so blessed by this experience. She could have easily overdosed and died. I also would like to mention the show “Intervention” helped me become a better parent. I learned a lot from other parents going through the same thing as well. I am very appreciative and honored to be asked to write and share my experiences.
Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your wisdom with us. We are glad to have you as part of the #OYACommunity.
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