- July 25, 2018……..I have been home from Alderson Womens Prison Camp for approx. one month. I spend every day trying to wrap my head around the events of the past 2.5 years.
The big question for me now is “what am I going to do with myself?” Every time I think about doing something other than working with addicts, I can’t picture it. There have been three deaths since I’ve been home. 82 deaths over the past two years. This is worse than an epidemic. So how do we stop it? Does anybody realize that the children that are left behind when their parents die are the ones who will suffer for the rest of their lives? I believe that addiction starts with parents. At ASI there were families of addicts coming for treatment; four and five generations deep. Thinking back on when I was using I can’t imagine my mother getting high with me. Nowadays mother, daughter, grandmother and grandchild are all getting high together! So very sad. The child/addict has no mentor or role model. Nobody to teach them how to be an appropriate, responsible member of society. If you are an addict, ask yourself these questions……..
1. Is my mother an addict?
2. Is my father an addict?
3. Are my parents clean?
4. Are my parents using?
5. Have my parents ever gone to rehab?
6. Did my parents teach me about addiction?
7. What has MY addiction done to my family/children?
As a parent you want to believe that your addiction has not had any effect on your children. In fact addicts will go as far as saying that they never got high in front of their child. Think about that statement ……..what does that mean? Do you mean that your child has never seen you actually put a drug in your body? Do you really believe that because they have never seen you put a drug in your body that they do not know that you are high? The person you are when you are high and the person you are when you are clean are not the same people at all.
Sean and I have four children. They are between the ages of 24 and 30. I was clean for five years when I had my first child. Fortunately my children did not know me or their father in our active addiction. That was a blessing. I remember looking at my first born when he was a very small baby thinking to myself……”Please God help me to make sure that my child is not an addict”. I assumed because I was a professional in this field that I would have all of the resources I needed at my fingertips in case my children needed them. I knew I would be ready when my child needed help. I remember thinking that it was inevitable that he would use drugs of any sort. That there was no way he could escape it. Little did I know that not only this child but all four of our children would not even experiment with drugs of any sort. This was something that we never ever expected. Who does that? Who goes through 30 years of their life without experimenting? I observed their behaviors and their personalities. They were addicts without a chemical. It was very clear to me. They had friends who were addicts and I had helped many of them in treatment. Many of their friends confided in me. It was a privilege and an honor.
Each one of my children were unique in their own way. Anthony my oldest was always special. My other children would always tell me he was my favorite. What firstborn Italian son is not an Italian mothers favorite? It is a blessing and a curse for them. Anthony was an extremely quiet child. He was always thinking. Being my first born I was terribly worried about him having friends and being invited to birthday parties. Lol. While in elementary school he was a loner. Always by himself. One morning when he was in seventh grade he yelled to me from his bedroom and his voice sounded as though he had gotten sick. I asked him if he felt OK and he said yes. As he continued to talk I woke up his father because I noticed that his voice had dropped a few octaves. We realized that he was no longer a baby and had reached puberty overnight. Up until this time he spent much time alone until one day he asked me to pick him up after school. When I pulled in front of the school there were approximately seven boys waiting with him…..this was the beginning of a new time in his life. He finally had friends and I was finally relieved however, this is when I realized that this child had every characteristic of an addict there was; however he chose to never pick up a chemical. Those adolescent years were some of the best years of our lives. Being as popular of a child as he was one would expect him to experiment. He never did. He managed to remain popular and have friends without having to use drugs or alcohol. I was quite impressed by him to say the least. Of course being an addict myself I wondered what was wrong with him. LOL One night he came home with his friends and it was very late. When I looked in the kitchen I saw five boys eating peanut butter, cooking eggs, making popcorn, eating cereal and ice cream all at one time. As I went into the kitchen I noticed that my son was upstairs. I looked at the boys and said “the pot must’ve been really good tonight”. They looked at each other as if they saw ghost and proceeded to deny smoking any weed. I had assumed that my son was smoking weed with them. When he walked into the room he listened to our discussion for a few minutes and then he said, ” guys you need to tell my mom the truth she knows all about it.” Once they felt me out and were comfortable that I was not calling their parents or the police, a very healthy discussion ensued. They proceeded to let me know that “Suggs” (my sons nickname) did not engage in smoking weed with them. I was quite surprised as well as very curious as to why not. So I asked him. His answer was “I like how I feel; I don’t need to change it. It doesn’t make sense to change how I feel when I don’t feel bad. “. Truer words were never spoken. Anthony went on through his high school and College years without ever indulging or experimenting with anything Each one of my four children are unique. They are very different people with two major things in common…….who their parents are and the decision to not try drugs.
Anthony has his own theory of addiction. He is presently the owner and founder of Artefakt located in LA. Artefakt is a brand dedicated to preserving, promoting and contributinga to the street dance culture. It is a platform for people outside of the street dance community to experience the real culture. http://www.artefaktlife.com. Anthony & Talia are committed to fitness, a Vegan lifestyle, and underground dance. Follow him on Instagram at ant.artefakt.
Each one of our kids are unique in their own way. They are givers. They have learned that life is rewarding but only if you help others. Sean and I never told them no. They were good kids and I never saw a reason to say NO. When we lost everything they hit a serious bottom. However we are blessed because they remain grateful and full of love. As a family, we need your prayers. If you know of an addict who is suffering, pray for them. And if you know of a suffering family of addicts, pray for them also.
**For now, if you need any help with the disease of addiction or if you have any questions, feel free to call me @412-652-2675 or email me at Rozsug1213@gmail.com