In Honor of My Mother
My mother was a beautiful woman. She had a laugh that could make even the saddest soul grin, a smile that felt like a field of sunflowers, and an ability to make anyone feel safe when in her arms. This was my real mother, the one before the drugs took over. The mother before I began doing drugs with her.
I remember the day I decided I wanted to stop. I had resolved to quit using opiates and drank myself into oblivion the night before. I woke up, went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and saw my whole life flash before me. I suddenly remembered that I used to want to be the president as a little girl, how much I loved school and reading, the dreams I had of being so much more than I had become. I wanted to die. I took one more look in the mirror. I said to myself: “I can’t continue to live this way!”
So, I did what any little girl would do when she’s in pain–I called my mommy. I told her I needed to change my life and needed help. Without questioning me, she came to pick me up and drove me to the hospital. While we sat in the parking garage, I begged her to give me one last pill before I went in. I knew in my heart my higher power had made this the end, but I was scared and still yearning for the release of pain. We argued back and forth about it, her telling me that I would be fine and that I didn’t need it. High and just as addicted as I was, my mom gave in, broke a pill in half and handed it to me.
For most people, they hear this story and can’t initially understand what I did. Underneath the cold void that had become my mother, her spirit drove me to get help. My mom had fought with me before giving in one last time. I know that the disease in her did not want to lose her partner in crime and didn’t want to be alone. But the light that remained in her, ever so dimly, didn’t want to see her daughter suffer.
Nine years later, I am still clean and sober. It’s been eight years since she passed, yet I still remember how her spirit held on that special day. And I now carry her light with me in everything I do. Though the disease of addiction can rob us of our loved ones and rob us of ourselves, I know that for all those addicts and alcoholics who didn’t make it, there was a spirit of love and light and beauty. My responsibility is to live up to that spirit. In their honor. In honor of my mother.
–Noelle, a woman in recovery and friend of NCPSG