Melisa Grace HarrisonWe Do Recover

Remember that addiction is the monster, not the addict. Their journey to and in recovery is harder than we can ever begin to imagine.

My daughter’s addiction started with prescription narcotics. As a young girl, she was sick often, and she was prescribed medication that eventually lead to her addiction. Once she graduated to heroin, things really got out of control. Heroin seemed so bad to me. I didn’t know how heroin looked or anyone that had ever tried it.

Drugs robbed my daughter of her sense of responsibility and self-respect. She became lost to herself and to those who love her. Her health deteriorated drastically, and it was exhausting as a parent to watch that happen.

Addiction turned my home into a frightening and toxic environment.

She went to rehab several times over the course of a few years but slipped back into her old ways time after time. It took a while for her to become ready to get sober, but one thing I had to learn was that she would only get better when she was ready. As a parent, that’s a hard thing to accept. The right combination of good interventions and support from Ambrosia’s West Palm Beach drug rehab eventually made her realize that she would likely lose her life if she continued to use. That was the turning point.

There is so much hope in recovery, but it is not an easy process and therefore there is a feeling of insecurity as well. I must admit that every time the phone rings, I am still afraid that someone is calling to tell me that my daughter is in trouble, but the heart-pounding panic doesn’t last as long now as it used to. My own recovery has been a tremendous help. I found the support I need to voice my fears about her addiction, and know that I am not alone.

It is a relief to feel hopeful for the first time in many years.

I am so proud of my daughter today. She is working hard on her sobriety and is enjoying success in her life, experiencing healthy relationships, renewed self-respect and financial independence. She is becoming physically healthier every time I see her, and I can see that she has a positive attitude and is looking forward to her future. That’s the miracle of recovery.

My own greatest accomplishment has been accepting that enabling my daughter likely delayed her recovery. I am still trying to forgive myself for that, but with a little work on myself and my own recovery, I have been able to accept that her journey has been a learning experience for all of us. There are so many resources available for the loved ones of addicts and alcoholics, like myself.

I would highly suggest anyone who has a loved one who is struggling should find a support group and join it. It makes all the difference.

On a recent visit with my loved one, I could see that she is safe and well on her way to becoming a better version of herself. Even though we live far away from each other, I feel much safer knowing she isn’t drinking or using drugs. There are no words for how much I miss her. I really feel like I have my daughter back, and it’s so wonderful to see her progress into the woman I always knew she could be.

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