I was watching television last night while my dinner was being prepared for me in the kitchen and Oprah came on…the segment featured women struggling with an alcohol addiction. This subject is very close to my heart because I watched my mother struggle with this same addiction and the damage that is done to the families can be extremely devastating. My story is a bit different than the ones shown on television because my mother is no longer around to help spread awareness on the disease of addiction.
My story is as follows; At eight years old I was told my mother wouldn’t live to see me graduate high school, get my drivers license, or see me start my own family if her drinking was to continue this way. She was diagnosed with a disease called esophageal varices which causes the esophagus to hemorrhage into the stomach only to be excreted by way of vomiting. There were times I can remember cleaning up as much as a pint of blood at a time from our apartment walls and that wasn’t the worst part for me…the worst is watching someone you love give in and suffer from this terrible addiction! She was taken to a gastroenterologist in Atlanta Ga where her esophagus would be banded back together with medical bands and would discontinue the hemorrhaging if she could stop the drinking and end the torture being done to me and her body. Of course because she didn’t the end result was eventually death. As the physicians predicted I was sixteen and alone, my entire immediate family was taken from me by this addiction. This for many years and sometimes even now is hard to deal with. The damage that this disease does to your mind, body, soul, and spirit also kills the hearts of those around you.
I wrote this blog in hopes of helping others even though it leaves me feeling vulnerable while the world reads one of my biggest struggles in life. However if I am able to even just save one person from going down this dark dark road of addiction my job has been done! There are plenty of places to go for help if you think you or someone close to you has a problem with drugs and/or alcohol. This is a struggle that a majority of our nation continues to hide from others because they are afraid of being judged…don’t be afraid just get help!