All day — every day so many of these faces come over to me. We are losing a generation of beautiful, young people. Do you think it is time to stop idolizing the “wannabe rock star advocates” and work on prevention, education and treatment like your child’s life depends on it? Can a focus be put on “harm elimination” rather than “harm reduction?”
Can the word “stigma” be unspoken and the word “outrage” be shouted that financial profit has overtaken saving human life?
The below powerfully written piece by a mom was sent to me last week and I received permission to have it published. It speaks to every parent who has lost a loved one to the opioid/heroin epidemic, or is fighting for the life of a loved one, and is appropriately entitled “Someone’s Child.”
I’ve seen a couple of posts or comments on FB from people talking negatively about addicts or addiction. Some thinking that an addict is worthless or less than everyone else.
Let me assure you, that addict is everything to someone.
Let me tell you about my addict.
My addict weighed 8 lbs 14 oz and was born at 1:05 pm on February 1st, 1994.
My addict was so beautiful from the day she was born. Her entire life she was complimented on her beauty by strangers and those who knew her. She was not only beautiful on the outside but she was more beautiful in the inside.
My addict, from the time she was little, had the biggest heart and wanted to help others. She was so excited in the 5th grade when she was chosen for Safety Patrol.
My addict always got ice cream cakes for her birthday because she didn’t like a regular birthday cake.
My addict loved cookies and cream pop tarts.
My addict loved the ocean. Her name, Marissa, means Goddess of the Sea. She always told me, “Mama if I ever become rich, I’m gonna buy you a huge pink beach house right at the shore.”
My addict loved to fish. Her first time really fishing in the ocean, going out on the head boat, she was so excited. Ironically the vessel we were getting on was named the “Miss Marissa”, totally was not planned. She caught a shark that day and kissed it on the nose before releasing it.
My addict was a country girl at heart. Growing up, she loved big trucks, going camping, swinging off of a rope swing into the Cape Fear River just for fun. Her favorite outfit consisted of jeans and a camo shirt.
My addict loved the colors purple and hot pink, and she loved zebra print.
My addict always would root for the underdog. She was friendly to everyone, and would go out of her way to make someone feel included.
My addict loved her Carolina Tarheels. She was a Tarheel through and through. We used to joke about bleeding Carolina blue!!
My addict loved God and was taught all of her life by her Nanny not to veer too far from Him.
My addict gave me a beautiful grandson Xander. She loved that little boy so much. She told me once that he was the best thing she had ever done.
My addict loved her family. She was a Mama’s girl and her entire life always tried to do things for me just to be sweet and helpful. Her brother annoyed the hell out of her and they fought all the time, but nobody else better mess with him.
My addict loved her friends and she had so many of them. She was loved by so many. She touched so many lives.
My addict loved to write. She often put her feelings on paper. She loved to doodle too, writing her name on everything.
My addict loved to cook, and she was pretty good at it.
My addict had a smile that would light up a room, and her laughter was contagious.
My addict was not perfect. She made some bad choices, like all of us have. Her bad choices ultimately cost her her life.
My addict had to have her Mama hug her one of the last times through a body bag.
My addict was so much more than her addiction or her bad choices. Think of that one thing in your life that you’ve done that you’re ashamed of, that you don’t want anyone to know about. Is that the one thing you would want everyone to judge you on?
My addict, in the end, was given back to me in a bag that weighed 4 lbs 9 oz, and now I sometimes rock a bag of ashes.
So next time one of you see someone who struggles with addiction and begins to think negatively about them, know that they are much more than just an addict. Know that those are the ones that need the most love not the most judgment. Know that that person is someone’s loved one, someone’s world, someone’s everything, and you should thank God that it’s not yours because addiction doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t know color, race, social, or financial status.