Sometimes people do know that they have a problem with addiction. I knew I had a problem. I was hooked on my pain medication. Several years ago, I had a car accident. Every time I was taken off the pain medication, I claimed a recurrence, whether it was true or not. I even went to a couple of different doctors in other counties, even one across the state line.
My best friend and my husband tried to talk to me about my addiction but I shrugged them off. What really got me to change was the evening I fainted at my daughter’s junior high play. I caused quite a commotion but seeing the fear in my daughter’s eyes was more than enough for me to finally admit that my addiction was not only a problem, but that it was affecting those I love the most.
I was quite active at her school and in our church. Some people seemed really surprised when I disappeared for a couple of months. It’s ironic but true: some people really do not know the face of addiction unless they are close to it, such as best friends and family members.
My daughter was terrified that I was having a heart attack or dying. It was simply the fact that I was over-taking my prescription pain medicine. It was simply my addiction coming first in my life.
I was in rehab for nearly two months. When I returned home, I had the best support system. When I returned to being active, I had support, but I also had surprised expressions at my confession of where I had really been, as well as some raised eyebrows. But one night with my daughter made all of that worth it.
She and I were watching a movie and when it went to commercial, she looked at me. “Mom? When you fell at my school that night, I was so scared you were going to die like Grandma did.” We had lost my mother the year before.
I hugged her close to me. She was twelve and knew the truth about where I had been and about my addiction to the prescription pain medication. I told her I was okay, that in fact, that “fall” when I passed out had been a life saver because I was clean for the first time in four years. I told her to learn from my mistake and to always know she could come to her father and me with anything, that we could handle it together, just as we were handling my rehab.
Then I hugged her again and told her that the look in her eyes that night saved me more than anything. She hugged me back tightly and we snuggled in together to watch the movie when it came back on.