Ten years ago, our lives were a nightmare of chaos, drama, anger, despair, and terror. Every day was ruined by our daughters. Every time the phone rang, we were acutely aware that it could be the police telling us we needed to come and identify their bodies. At the very least, it was usually one of them, wheedling and manipulating us for money. Our lives had slowly become something unrecognizable, our home a war zone. Every day, I’d come home from work dreading what would be waiting for me: two daughters who were barely recognizable as the girls we’d raised. They were sullen and sneaky and beyond hateful. Monsters who were slowly killing themselves and, in the process, taking us with them. You see, our precious daughters had become heroin addicts.
My husband and I got ourselves into counseling when it became glaringly apparent that what we were doing to help them (pay their bills, give them chance after chance after chance to turn themselves around) wasn’t working. We began to change how we reacted to the daily drama. But what really brought their addiction to a screaming halt was our town’s Drug Court. They turned themselves in to the police after getting involved in some illegal stuff – and the Court stepped in. They were given two choices: get and stay clean, or go to jail. Well, there were more than a few bumps in the road, but ultimately – they both chose sobriety and a return to their place in our family and our hearts.
They’ve transformed from dead-eyed strangers to two young women I absolutely adore: wicked smart, absolutely hilarious (usually inappropriately), hard-working, and ambitious. Our older daughter is married and the mother of two precious little sweethearts I couldn’t possibly love more. She has hopes and dreams for her future and plans to go back to school to become a sonogram tech in a few years. Our younger daughter has worked her way up in Financial Aid at a local business school. She attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology while working full-time. She’s also married, and planning to start a family soon. They’re both fully engaged in life and society and our family. I’m so unbelievably proud of them and beyond grateful that they’re whole and healthy. I have to believe that they survived their addiction for a reason.
Tonight we’ll enjoy some of our favorite things: chips and queso and guacamole, cheese, crackers, and cupcakes. We’ll celebrate with waaaay too much food and even more laughter. I’ll encourage my husband to propose a toast – I know myself well enough to be sure that trying to put what I feel into spoken words would just result in tears. My heart is so full. And I know how impossibly lucky we are that our girls have returned to us.
Life is good, friends – so incredibly good.