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Loss and Life

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Loss and Life

I struggled for years with alcoholism and drug addiction. Even when I wasn't using, I was miserable, sad and lonely, all of my life. When I began to have children, I wanted the best for them. However, at some point, wanting the best wasn't enough, and I returned to my addiction. My children looked up to me and loved me, and eventually, at age 40, I had enough, and I wanted a life WITH them. Thanks to 12 steps, and the huge support of many women and men, I have been able to put together over 15 years of sobriety. When I was 4 years sober, my oldest, Robert, died of huffing. I knew he was involved in some drug abuse, but we had a close relationship, and he was making changes in his life. Robert always supported me, and helped me by watching my daughter, Rebecca, when I needed to go to a meeting nearly every day for the first several years. His death was so devastating to both me and Rebecca, who was 13 at the time. Those were dark days. But I didn't use, because of what I had learned about recovery.

As Bekk and I struggled on, she began to pull apart from me. Her anger and grief were just too much for her, and in fact for me also. She began to experiment and eventually drugs became her escape. How did I deal with this? Well, I was not sure what she was doing, but I knew that I didn't know. I focused on my own behavior, my recovery, my growth, chosing to avoid conflict overall in the hopes that the door would remain open for her. Sure enough, at age 19, Rebecca chose life, and of her own free will entered recovery. Today she has over 4 years of growth, and she helps other women in their recovery. She is the love of my life, and I am ever so proud of the woman she has become. Thanks so much to other women in recovery, who loved us both enough until we could love ourselves.

Today, I am nearly finished with my Masters in social work. At 55, I am finally able to take control of my own life. I needed years to heal and grow, and I am ever thankful for those years. While I continue to miss and love my son Robert, the 15 years of sobriety that I have had FAR OUTWEIGH the 40 years before. Robert left an unborn son, and my grandson who is now 10 is yet another joy of my life, so much like his father!

Finally, I would like to say: Life has not been easy, and economically, I still struggle. But I was taught to focus on those things I HAVE, and to seek out a rational path to solve my problems, that fear, anger and other strong negative emotions would not help my situation. That has worked well, and I would say that Rebecca and I are very wealthy women! I hope this gives some encouragement to others.


This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

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1. Beth
I love stories of hope and accomplishment in sobriety! You inspire me . . . at 51, I'm considering grad school and I'm more than a little fearful . . . financial security, measuring up, keeping up, all of the above. After reading your story, I'm thinking I can do it! Many blessings to you on your journey. Beth 5/20/91