as told to Natalie Dillon
“Within the last year I have come to realize that my daughter, who is 28 years old, is an addict. Somehow she got hooked into chemicals and it completely changed her in terms of her relationships with people, including me and my husband, other family members and the close people around her. It started with prescription pain medication. One of her close friends alerted me that she needed help. Still, at that point, I was doubting how bad it was or how severe it was. Everyone who has worked with her, though, said she’s lucky to be alive based on the amount of fentanyl that had been in her system, even after being clean for 30 days. Addiction really takes a toll on family members. It’s been very painstaking and very scary because every day, especially before she got into recovery, I was always afraid I was going to get the phone call from the coroner saying, ‘Come identify this body.’ On a daily basis you live with that threat: is it going to be my child? As a parent, you want to reach in there and you want to do everything you can to take care of your child. It affects you 24/7. I’m learning how to deal with that emotionally and make realizations to myself that this is something she’s got to want and she’s going to control. I can’t control it. I want to, but I can’t. I truly, truly, have to give this over to God every single day. Her name starts with a K, so every day I take that K and put it right there, at the base of the cross and say, ‘Take care of her,’ because I can’t. She is clean, and to the best of our knowledge she hasn’t used, but being clean isn’t the same as being in recovery. One of the little signs around the (ReThink Addiction Run/Walk) route said, ‘Progress not perfection.’ I thought, ‘Wow, that’s where she is at.’ She’s not where I envisioned her to be at this point, but that’s OK. She’s been clean, and she keeps on taking little baby steps. That’s what we can hope for.”
Kay is a loving mother who continues to worry every day as her daughter is in recovery. To help keep her anxiety at bay, she’s turned to her faith and God for support.