This is Kelly Hill and she is RESILIENT.
CONTENT WARNING: The I Am Resilient Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this post and on this website will include topics that you may find difficult.
Describe the situation where you had to be resilient:
My daughter’s heroin addiction, the toll it has taken on our family and how much I miss her.
When my daughter first told me that she was addicted to drugs, I was convinced I could fix it. I was terrified, full of shame and wanted a way to “cure” it. I was consumed with trying to find the cure. I would search for hours on end, seeking help from doctors and treatment centers, only to be disappointed. I have two daughters, both born on the same day, and the stress of addiction has affected my entire family (because I gave all of my attention to the daughter who is “sick”).
My youngest daughter has been a heroin addict for the past ten years and has been in and out of the prison system with a couple of years of sobriety here and there. I have spent thousands of dollars trying to “fix” her only to feel ripped off from treatment centers and so-called “experts” in addiction. I had to learn detachment as she was taking my life with her financially, emotionally and physically. I have seen some of her peers pass away from the same disease. I am now grateful that she is still alive and still get to hear her voice and see her occasionally.
I no longer have the will to ‘fix’ her and have accepted her disability and no longer feel the shame associated with the stigma of addiction. This is her journey and I have had long conversations with her about her life. She, of course, wishes that she could go back to that fateful night when she smoked heroin the first time and change things but she does not hate her life.
She is now addicted to fentanyl and every day I wonder if today I will get “the call,” but thus far she is a survivor and for that I am grateful. My older daughter has suffered due to her sister’s addiction because she would sometimes feel invisible, but has remained supportive of her sister and helps her when she can. Addiction is a horrible disease and has been compared to Hungry Ghosts. It is sad to watch and know that you cannot do anything to help the person you love.
How did you practice resilience when faced with this challenge?
For me to get through the shame and trying to take my life back required much support. I have a wonderful doctor who was very supportive. I hiked the mountains and had great support from friends.
Please share one piece of advice for people who are going through a similar challenge
The earlier you learn to detach and realize you cannot fix the person living with addiction, the better off you will be.
Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE and thank you for being brave and sharing your journey.