Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health.
A Mother’s Day Gift, From Your Recovering Child.
Dear Mom, As May 14th nears, please know I am thinking of you. You, like so many other Moms out there, have lived through too many painful Mother’s Days. A day that should have been all about you, but never was. I know being a Mom is hard. It’s a thankless job at times. And being an addict’s Mom must be hell. Yet you never complained. You didn’t judge. You simply trudged through each new dilemma and crisis like the trooper you are. I owe you so much. You gave me life. You held my hand when I was learning to walk. You rocked me to sleep. You looked under my bed for monsters. You read me stories. You protected me. You watched over me. You picked me up when I fell… But when I fell into addiction, you couldn’t pick me up. You tried. You begged me to stop. You threatened me. You even blocked the doorway so I couldn’t leave. But nothing worked. I was on a mission and you were in my way. It didn’t occur to me every time I popped a pill, snorted a line or poked a needle in my vein, I was killing you. You labored so hard to bring me into this world, only to watch addiction do its best to take me out. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for you. When other Mothers were bragging about their children’s accomplishments, you remained quiet. When your friends asked about me, you were evasive. You got good at telling little white lies. You covered for me because you didn’t want anyone saying awful things about me, even if they were true. At this time of year, I see ads full of Mother’s Day ideas. But not all Moms want chocolates or flowers. Not all Moms want a massage or a meal out. The addict’s Mom just wants her child to live for one more day. Please God just one more day. Not all Mom’s will get their wish. Tragically, we lose 144 people each day to overdose. My Mom says she got the best present of all – she got her daughter back. This year, Mom and I will celebrate in our usual fashion. A meal. A card. Flowers. A hug. My gift to her is simple. By staying clean and sober I’m available to her all year. Not just on Mother’s Day. She doesn’t live with the stress of wondering if I’m still alive. She doesn’t dread my phone calls and think, now what? Instead, she sees it’s me on the phone and runs to it. She’s excited to hear from me. She is proud of me. She likes bragging about me to her friends. But I’m the one who should be bragging about her. Mom gave me life – twice. Once in the delivery room and then once again when she paid for my treatment. Although I wasn’t very happy about it then, I am truly thankful now. Mom’s gift bought us time. Time together that we would never have had, had I not gotten clean and sober. I wrote this poem in honor of my Mom and all Moms. It doesn’t matter how big your children are or how sick they become. Mother’s Love is unconditional. For you, just in time for Mother’s Day. Mother’s Love. Mother’s love can’t be counted. It runs far, far too deep. Its vastness has no ending. It’s eternal. It does not sleep. It comes in many clothing. All varied shades of flesh. An unlimited store of love, in every style of dress. Her love lives all around you, every single day. She asks for very little and then gives it all away. She stands beside you always, through each and every fall. Her love has no conditions, not any, at all. Her warmth will revive you, she’ll keep your spirit strong. Yet we take her for granted thinking she will last… Oh so long. Sometimes her love is stifling. Others downright mean. She’ll tell you no. Not right now, or go to your room and clean. She wants for you, more than you ever could. She dreams bigger, tries harder, than you ever would. Mother’s love is tireless, fierce and warrior strong. She loves you even when – you’ve done wrong. Her love won’t settle for anything less. She gets up every morning preparing your best. At times her love grows weary, but this she’ll never say. You can’t stop it, or change it, or make it go away. Mother was the very first love of your life. She held you and dressed you and stood you up right. With every harsh word there was love in her fight. With every grounding and scolding, her lips pursed tight. There’s no other love as selfless and strong. No love is as precious, nor as long. Mother taught you to love fiercely take risks and be proud. Not to live quietly. But to live out loud. Demand from life the finest, work hard and pray. And stop to smell the roses along the way. Mother loves you always, like no one else will. Forever and ever and ever, still. If you’re struggling with addiction please reach out. The best gift you can give your Mom this year is a happy, healthy you. Pick up the phone and ask for help. The only one way you can fail at recovery is to quit trying. If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance. 888-601-8693.