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Bad Mama. Part Nine.

It was a Sunday evening, when Eric came over with a bottle of vodka. Earlier that day, we were together at the boys' flag football game. All was well between us. During this time, I occasionally shared my Adderall with Eric. Sometimes, he would take a pill without my knowledge, but I counted my pills like my life depended on it. I would freak out if my count was off. This particular evening, we were going to spend time together at my house. Everything was great. I put the kids to bed, and we were hanging out. A fight transpired between us over accusations I was on the phone with my "boyfriend." Which simply was not true. I had no "boyfriend." My friend Elana had called. For our privacy and personal reasons, I have decided not to elaborate in detail the events that transpired.

After that event, what little functionality I had been able to obtain from my active addiction was gone. I derailed quickly. I barely held my job for another two weeks. I could not stay sober for any significant length of time. It was so bad I would wake up in a panic looking for vodka during the night, early mornings, and evenings. I was holding on by a thread. I would become severely sick and have tremors if I did not have alcohol. I could not get out of bed in the morning without a shot or a pill. If you looked up the definition of a hot mess, back then, my picture should have been displayed. I held it somewhat together for my children. I still took care of them. I dropped them off at daycare and picked them up. One evening, Charlene (Mimi), was called by the daycare employee because my phone had died, and I was late. I felt like a failure as a mom. I was very disordered. I thank God for his angels and the divine protection that surrounded me and my kids back then.

The day I lost my job I dropped the kids off at daycare and drank vodka the remaining forty-five-minute drive to Peachtree city. My job was not my priority anymore. I knew I did not need to be there. I walked in with an immense odor of alcohol. I sat down at my desk and my boss asked to speak to me. There was no hiding or pretending anymore. I told her I was intoxicated. I walked out. For the life of me, I do not know what possessed me to drive to the Bluff (the infamous crime and drug neighborhood.) I walked to the parking garage, googled the address and drove toward downtown, Atlanta. I wanted heroin and cocaine. I wanted to feel nothing. I was on a mission to numb out my pain and I knew exactly what drugs to intake. I was not fearful at all. All I wanted was my drugs, and to be back in Buford in time to pick up my babies from school.

I made a loop around the block; staying alert for police offers and someone I could stop to get my dope. I pulled into a parking lot. There was a black male a few feet from me walking. I had found my target. I get out of my car and wave him down. He walked over to me as I told him my requests. He said, "okay. we need to get in your car and drive to my plug's house." He sat in my backseat and looked suspiciously at me. I think he thought I was a narc. I did not appear to be a crazed addict. I looked presentable with my scrubs and my hair pulled back in a ponytail. He asked to see my ID. I began to drive around the block; he had me stop at one house. I remained in the car. He was gone maybe five minutes and returned. He had me drive back to the parking lot. I gave him three-hundred dollars. He got out of the car and met a black female a few feet away. As I am waiting patiently for the drugs to be delivered to him; she opens up my passenger side door and sits to wait with me. I wish I could say, I was scared, but I was not. I opened my glove department and reached for another mini vodka. I gave her one as well. I began talking about my kids, and how screwed up my life was. The lady, had me crying during the drug deal. She began preaching to me telling me I did not need to be involved in "this life." And I kid you not, she said, "This is not God's plan for your life. Your kids need you and you are better than this." The guy came back to my car. He handed me the drugs in various baggies. I told them both thank you as tears rolled down my face.

I drove off and I immediately opened up a couple of baggies trying to decipher which was cocaine. I smelled them. Cocaine has a very distinct smell. If you have ever used cocaine-you know what I am talking about. I tried my best to snort some of the cocaine without wasting it as I drove back onto the interstate. By the time I arrived home, my drunkenness was gone. I grabbed the baggies and put them on the top of my china cabinet. I did not touch the heroin. The more I thought about it, I did not think it was a good idea to snort if I had my kids. I knew I could "function" with cocaine, but my last memory of heroin was when I went unconscious and was awaken by violent shaking. I decided to hold off on it. Later than afternoon, I picked the kids up from daycare and took them out to eat. I did not use anymore drugs that evening.

I woke up in the middle of the night with night sweats, anxiety about losing my job, and fear; how I was going to support the kids and me. They had their own bunk bed but always slept with me. I remember looking at them and crying. I hated that feeling so I got up and found the cocaine. I took a shot of vodka and snorted a line. I stood in the kitchen, helpless. I could not tell my family I lost my job and that I was in a darker place than I had ever been before. They had no clue the demons I was up against and the mental agony I was tortured with. I played it off for a few days.

I stayed high because feeling anything sober hurt too much. Another week passed by, and I was progressively getting worse. I decided to snort the heroin one night. All the kids were in bed, and I could not hold back from the temptation any longer. I tried a little. I felt nothing. I snorted until my entire body tingled and the "itch" occurred. Whenever the feelings of inadequacy, bad mom, or unworthiness came into my conscious mind, I would immediately tame the agony with substances. I could not face the truth of what I had become in that moment; I was a bad mama and could not take care of myself none the less, my kids. (WOW, it takes a lot of growth to admit that failure.) I took much pride in motherhood; I loved being a mom. So, when I had failed at the one thing that honestly came effortlessly-I was completely crushed in spirit.

I rarely looked in the mirror, but when I did, I was disgusted by my own appearance. I did not know the woman that looked back at me. It is a terrifying feeling when you cannot face yourself. I was angry at God. I used to get drunk and asked God, "why me? Why did you allow this to happen to me. Why did I have to be an addict? Why are you not here with me? Why are you not saving me?" or blaming God for what my life had become. The life I was living was not in my plans. The life had been living was not what I pictured my life to be. What happen to my dreams? What happened to me? Does any of the questions sound familiar? At some point, I think we all question God. I always talked to God. Even when I was drunk or high. God knew the little girl that walked down the aisle at church, at seven years old, who gave her life to Jesus was still his daughter at 30 years old, struggling with his and her own existence.

I found myself, unable to keep up with basic cognitive awareness, like the date or day of the week I was in. Halloween was approaching soon. I decorated my apartment. The kids loved it! I was all hyped for us to go trick-or-treating. On October 31st, 2019, God intervened. I woke up, was out of vodka, as I hurried to get the kids to school on time. While I was in the drop-off line, my heart sunk. The teachers had on Halloween costumes. I was a bad mama. I did not even know it was Halloween. I thought it was in a couple of days. I gave kisses and told the kids I would pick them up and we were going to have a great evening trick- or -treating. Not knowing, that would be the last time I kissed them, hugged them, and smelled them for five months.

I left the school on a mission. First thing first, I had to purchase alcohol to start my day. I stopped by the local gas station and bought two bottles of red wine. I had to wait for the liquor store to open. After one bottle of wine, my anxiety subsided. I felt like I could face the day. I cleaned and made a list of things I had to accomplish before picking the kids up.

This memory haunted me for a very, very, very, long time. It is only by the grace of God, therapy, and a relationship with Jesus, I forgave myself for being a "bad mama."

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