This year there have been 100,000 deaths due to overdose alone (a new record) and I thank God it wasn’t her. I know it’s selfish and I pray everyday for those families and those innocent people, but I am beyond thankful she wasn't one of them.
We share most of our life to you, but there are some items we keep to ourselves. Until now, we haven’t shared anything specific regarding my sister or our families struggles. We didn't feel that it was our story to share, and we weren't ready to openly discuss the matter just yet. We have been helping my sister recover from opioid addiction since I was roughly 32 weeks pregnant. While it’s something that has been in the news, it’s not something we had any first hand experience with until now. I had no idea that my sister had been struggling, or how bad it was until we hit the breaking point of her moving in with us.
You can imagine this wasn't easy. We have a one bedroom apartment, we were preparing for our daughter to arrive and trying to get everything on the farm ready for me to be gone, but I felt like God was calling us to be his hands and feet here and help her navigate this journey. It took a lot of prayer for me to decide on saying yes. My sister, like many struggling with addiction had manipulated me in the past and I didn't want to get hurt by her again.
Through this experience we have strengthened our marriage and Talona has become a sister to Charlie. There have been times we have all been in tears, times where we have all yelled, and probably tested each others patience, but there has not been a second that I have regretted this decision.
Addiction is something that is in every company, on every street, and crosses social lines with ease. For some it started because of an injury, others it was because of trauma or depression. The truth is, it doesn’t matter why it started, what matters is that it has to end. If I am being honest I don't fully understand addiction, I was one of the critics, not knowing how someone could put a high above their loved ones, or even their children. The truth is the patch to recovery is hard, especially for those who can't escape their using environment. My sister was a lucky one, she had a place far enough away from her triggering environment that she could have a safe place to heal, and a recovery center that was not only free, but it was innovative. Those who are struggling with addiction need more than Narcan, they need counseling, they need doctors, and they need meetings to navigate their cravings and struggles.
Her recovery center didn't require an appointment, was out patient, has a pharmacy onsite, a 24/7 call line for her to call day or night. My advice for anyone who has a loved one struggling with addiction, love them, but set boundaries. Our deal with my sister was that we would do everything in our power to help her, if and only if she went to the recovery center and got help.
My second tip, encourage family to only get medication filled if they plan to use it, and dispose of it if they don't. We have found that many of the pills on the street are from people selling their prescriptions, because they believe they are helping someone deal with their pain.
My LAST Tip, don't try and do it alone. They need help from someone specializing in addiction, their sickness is a chemical brain imbalance, and it will not resolve itself. They need a doctor, just as those who have heart problems or cancer.
If anyone out there is suffering, we hear you and we see you. We are thankful that we have found resources that are working and are happy to help others in the same way that we’ve helped my sister!
#addictionrecovery #opioidcrisis #recovery #recoveryispossible #teambasecamp #youcandoit #wehearyou