I started drinking and using when I was about 13 years old. I got pregnant when I was 18 years old and decided for myself that I would never use drugs again. Ever. I was going to be a good mom. I was going to raise my children.
I quickly started drinking afterwards though, and I maintained that for a long time. For my two children, living with an alcoholic mom was chaotic. They didn’t really get to have a mother. I abandoned them mentally, and emotionally. There were times when my son would have to put me to bed, because I had fallen asleep, puking at my desk.
I couldn’t stay sober. I remember being as alone as one can be and wanting to stop, but I couldn’t. That went on for five long years. In August of 2017, I’d gotten to the point where no one would sell to me anymore, and I couldn’t get any dope. I had detox a couple of days at home. I asked my mother if she thought that it was a good idea if I went to treatment. She said, ‘That’s the best thing I’ve heard from you in years.’
When I was in treatment, I loved the music that they played and how well they incorporated it into our groups. I think when you’re out there using and doing what addicts do, you become really numb and closed off from everything, so it’s difficult to get back to who you really are. I think the music really helps reconnect you.
Today, I get to participate in my children’s lives. Emotionally, physically and psychologically, I am available for them.
Today, Melissa has over a year and a half clean, and is able to support her son, who is also in recovery (or something like that).