Sometimes it’s easier to speak about pain in a riddle.

Feeling dizzy there she goes. Taking another spin through the revolving doors, as I fight to stay strong and not fall apart.

Rewind to those precious days a short time ago. Behind closely watched doors. Sitting side by side trying to piece the years together … it felt like mad science. As we huddled close looking back through a rear view mirror with vision so hazy. Struggling to document her life story. Her eyes were bright, and the only high was hope…

Often times I struggle with the want to bust through the confines of anonymity while straddling the desire to protect her. She’s my daughter after all. But, holding it in tight to my chest pushes me inward where depression lingers.

I wonder. When did memories become so fragmented? It’s difficult trying to trace it all back. In my head I scream, I don’t want to be the mother of an addict anymore! I just want to be her mom. A safe place to lay her head.

Back to a time before life intervened and began to change the way she saw herself.

Time seems to stand still for the life of an addict. Years pass by slowly then suddenly with a fury time speeds up as they go to battle day in/out to feed the bottomless pit of addiction.

Consequences breed confusion and uncertainty, as the fog lifts and the damage becomes crystal for a sober mind. Looking out at the wreckage, one could feel lost once again. Then found.

Truth be told the heart wrenching dots of addiction can best be connected by the scars beneath the ink. And as addiction continues to cast its web tangling up misconceptions about life and purpose. Stealing time, taking lives, and breaking hearts.

I will always wonder what more I could have done. Tears flow as I let that last sentence sit heavily uninterrupted. Pulling apart my heart at the seams.

Praying that the cement blocks break free from my daughter’s ankles. For her story is not over. She breathes, she feels. And, oh how my heart aches for her, my little girl in big girl shoes fighting for a life not built behind iron bars. Or worse, a life laid to rest.

With a hopeful heart, I pray that my daughter’s light continues to shine bright as she continues to explore and dare I say embrace her personal path towards recovery. Where anything is possible. Able to tackle anything that comes her way with a sober mind and a lust for living.

Addiction has tried so many times to steal my daughter’s air, like it stole my will to breathe. It changed me. Turning my world upside down, touching every part of who I am today.

Guess what? I’m a better person because of it.

Looking back, there was likely a tipping point where her addiction and keeping my head above water reached an impasse. Although the lines have blurred tonight, I was certainly at risk of completely losing myself in the darkness that surrounded me like a warm blanket slowly smothering me. Where the only light that came in was from the slide show replaying memories in my mind of once was my little girl with joy in her heart and a beautiful smile.

Holding my breath until daybreak, I’d awake with new purpose. To start fighting for my own life.

To learn how to love myself and learn how to truly live with my daughter’s addiction. To remind myaeld that I have always tried my best and well, for now that has to be enough. To learn how to choose joy, even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.

I’ve done so much work over the years. Yet, as I look around today with a troubled heart, I can see that my intimate circle is so small. No one to call. It’s quiet here.

Letting go is not easy.

Forgiveness of our shortcomings built on impossible expectations is hard. But the not knowing is unfathomable. Not knowing if my daughter’s faith is strong enough to see her through the night without picking up. Facing her demons, no I can’t imagine. Sometimes the want/need to hold my daughter and keep her safe is too much.

So tonight I pray with all my might that she has the courage to stand tall and feel whatever she is supposed to feel and experience whatever she’s supposed to experience … without using.

Today I pray for love and light to shine brightly for my daughter. For angels to surround her and lift her up, up, up. So she can be free from the chains of shame that bind her. Free to stand up. And to stand tall enough to see her own divine beauty and true worth.

And to all the families coping with addiction, I offer you my heart. I pray for you, reaching out to hold your heart. You are loved.