Guest Post by Recovery Well: Finding Serenity: How Childhood Set the Stage for Substance Abuse in Two Recovering Addicts

Posted: November 16, 2017 in Uncategorized
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by Constance Ray // Recovery Well

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For most of us, childhood is a time of great happiness. Your parents and caregivers teach you how to pump your legs at just the right time to swing high in the air on the play set and how to parallel park so you can finally get your license. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. We spoke to two recovering addicts about how their parents started them on the path to substance abuse – and how they ultimately overcame their demons.

“My dad handed me a pipe and encouraged me to take a hit.”

On his 18th birthday, Sean’s dad showed up to school to surprise him and get him out early. Rather than taking him to buy a lottery ticket as a rite of passage, Sean’s dad took him to a secluded junkyard and introduced him to meth.

“When we got there my dad turned to me in the truck and asked if I had ever tried meth. I said no and my dad handed me a pipe and encouraged me to take a hit,” Sean said. “Over the next week, I was smoking hits of meth with my dad, which was the first time we spent together where I wasn’t getting yelled at.”

Sean was happy to finally have a relationship with his dad, even if it was a destructive one, but the meth took an immediate toll on him. That first week, he had trouble sleeping and lost his appetite.

 

“My younger self was hurt in an alcoholic home and was fearful most of my life. I have learned to love myself as no one has ever loved me before.” – Joe Powell, Addiction Survivor

“I was high all the time and that entire week was a blur to me. Whenever I tried to drink water or eat food, my tongue would respond with a sharp pain,” Sean said.

After doing some research online about the effects of meth, Sean quit cold turkey and flushed the meth his dad gave him down the toilet. Unfortunately, the stage had been set and when Sean started having trouble in his marriage, he turned to meth. One failed rehab stint later, Sean finally found the help he needed at a different treatment facility, and is now enjoying the happiest time of his life – in sobriety.

“Sobriety is more exciting and more fun than using ever was. Rehab is completely worth it, and can change your life,” Sean said. “If it’s possible for me to do it, then it is possible for anyone. It can be done.”

“My father’s death was devastating to me, even though he had molested my sister and I.”

Unlike Sean, Hannah’s parents didn’t directly introduce her to drugs, but their actions stemmed a deep depression that Hannah felt only substance abuse could cure. At age 5, her father committed suicide to escape child molestation allegations.

“My father’s death was devastating to me, even though he had molested my sister and I,” Hannah said.

 

Seven years later Hannah met Matt. They had a common bond – both had lost their father, but Matt wasn’t the best role model, and his dad introduced him to the world of drugs through his job as a drug mule.

Matt brought Hannah into his hard-partying group of friends. Hannah soon graduated to harder drugs, and it didn’t help matters when a counselor prescribed her Xanax for her depression. When her prescription ran out, she turned to her mom’s pills.

“I realized my mom had a Xanax prescription and started stealing her pills while drinking a fifth and a half of whiskey each day,” Hannah said.

Things turned deadly one night after Hannah swallowed yet another mouthful of pills. He body went numb and she fell face first, breaking her nose and knocking out two teeth. After suffering several seizures and flatlining on the doctor’s table, Hannah was finally ready for addiction treatment and discovered a healthy coping mechanism to boot.

“I started taking classes and started to speak with counselors to release my anger and frustration with my father,” Hannah said. “While I was at [the facility], I learned how to play the guitar and write music, which helped me begin to heal … Being in recovery helped me untap a talent I wouldn’t have known I had otherwise.”

Childhood is an extremely impressionable season of life, and for some children, their parents introduce them to drugs both directly and indirectly. All’s not lost, and there is no such thing as being too late to get help. Like Sean and Hannah, you can turn your life around and start making beautiful memories to replace the ones tainted by drugs.

Constance Ray is a guest author from Recovery Well, a site created out of love and compassion for those who have been affected by addiction in some way. // recoverywell.org // information@recoverywell.org

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