As part of an assignment I was asked to come to class the next morning dressed as my worst nightmare. On my drive home from class that evening, I knew what I was going to show up dressed as. I am living my worst nightmare.
I got home at 10:30 PM and when I walked in to the house I went to my son and told him about the assignment. He said, “What, am I your worst nightmare?” I said, “No son, the drugs are. Will you dress me?” He replied, “Yes.” My son went to his car, he pulled out a dirty, smelly sweatshirt and pants. He said I could wear his pants that had a bloodstain on them from where he missed when he was shooting up. I instantly became sick to my stomach and wanted to throw up. This was my kind hearted, compassionate, beautiful baby boy that was standing in front of me excited to dress me. He wanted me to try them on right then.. I didn’t want to, but I did. I could not understand why the hell he was so excited to see me dressed in his clothes.
When I showed up in the morning to go to class, I went straight to the bathroom. To hide. I had so much anxiety, I felt dirty wearing his drug stained clothes that had been worn for days. I felt ashamed. I was embarrassed to go out into the hall with the rest of my teammates. People I had come to trust and love with all of my heart. I had so much anxiety I couldn’t breath. I was crying alone, in the bathroom uncontrollably and trembling in my own skin. No one noticed me until I cracked open the door just enough to ask one of my teammates to take a picture of me. Not because I wanted to expose myself, but because my son wanted a picture and I gave him my word that I would send him one. I wanted to leave. I didn’t wanna participate in class anymore, I wanted to run. I could not bear the pain I was feeling inside my head and heart. I wanted to quit. My teammate took the picture and she noticed my pain and she took me into her arms and embraced me and told me everything was gonna be OK, that I needed be brave and share my wisdom with others. She was the strength and courage that I needed. She was an integral part of why I stayed in class that day.
In that very raw and vulnerable moment, I realized I just took a very brief walk in my sons shoes. This is how my son and every other addict lives every single day. Every. Single. Day. Drugs are killing our children. Drugs are destroying families. Drugs are destroying our communities and our world! I have to do something. We have to do something. I am not sure what that looks like yet.
But I am Committed to making a difference in my family, in my community and in my world. I’m committed to being kind and extending love to everyone. I am committed to being a voice for our children that are turning to drugs and I pray you will join me. Our children, our families, our communities and our world need us to take a stand and win the war on drugs!