My worst nightmare became a reality on March 8 2014 when my beautiful son Travis died of an opioid overdose at the age of 20.
My story differs from many in that I didn’t know he had been experimenting with drugs. That phone call ripped my existing world into shreds. The shock tore my mind and heart into pieces and I found myself on a journey I never wanted to walk. I have cried a river of tears; and every tear is love for my son. Missing him is my living hell. Living life as a grieving Mother since that day is living in what I call an alternate reality. Nothing is normal anymore. Knowing my son is no longer part of this world is often beyond belief.
I am a different person now. My outlook has changed. I have a deeper understanding for suffering. I feel more deeply and have a deeper need for spirituality, with more desire to help others that are in need.
However, I also have an anger that I didn’t have before. Anger that drugs are so accessible. Our kids have easy access and doctors have been known to give them out like candy. I am angry about this.
I have learned more about the drug crisis going on in our society- something I never wanted to look at before. “Not my son”, I always would have thought. The drug problem was never something I wanted to think much about until my own son overdosed. Even then I didn’t want to think about it. But I have slowly decided I need to do something with this anger. I have learned how naive I really was to think he wouldn’t never have turned to drugs. I have learned it truly is a disease. I want to be an advocate and turn my anger into a proactive approach. I want to unite with other parents in getting our voices heard. I never knew I would feel so strongly about something I knew so little about. I am still learning. I hope to make a difference.
You can hate the addiction, but always love the addict. Many that turn to drugs think that it won’t happen to them. It happened to my son. I want every son and daughter out there to know my story, and think about their Mother and Father before taking another hit. It could be their last. I want to see the stigma taken out of the of disease of addiction and see changes in treatments. I advocate keeping nalaxone on hand. I wish my son could have received that. I honor my son in every effort I make.
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