Childrearing

I Did A Boatload Of Heroin Before Becoming A Mom

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In the early days of my recovery, I used to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself “I am enough.” Then one day, I learned to believe it. I learned to look at my scars as gentle reminders of where I had been, not where I was going in life. Suddenly, I realized I had character – not flaws. I am okay in my own skin. I learned to celebrate my accomplishments because I had fought for each and every one of them. I learned how to breastfeed and paper and type my graduate thesis at the same time. I am adaptable and I am teachable at this point in my life. I have learned that the strength is within me. I just need to tap into it. Not everyone gets a second chance at a first class life so I make the most of mine. My life is not defined by others. I am writing my own narrative and I am a woman making history.

One day, I took ownership of the title: Heroin Mom. I decided to tell my own story and that seemed like a good title. If I could survive the streets of the city, I know I can survive the things these three kids put me through. Some of the behaviors are the same–they fight like savages, they take things from each other, and they always want more. At least they give better hugs! Managing three children ages three, five, and six is not always easy but I like a challenge. When I laid in an alley, imaging the future, this was not the life I dreamed I could make for myself. It is much, much more.

I was back in the news recently as the Heroin Mom. Many women came up to me, emailed me, messaged me to say how much they admired me. Others wanted advice for a family member. Many just wanted a little bit of hope as they struggle with their own demons. As my kids watched the tv sitter, I took some time to answer all of their questions. Being the heroin mom has truly been a gift. Not everyone gets to go through such a trial and come out the other side. I am owning my role as we all should. Find the fabulous within ourselves. Find the thing that makes you special, then work it. Go beyond the label you have for yourself and find the fierce queen in charge of her domain.

So yes, I am the Heroin Mom. I am also Katie, Eddie, and Kelan’s mom. I am also a wife, a friend, and a writer. I am the PTA treasurer. I can work a $40 outfit. If only I could find good shoes for these tired arches.

(Image: Blacktarheroin)

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