Susan PearceWe Do Recover

Kelsey couldn’t stay sober.

My daughter was desperate before Ambrosia took her in. She couldn’t stay sober, and I couldn’t stand her. She wasn’t welcome in my home anymore. I know it was heartbreaking for her to hear me say that. She thought I hated her for all the awful things she put me through. Some days it felt like she was right. I read an old letter she wrote at her first rehab in 2015, where she listed the positive things about herself. It made me cry knowing that person, her old self, was gone.

Kelsey has a daughter, but she didn’t really know her. She didn’t know her clothes size or what she liked to do. Sometimes, her own child was afraid of her. Kelsey put on a great façade, pretending everything was OK when she was always high, but it became too much. She gave up emotionally and just tapped out.

I spent every minute of every day worried about my daughter.

It became so bad that I stopped living altogether. I existed only in the chaos. Were the police going to come knocking? Was I going to get a call that my daughter had been arrested? What would be missing when I got home? I walked around distracted by a permanent fog.

After years living like this, there was nothing left to do but stop. Stop trying to save her. Stop covering and giving her money. Stop talking to her altogether. I told my daughter that unless she went to treatment, I would not be able to have her in my life. It went against the permanent feelings of love that I will always have for her, but there was nothing left. We were both living in ruins and so was our relationship. The only thing I could fix was myself.

I didn’t know what to do or where to go, but I knew I needed help too. I eventually found the Facebook group “The Addict’s Mom” and it changed my life. I was so relieved that I wasn’t alone. I found parents just like me, going through the same thing. It was unbelievable how similar some of the stories were to my situation. I got so much more than advice. The group helped me find the inner peace I was looking for.

One day in June, The Addict’s Mom posted on Facebook about scholarships for treatment at Ambrosia. This was the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Kelsey needed. Her four-page application letter detailing her desperation was accepted. I finally felt hopeful that something might change for the better. And, it did.

Recovery feels like peace and quiet.

I’m so grateful to be a part of Kelsey’s recovery. She has seven months sober now, and I am proud of that accomplishment. I know she fights against temptation every day, some days harder than others. Not only is she in sober living, but she’s the house manager and just landed her first full-time job. She’s learned to get beyond her self-hate and knows that she deserves goodness and happiness in her life.

If you’re also struggling with the addiction of your loved one, visit HopeTracker.org for a FREE 10-session crash course on addiction and how you can help.

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