Today is Saturday. The last time Ashley and I talked and texted was Tuesday. This is unusual for us but it happens.
Ashley is in California which means there are times when she can talk and I am asleep. There are also times when I can talk and she is asleep. Her work schedule at the recovery center, where she is doing very good things, leaves her unavailable often at night and other times during the day.
I am using the word “mom” because that is who I am to my addict, yet it can most likely apply to any who love an addict. After one day of no contact, I am fine although the voices in my head start chattering. (For the record, I consider the voice in my head to be that of Eleanor Roosevelt. The others are simply monkeys.) By the second day, I keep living life with the voices getting a teensy bit louder. This is usually when I send a cute little bitmoji or a simple “I love you”.
Then the third day arrives and I check her Facebook page to see if she has been active. At some point, that is followed by leaving a voicemail. It does not help matters when my cell registers a call from Santa Clarita, California or anywhere in California when it is a number I do not recognize. The voices grow louder and I have to repeat to myself, “She is okay”.
That brings me to today when the text I send is a tabby cat rolling over and covering its eyes with its paws because he doesn’t want to get up yet. Beneath I write, “Is all good there?”
Within minutes the call comes from Ash. She is fine and can tell I have started worrying. It probably did not help that after doing some readings and watching some discussions on how we can best help our addicts to recovery, I asked her in a text if she had ever overdosed and not tell me. Probably not the best way to ask that question but one in which she could choose to answer or not knowing that if I asked, I was now ready to hear.
Ashley is losing her voice but otherwise feels fine. There had been some issues with her phone. She is also concerned about a friend she had spent some time with and had told him to text her when arriving home. It could be due to her phone issues but she has not heard from the friend and is worrying. Ash has tried contacting this person and said she did not want to keep bugging him. (Those weren’t her exact words but you can get the idea.) I told her she had a bit of the mother in her, needing to know that someone she cared about is okay. My daughter has experienced too many of her friends die from this disease. She knows more people who have passed away from addiction than I have experienced in my 65 years. Believe me, no addict wants this.
Ashley doesn’t like it when I worry but I have learned how to manage my concerns and still get on with my life and be able to enjoy it. She will do whatever she can to have me not be overly concerned but understands it 100%. I never question that my daughter loves me when she is sober. She loved me when she was using, too. Yet an addict getting high is a very different person.
Just wanted you to know if you are living this life with a recovering, or using addict, these daily thoughts are not abnormal. You are not alone in all this. I was speaking to a friend yesterday and we were talking about how everyone has a story. I find the more I speak out, the more people I encounter who are going through this and trying to hide it. They are ashamed. There is no shame. I have never once been ashamed of my daughter. I know a stigma persists about addicts. Isn’t that what we are trying to break through? Education. Finding ways to help those in recovery and find a life they feel worth living. So much to say but have to quit now as the plumber is arriving to figure out why we have no hot water.
No hot water doesn’t really get on my trouble list. Think of all who have no water at all. For me, this is a champagne problem.
And I am proud of and love my recovering addict.