Before I came to Adeara, my life was okay. I was ten months sober when I first arrived; however, that doesn’t mean life was always good. I struggled to maintain sobriety, especially in a small community with no resources. It was hard, and learning how to be a full-time mom at the same time was a challenge in itself. My journey as a mother was interesting. I’ve had moments where I wanted to walk away because I thought I could never be the mom my son needed me to be.
I was addicted to crystal meth for about three years and alcohol for ten years. Sometimes, I would leave my son in the care of a friend or family member for days to go out and get high. I would take off in the middle of the night after my son went to bed and return in the morning before he woke up. Times when I’d take him with me to do drug runs. Until I got caught one day and charged with drug trafficking and got him apprehended, and he was then placed in the care of my mom and dad. Even that didn’t stop me. Losing my son didn’t put a stop to my addiction. Getting arrested and multiple drug trafficking charges didn’t stop me. Curfew and house arrest didn’t stop me. I was living what I thought was my “best life.” It hurts me even to say it, but I neglected my son for so long. I wasn’t there for him when he needed me, and that is the one thing I regret the most is not being able to go back and do those first two years of his life over again. Let alone have a do-over in my life. I was a mess. I was who I’ve always said I never wanted to be growing up.
I didn’t like the person that I was at that time. Part of me hated myself, and part of me loved who I was. I had attention; I had friends. I didn’t care what I was doing because, for once, I finally felt like I mattered and was enough for people. That life gave me confidence and a voice, but it wasn’t the good kind of attention I had always wanted. It brought out the worst in me. It made me become someone I didn’t even recognize and despised. I wasn’t a very good person, and I knew it then, but I just didn’t care. All I cared about then was how to get my next “fix.” That’s all.
Today, I can say that I’m proud of the person I am, and I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for my son. He has always been my motivation since I decided to chase my recovery. We have both been through so much together in the last nine months that we’ve been at Adeara. Getting to know and grow together again has been such an honour. To see him laugh, smile and try and learn new things every day has been amazing. Sure, we both have had our share of challenges, and I think the biggest challenge of all is moving several hours away from home to get the help I need. Moving my son from the only place he knew was hard. As time has passed, it has gotten easier, and I’ve realized that whether I’m hours away from home or not, as long as my son has his mom, it doesn’t matter where we are. He’s okay, I’m okay, and we’re together. That’s all that matters.
I’m thankful for a place like Adeara because I can work on myself and get the help I need to be the mom my son needs and is proud of. I thank Adeara for giving me this opportunity to grow as an individual, a mom and a daughter. I have learned so much about myself that I didn’t even recognize before. I have my voice, and I can finally do what I want to do and put myself first for once, which I’ve never done before. It feels amazing. Not only that, but I have realized that it’s okay for me to be who I am. Not everyone will like me, and that’s okay. I’m okay with me – I’m sober, happy, and thriving. One day at a time. One step at a time.
I pray and hope my son knows how much he means to me and that he will seek the one that loves him, up above. How thankful I am that God heard my prayer that morning when I got down on my knees in the middle of the road that morning and prayed for something good in my life.
If you are struggling, I just want to say that it’s not too late to get help. Need help to figure out where to start? Start by asking God to help you; he will lead you where he deems fit for you. If He can do it for me, He can do it for you too. It’s not too late. It’s always possible to start over. Trust in the Lord, and he will help you.
By Brittney, Adeara resident (not pictured)
This Mother’s Day, we hope to raise $5,000 for the mothers at Adeara who bravely choose a life of recovery. Adeara’s long-term programming is built to end the cycle of addiction, not just for one woman but for her children and their future children. Would you consider giving today to support mothers like Brittney?
Visit adeara.ca/mothersday to learn more.