Early in Allyson's teen life she made some very bad decisions. Allyson started with teenage drinking around the age of 15. She drank too much and too often. Soon after, she started to experiment with prescription drugs that were easily found in our own home.
By the time Allyson was in her sophomore year, she was experimenting with cocaine and quickly became addicted. Allyson showed no signs of drug use, but was hanging with a crowd that was known as the kids who did heroin.
Ally & I spoke often and I was assured nothing was wrong. We know in the early stages of her addiction we were in complete denial. Allyson was still smart, responsible and looked healthy. At this point in our lives we believed substance abusers fit a stereo-type. It took quite a long time for us to realize how wrong we were.
Small changes were happening in Allyson's life by the time she graduated High School. Still, after questioning her, we believed (we WANTED to believe) that everything was okay. It literally took an earth shattering moment for us to realize the truth and begin our journey of supporting her recovery.
By this time Allyson's addiction, well hidden by her, had already progressed to a dangerous situation. She was using heroin daily and multiple times per day. We quickly set boundaries and Allyson sought the help she needed. Her first serious fight for recovery lasted well over 9 months. There were many relapses and many attempts at recovery.
At times during relapses she became a person we didn't know. She was frightened and couldn't believe this had happened so easily to her. We loved her unconditionally through all this, but still boundaries remained to help her regain her health. This was not easy, and often our love for her made us fail and we relapsed ourselves into enablers. So many people tried to help her, but nobody can control an addiction except the person the addiction controls. That is the hard part, the part that takes more control then some addicts can find.
Allyson had become someone she didn't want to be and fought to regain control and live a healthy life through recovery based on the twelve steps. She was successful many times, but the happiest ever with the progress she made the last couple months of her life. She was proud of the way she was living.
The day before she died we were lucky enough to spend a wonderful day with Allyson who was the fun, loving, and caring person we knew and loved. She was celebrating 58 days clean and home for a visit. We had many laughs and went to bed with hugs and kisses and I love you's. For this I will always be grateful.
After we went to bed, for reasons we will never know, Allyson used and it was just too much for her body to handle. She overdosed and died at home. This one last decision was not how she intended her life to end. This was the drug pulling her back, stronger then she was at the moment.
We will always regret that we will not be able to make new memories, but we do have many good memories. Allyson taught us a lot about life and love and we will have that in our hearts forever.
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