Why My Mothers Addiction Saved My Life
By Jacqueline Cooper
“I keep having these moments where I feel like I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. I just want to grab as many of those moments as I possibly can.”
I believe most people are linked to addiction in one way or another. However, my story starts at age 8 with my mother’s addiction to methamphetamine. Needless to say, my life has been filled with drastic ups and downs, excluding myself, depression, anxiety, and just figuring out where I fit into the big picture. It has taken me years to pave my own way, but after all this time I now realize why my mother’s addiction made me a better person. Not to say that those who haven’t faced these kinds of struggles don’t understand these points. I just mean to say that I was forced into feeling this way or quite possibly following in her footsteps.
- I didn’t feel like I had to try drugs. I knew from a very young age that I didn’t want to have anything to do with drugs. I had already put a healthy boundary against those who may try to coerce me into trying drugs. I have known for some time that I don’t have room for those who do not want to better themselves. Going through these hardships early on let me see the struggles of a single and drug addicted mother. This is not the life I want for myself or anyone else. So, there was no reason whatsoever to explore it. However, I can see now just how many addiction resources are available for teens who think they might try drugs. Peer pressure wasn’t ever an issue for me because I had drawn a clear line in the sand stating, “I will not stand for this type of behavior. Not now and not ever.” I will do well to remember this each day. I deserve happiness as well as all the things that I work hard for and I will not stand for less.
- I became more empathetic. Understanding other’s pain has become second nature to me. Now, that isn’t me trying to brag in any way shape or form. It just comes naturally for me to be hit with emotions when I see someone really struggling to stay on their feet. I have felt the effects of sadness and learned there are many ways to naturally defeat depression. I know what that feels like and my feelings do not immediately go towards blaming any one person for their misfortunes. It is so easy to point fingers at one person for making mistakes. I realize now that forgiveness is the key. I also realize that this is easy to say, but much harder to do in our everyday lives. Just think of this. The next time someone bumps into you or cuts you off in traffic think about what kind of day they may have had. An extremely minute portion of the populous would actually intentionally do these things to make you mad. Maybe they are rushing to a loved one’s side. Maybe they heard devastating news today. Everyone needs a second of grace.
- I never felt underprivileged. Cherishing someone’s company wasn’t ever a difficult task for me as a child. It wasn’t until later that I started seeing myself slip away from this and growing “bored” of someone (mainly as a teenager). After seeing what addiction has done to my family and friends, as far as financial and physical loss, I truly understand now that I have to enjoy every second with my loved ones. See your loved ones as much as you can while you can. A much smarter person than myself told me that the largest regret of those who have little time left is that they didn’t spend enough time with their loved ones. There have been times in my life in which money has become the most important aspect. I now know just how silly that really is. I don’t want to look back on my life wonder what part of it was mine.