This is me. This is my daughter, Kennedy. I write this today because I have clients who are moms and family members of addicts who may also need to hear this. I have never kept my daughters addiction a secret because that would equate it with shame. I share her journey; my part in the journey, because I want to reach as many as I can with a message of hope, fervent prayer, and faith.
I WISH SHE KNEW
I raised them with the same goodnight songs, the same pretty bows, the same beautiful dresses that often matched one another. I read them the same Goodnight Moon and The Giving Tree. They went to the same school. They lived in the same house. I disciplined them the same, I fed them the same, I gave them the same love and affection. They tell me her addiction didn't come from something I did but oh how they must be wrong. My past is riddled with "oopsies" and "oh damns" and "why oh why did I think that was the answer(s)?" I can't undo any of it. I do know I had demons of my own. I had darkness. I had shame. I had regret but I also had a story to share on the other side.
I want her to know.
I want her to know I love her the same as her non-addict sister. I want her to know she can overcome. I want her to know track marks don't belong on her beautiful body. I want her to know....living on the street is not for her, stealing for drugs did not define her, having to live without running water or plumbing or a bed does not make her dirty. I want her to know she is worth loving, living, fighting for. I want her to know she is beautiful. I want her to know I know "one more time" can kill her and I want her to know I worry. I want her to know I believe in her. I want her to know she's worthy and I want her to know that God is bigger than her enemies and their lies. I want her to know her worth is not in a man. I want her to know I will always believe in her. Good things can happen. I want her to know. Change can take over and her addiction can become quiet, still, passing. I want her to know she's not hopeless. I want her to love herself. I want her to know the value in laughter, the value of staying busy, the value of giving back. I want her to know the purpose of structure and I want her to know she is smart. I want her to know I know her pain is real.
Needles, stealing, lying, homelessness, fear, regret, shame... they can all go away. I know what is bigger than all of that. I want her to know life can be beautiful, funny, happy, bright, redeemed, worthy. I want her to know a life full of grace. I want her to know to keep trying. I want her to know I value her. I want her to know. You have a message sweet girl. Pass it on to those who need to hear and see your story unfold into beauty.