January 18, 2018
Image Credit: ©fizkes - Deposit Photos
I can remember it like it was yesterday...I found the courage to call the PLEO hotline. I was at my wits end. Funny looking back because I can't remember what that was exactly, but I dialled the number. I probably dialled a couple times, hung up once or twice but eventually, I let it ring through.
Deep breathe, the moment of truth, I'm either batshit crazy or this was going to be helpful.
She said "hello my name is" not even sure anymore...it was a calm, real voice. That I know. She continued in that same voice, "I am here to listen and do my best to help you." My chest physically loosened and I spoke. All I needed was to hear that calmness and physiologically, I felt a little better already....a little was a lot back then.
I knew in that moment that I was going to find a way to make it through everything. I was going to mom up and do whatever it took to be there for all my children. I hadn't realized yet, that I needed to put myself first, but I was moving forward.
I can say today that I wish I had made that call earlier...I can say that everything happens for a reason like I do many times a day, but the wiser, stronger and focused me realizes that I made that call when I needed to make the call. Simple take away was that I did it and it was a lot more rewarding, short and long-term than I imagined it been. I knew for certain that I was not alone in this. many had supported me to then, but you often lose sight of that in dark times. My daughter's battle with addiction and mental health had become mine by my own allowance.
While I don't know her exact name, that woman will never really know the impact she made on me that night answering that phone. I know now that she was a volunteer. That she herself had been through issues similar to mine, but that she was now in the position to help others. That moment will be forever etched in my memory as the moment I swore I would give back when I too was better and was in a position to do so.
This blog and my stories here not only open up a conversation with others and a support outlet, but it heals me a little each time I am able to share another piece on here with you. It strengthens my resolve during difficult times, it allows me to help others and it allows me to realize that while devastating and scary, these experiences continue in other homes, with other families and with other children and moms just like me. This gives me the strength to get up tomorrow and venture forward.
I am looking at making this bigger and better. I am looking at doing everything I can to make sure that anyone finding themselves or a family member, loved one, in a similar position, knows what to do and even more so, knows that they can come out of anything better, healthy and grounded.
I won't lie to anyone and say that it's all great now. My daughter continues to struggle to this day. She continues to use drugs, to make hard decisions that I wouldn't choose for her and to not attend school. The difference is - now I can enjoy the moments I get with her as those beautiful moments. I can enjoy her smile, her wit, her humour and her beautiful smile like I used too. I can tell you I had the best Christmas time in years because she was present, she was sober and she was giving each of us 100% of her love. I will treasure this Christmas like many before, but I am keeping a little extra for me. I am keeping the part where I was present enough and healthy enough myself to actually appreciate it for the moment it was.
I look forward to many more moments, but I am strong enough to realize it could be awhile. Finally, with that phone call all those years ago, I can say again, I will get through this. I will put myself first and stay healthy for me. I will be strong, healthy and wise so that when that next moment comes along, I can take that and file it in the healthy memory bank for another day. I will be healthy for my other two children and be able to continue being the best mother I can. It was a tough realization, but it was also a freeing one; I can only control my actions.
"I am not the sum of my results, but the sum of my experiences." my own quote....
PLEO - Parents Lifelines of Eastern Ontario Toll Free #- 1-855-775-7005