I sit down often to write and post about MC and her life with the Disease of Addiction. I usually end up writing and then not posting because.....??? My Husband David and I have had so many experiences worth posting about in Mobile through our relationship with Virginia Guy and the Mobile Drug Education Program and also with The Gulf Coast Families and the Opioid Epidemic Group. The Opioid Epidemic itself has not gone away, it continues to get worse especially since the Pandemic started. I believe the death toll from overdoses in 2021 was over 100,000 people the majority under 40.
As I sit here now the day after my daughter Mary Catherine's 7th Year "Death Day Anniversary", I can tell you that my heart is as heavy today as it was 7 years ago. The guilt I feel for not being able to help her is still the same sometimes worse. The constant wondering about what I could have done differently. The constant wondering about what I might have done that I shouldn't have done. The love in my heart that just sits there with no where to go. The constant feeling of failure because I couldn't do my job as MC's mom. I couldn't protect MC. I couldn't comfort her the way I wanted to. To watch my child suffering from the Disease of Addiction felt like being on the other side of a plate glass wall and not being able to get in. I could see what was going on, but I couldn't get in to comfort her or give her reassurance that everything would be ok. I lost my child to drugs and drug rehab programs and I was ill prepared with the knowledge needed to understand what she was facing or what I could do to help.
Mary Catherine is missing from the family picture below that we took after Christmas 2021. The last family picture we took with all of us in it was the same picture but taken at Thanksgiving of 2013 a year and a half before MC died of her disease of Addiction. We will never be able to do a true remake of that picture because she will never be here to be in it.
The Disease of Addiction causes Worry, Anxiety, Fear,
Helplessness, Hopelessness, Dread, Guilt, PTSD and much more. As a Parent of a Child with the Disease off Addiction, understanding that this Disease may go into Remission but that Remission doesn't always last - I never felt safe. I never felt relief in the way that I wanted to. I felt that I could never feel too safe when MC was in treatment or when she was sober because ...What If?..., what if she relapsed? It is a scary, horrible way to live.
There are many people I know who have been sober for multiple years. Many of these recovering addicts still go to AA meetings everyday. I believe they still go to AA meetings because they need to go for their own sobriety but also because they want to give back to those who are in early recovery. Giving back to others takes my mind off of myself and all my pain and I believe that it helps recovering addicts do the same.
I know that for myself staying positive, having a belief in a higher being (for me this is God), trying to help others in whatever little ways I can, helps me keep the ugly dark negatives that are so taxing at bay. Positivity, God, Others and also for me trying not to Judge Others is what keeps me going in this life
For MC's Death Anniversary we went to lunch and told stories about our life experiences with MC. Talked about the good things and what we remembered about her and Celebrated her life. MC was a special person and I feel her presence in my life everyday.
If you are so inclined watch "Dopesick". It is a limited series show based on a book about the Drug Industry and the way they pushed oxycontin to Doctors many of whom pushed it on their patients. It tells a true story. Michael Keaton plays the lead character and I believe he also is a Producer. It's on Hulu.