REAL PEOPLE

REAL STORIES

SHENA

My daughter, also known as my beauty queen, is the golden child in our family. She is an only child and an only grandchild on both sides for a good 12 years. Love is not something she is missing. She has always been very driven, and things are always done her and only her way. I was raised by the best parents a kid could ever have; they were very involved in our lives and still my brother became a drug addict. He was in his first rehab at 13 years old after my parents tried everything to help him. Eventually he spent seven years in prison and two more in a halfway house. My beauty queen and I visited him twice a month for years and never did I sugar-coat the truth: THIS IS WHAT DRUGS DO TO YOU. I figured she was safe. I talked to her about drugs a lot; she even has a heart condition that will result in heartache if drugs are used. Still, when she was a teenager, all she wanted was to fit in, and drinking with friends seemed normal.

 

Because she is 5'1'' and weighs about 95 pounds, when she drank she was a mess almost instantly. The problem solver that she is, she had to figure out a way to still party with her friends without alcohol, so pills became the solution. She could take them without being hung over or getting caught. Because you can appear totally normal on pills, there was no stumbling in the door or smelling of pot, so I never suspected a thing. The only sign I truly missed was when we went on vacation when she was 17, and she came down with the worst flu I'd ever seen. Oddly enough, no one else got it; the flu is contagious, withdrawals are not. After high school, she went on to college, lived on her own, had a job, and seemed crabby all the time. She was always only with her boyfriend; I never saw her friends, nor heard her talk about them. She looked skinnier than ever and was always tired, which seemed normal for someone working and going to college full-time.

 

Someone eventually told me she and her boyfriend were on heroin. I was in complete shock because I'd had no idea at all. I did an intervention of sorts, she admitted, and went straight to Sacred Heart Rehab Center on October 15, 2010. Both she and her boyfriend have been sober since that day - the worst and best day of my life. It probably saved her life, while going to Families Anonymous and Nar-Anon saved mine.

 

On October 17, 2016 she celebrated 6 years clean.

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