Often, the most important person in an addict’s turn to recovery is his or her mother, but it’s a perspective that we don’t often hear. In our Infinite Recovery Mom Stories series, mothers of people in recovery have the opportunity to speak firsthand about the pain of having a child struggling with addiction, the love that drives them to seek help for their child and the transformative power of the recovery process.
She seemed to struggle with obeying authority and developing authentic relationships, and looking back I believe she lacked a sense of confidence and self-worth. But how could a child who is loved so much by her family and provided everything she needs for a happy and successful life feel that way? I had hoped soccer would keep Laurel focused on working towards a healthy future, but she was stricken with several major knee injuries and reconstructions.
Then the first BIG RED flag. An MIP. Next came a DWI. Despite our efforts to keep this precious girl out of harm’s way, she was drawn to the world I had spent a lifetime running away from. The demon had returned and was preparing to overtake her life. She worked hard to rehab and regain her athletic abilities and was recruited to play Division I soccer for the United States Air Force Academy. Finally, I believed she was on her way to great things.
The academic and military demands coupled with 2 additional knee surgeries and Adderall were the fuel needed for the demon to rear its head and capture this young life. Laurel entered 2 1/2 years of hell and ran from a world of structure, rules, and honor to a path of self-destruction. I was paralyzed with fear and felt helpless. I did everything a good mother would do to try to talk her into becoming the woman I knew God created her to be, but failed.
I had let my mother die, watched how alcohol and drugs sucked the life and joy out of many of my family members, and now I was losing my baby girl. This is when treatment and recovery took on a dual meaning.
Laurel was discharged from the Air Force and returned home. Her emotions mirrored a roller coaster. I knew she was messed up with bad people and doing harmful and illegal things, but I was diagnosed with cancer and had to focus on surviving the treatments. During this time, my daughter was nowhere to be found and involved with very dangerous people. The few times she came around, I saw a drastic change in her behavior. It was as though her very soul had been removed from her body and a “ghost-like” girl was wandering aimlessly with no faith, love, or purpose for her life.
During my struggle to recover from cancer, I prayed that God would provide a lifeline to help my daughter climb out of a dark, dangerous pit and reveal the truth. The door was opened when a young man who knew Laurel came to work at my school. I had helped him get a much needed job and taken him under my wing. One day, he came to my office to tell me he had to leave for family reasons. I knew this meeting was an answer to my prayers.
I looked into his eyes and asked what my daughter was involved in. He stated it would be too painful to reveal. I asked again and he shared, with much sadness, that she was an alcoholic and had become a meth addict. My mind was reeling and I honestly thought I would have rather had another cancer diagnosis than know my child was in this unthinkable situation. But, I was thankful God had answered my prayers and immediately thought of John 8:23, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
With the help of my husband and a strong support group, we found a treatment center in Austin, TX. After an intervention with our daughter, she reluctantly agreed to get help. What has happened since December 9, 2012 has been miraculous. We have learned that the network for recovery in Austin isn’t just about getting people sober, it’s about people who are submitting their life to God and learning to live in a new and better way. From treatment, to sober living, to a renewed hope. This brought our daughter out of total dependency on substances to taking responsibility and having a new appreciation for life. Both Laurel and I were in a fight for our lives, and through it all we have both experienced great healing.
This strong, beautiful young woman, with the help of great doctors, counselors, support groups, and God’s grace and love, has emerged a new person and lives her life to help and serve others in addiction. I am so thankful for the amazing recovery community in Austin and humbled that God allowed me to have a second chance with my daughter. “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…” Romans 12:12 #walkthetwelvestepswithGod
Your family can experience the same freedom and happiness that we have. Call Infinite Recovery today at (844) 206-9063 for a free 30 minute consultation with a licensed heroin and opioid specialist.