Saturday, November 4, 2017

Are We Helping Others While Ignoring Ourselves?

She was a registered nurse. She was the mother of four children. She was also an alcoholic and a benzo addict, with Valium being her drug of choice. That person was my mother, and her alcoholism and prescription pill addiction may have had much to do with her desire to be of service to everyone else, and in all that helping, she lost herself.

My mother was a dedicated nurse, until she wasn’t anymore. Her addiction started when a doctor prescribed Valium to calm her frazzled nerves to help her cope with four small children and a crazy Italian husband. Addictions often start this way: an innocent motive sets the ball rolling, and for my mother it was all downhill from there. Her addiction went on for more than 25 years. She saw numerous doctors and therapists, but none diagnosed her with alcoholism. The devastation heaped on our family, not to mention that the demoralization that she experienced due to her addiction, was epic. The catalyst for recovery came only when she fell down a flight of stairs while drunk and broke her neck. Rehab finally entered the picture.

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