Lisa & Jael

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.

Lisa - Mother of Jael
lia & jael Jael dreamed of being a model since she was a little girl.  At fourteen, she was a natural at it, and it came as no surprise when, by 23, she found success and notoriety on America’s Next Top Model.  Jael would go on to fulfill her dream by moving from my house in Detroit to living with her dad in Los Angeles, which was the place to be. The emotional ride of a modeling career was like the ups and downs on an elevator.  I encouraged her to accept the intervals at different floors as plateaus - opportunities to be still, take a breath, rest, assess the past and get ready for the next ride. My daughter, so beautiful inside and out, was always giving of herself to anyone in need – an ear, a meal, a place to sleep, a shoulder, her time… rarely did genuine reciprocity find her. She soon became an empty vessel, “ALONE," in fast LA. Her charismatic personality was unique and priceless, but they didn’t give her a chance to BE STILL, to get refilled. Partying forced her to keep vampire hours, with all of the drugs and drinking. The party was everywhere she was, it was sucking the life from her. Visits home to Detroit were filled with fanfare and stalkers. The long distance phone calls and the emails came less frequently. I tried to tell myself, “Well, no news is good news.”  But, I began to worry when weeks of silence became months.  Often, her slurred voice on the phone was excused away as a “bad connection” or broken phone.  Then, there were the creative and frequent requests for money under unusual circumstances. With reservation, I always complied with her requests. My motherly instinct would not be put to rest. There was something terribly wrong.  My amazingly brilliant daughter, with endless insight and talent was somehow in danger.  It’s amazing when The Spirit wants to be heard, no scheduled commitments or financial constraints can override THE CALL. I was not familiar with Los Angeles at night, when I arrived with no clear directions and an incorrect address.  I was on a mission. God’s foot soldier.  A mother. A treasure seeker. I found her at 1 a.m. She was living in squalor up to my shoulders, amongst other undesirable conditions. I had planned on going to LA for three days and ended up staying for eight.

I sat alone in a spot she had made for me, like a nest. Each day, I waited hours for her to come out of her bedroom.  I was still taking in her environment and was trying to assess her mental health. My family, at home, called me each day, asking about my return. All I could tell them was that God would let me know and, I had not yet received the sign.

Hope sprang when Jael said to me, “Mom, I never thought anyone would ever come for me.”  We held each other for a long time and cried. My response was, “What else would a mother do?” I promised to help her get her life back.

Sometime after we returned to Detroit, I got a glimpse of Jael out the window, sitting on the lawn with her dog, Tofu. Tofu had suffered a paralyzing accident. It required Jael to carry her outside to do her business, spreading her tail, while holding her the entire time.  The Vet’s prognosis was hopeless for Tofu, therefore recommending euthenization.  My daughter aptly rejected the possibility.

My daughter wore the battle scars over her body from the years of addiction to a wide spectrum of drugs. I snapped a picture of Jael and Tofu and thought, “Oh God, they are both broken….but holding on to each other’s love.” And, miraculously, a couple of weeks later, Tofu started to move one leg. Then, after a few more days, she started to move the other leg. Soon, over time, the rest of Tofu’s organs returned to normal function! I know my daughter literally loved her dog back to life.

Jael said that her dog looked into her eyes as the doctor gave his prognosis for Tofu and, said, “Please, no, don’t let me go.”   This was much the same look I saw in my daughter’s eyes when she admitted she never thought anyone would come for her.

For months afterward, there were tumultuous times, explosive outbursts, inadequate and incompetent treatments; and, substandard treatment centers. An act of faith presented the opportunity for a spooky rescue and an extraordinary intervention, which paved the way for Jael to ultimately get admitted to a lifesaving, top notch rehab center.

Jael is now successfully three years sober and has great friends, who, themselves are in recovery and are able to reciprocate each other’s feelings and support one another. This journey has resulted in such honesty and great love like never before between my daughter and myself. She is my best friend, as I am hers. She likes to be still. We share God.  

My most recent visit to Jael was spent with all of her loving friends.  I came away with such a glow inside of me because I had spent time in the presence with true HEROES. Every day they fight, they fight to stay sober. God bless them.

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 prescription drug addiction specialist.

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