I was sick on Mother’s Day. Brock and Brady had known for a while that I was sick, but they didn’t understand the concept of addiction. They didn’t know this was the reason I was sick--they didn’t know what “sick” really meant. On Mother’s Day in 2011, the pain of my addiction came flooding in, frightening the boys and myself in ways I had so desperately tried to hide…
I had been through a very painful divorce from Brock and Brady’s father two years earlier because of struggles with prescription narcotics. But in 2007, I entered a secular program for 90 days and had managed to stay clean from prescription narcotics until this very day. But, even after I became clean, the painful emotional, verbal, and mental abuse that continued in my marriage was too much to bare. Their father and I inflicted so much pain on each other, and the reality of it caused me to have a mental breakdown. Every hurtful word and action I had been holding inside that, in the past I dealt with by the use of drugs, all came out violently and a devastating price was paid. This led to my then-husband leaving me with nothing, literally nothing, and taking Brock and Brady away from me.
Having conquered the prescription narcotic addiction, I was terrified to go back to a full-on drug dependence, but was still too weak spiritually and turned to over the counter cough medicine. I was able to function normally for a short while (at least in my mind), but the signs were showing to my children and the rest of my family that my addiction was not hidden as well as I thought.
I was losing everything slowly one day at a time. My career, friends, family members, support, and then finally, my children. That is when it became too much. To know that I had scared my precious boys in such a terrible way by overdosing on the cough medicine and by allowing them to see me in a drugged out, hallucinated state was more than I could bare. And of all days, Mother’s Day. I knew I needed help, but I knew the only way I could do it was by getting my life back on track with God.
Addiction has no stereotype, no prerequisites. It does not discriminate. It will take anyone and everyone if you allow that door to be opened. That is exactly what I did, and it brought me to my knees. I let my anger, resentment, unwillingness to forgive, and desire for revenge take over, ultimately leading me right back into the one thing I never wanted to be again. An addict. I grew up a pastor’s kid, sleeping on pews, singing on the praise team in church, being a youth leader, and reading my Bible faithfully. But, life kicked in and threw me a curve ball I never saw coming.
Brock and Brady had to pay the price for my weakness, and I never would have dreamed in a million years that God would look down and extend grace and forgiveness. But God is a God of second chances and I desperately needed one...
Read Chapter 2 of Heidi's story below