She was not just my mom: she was my best friend.
On December 1, 2000 my life, changed. I was 17 years old and my mother was dying. She was not just my mom: she was my best friend. I held her hand and hugged her as she took her final breaths and went to heaven.
My whole world changed that day and not for the better. Within four months, I was told I had to move out of my home because her family were selling it. They said I was no longer a part of their family because I adopted and not related to them by blood.
I drank from sun up to sun down to try and kill the pain and emptiness I felt inside. My alcohol use got to the point I was blacking out and not remembering the day prior. Many times, I woke up in a jail cell at the police station.
It got worse. I started letting my anger out, directing it at anyone who happened to be nearby. I was arrested for assault after assault. I was placed on probation for a total of seven years.
At 18, I moved to Vancouver, for a little while where I was introduced to crystal meth. It was a nightmare. Withdrawing was hell. I just wanted to die on the bathroom floor.
I came back to Ontario and tried to start a new life, a better one. I had my first son when I turned 21 and that started a change. A year later, I had my second son. Soon, things came crashing down again. My second son’s father developed an addiction to crack. I was in remission at this point. I had to protect my boys and chose to place them in foster care. (I still to this day have contact with them). I started drinking again not long after this.
Two years later, I ended up pregnant with my third son. My life started to get better again. I got married and had my first daughter. It didn’t last: we split. I then met the father of my fifth child. We split up after a few years. That’s when I relapsed, badly.
As the drugs worked their way through my veins to my brain, all the problems in my life seemed to melt away. My cravings were so bad they took over my life. I became dependent on substances. I thought I couldn’t function without them. I stopped eating and sleeping. I weighed about 100 pounds. My arms were bruised and sore from missing and broken veins. I was a mess. I overdosed more than once and nearly died.
On July 30, 2015, I decided to put the spoon and needle down for good. This didn’t happen without a daily fight. Many nights, I cried myself to sleep from the cravings and the pain in my body. I pushed through. Every day, I got stronger. I got back with my kids and the father of my fifth child. My life started to get better again. We left Ontario behind and moved to PEI with the kids.
Not long after we were here I found out I was pregnant with my sixth baby: my last. I also found out at the same time that I had Stage 3 Hepatitis C, which the final stage before liver cancer. I fought with the PEI government for three years for treatment with no response.
After my three-year fight for treatment, it turned out my body—the same body I had abused for many years—healed itself. My blood work showed the virus was no longer detected in my blood. I still have the antibodies, but no virus. Thank God!
As of July 30, 2018, I have been in recovery for three years. How is my life today? Well, it has its ups and downs, but each day I get through is one more day of seeing my children grow up and being the best mom I can be.