Getting that unexpected call during the night made my heart pound. I instantly began to wonder what was wrong.
The voice on the other end of the line was sobbing uncontrollably. My chest tightened.
“I’m so sorry mommy. I am so sorry. I can’t stop mom. I can’t.”
My heart sank. Terror filled me. My tears began to fall.
Was this goodbye?
Would I see my daughter again?
Would she flee again? Had she already?
Stop! Don’t allow the ‘what ifs’ in. Stay present. Be strong.
I took a breath and tried to keep composure in my voice. I kept my tone gentle as I spoke to her, waking her dad.
“Honey, it’s ok. Mommy is here. Jo, where are you? Jorjia, what’s wrong?”
Even before a response came, I was getting dressed and gathering things to leave.
“Mommy. I am so sorry. Will you ever forgive me? I thought I could have 1 drink, mom. I wanted to celebrate. I can’t stop Mom. I thought I could. I really did. Do you hate me?”
“Oh baby! No! I don’t hate you. Where are you?”
Sheer terror fills me.
“Jorjia, honey, mommy is here. Where are you?”
“I threw up. I threw up in Nana’s bedroom. I’m so sorry. I am so sorry.”
“Jorjia, are you in Nana’s bedroom? Right now, are you in Nana’s bedroom?”
“No, I’m in the kitchen.”
“Ok, do not leave. Do you hear me? Do not leave the house! I am going to call you with the house phone and put daddy on. You are going to talk to him until I get there. Do you understand?”
I made sure that she was on the phone with Ken, and I raced out the door.
I just kept asking God not to let her leave, don’t let her drive drunk!
I kept asking God not to let her hurt herself. Please don’t let her kill herself.
As the mother of a meth addict and alcoholic – these prayers honestly come more frequently than almost any other.
You may think that prayer for her to stop using would be my fervent cry – but truthfully it was so hard to believe in the moment that she could or would. Reality was so twisted and the truth almost indecipherable; so I prayed for her not to hurt others or herself as I tried to believe for more.
Sometimes the concept of our daughter being clean and sober seemed almost like a fantasy, a wisp of hope tossed in a tumultuous sea of darkness.
Part of me was so frustrated that my cell reception kept me from being able to talk to her as I drove the 25 minutes to my mom’s trailer.
The other part of me was so thankful to have this time to pray. To cry. To scream. To talk. And to listen.
I needed to hear God!
By the time that I arrived and saw the car still in the driveway, I had regained composure.
It was surreal to come in and see her actually still drinking. Like really?! Yet the alcoholic in her didn’t want to ‘waste’ the alcohol.
I helped her get things set, cleaned up her mess, and prepared to load her into my car.
Before heading out the door, I looked her straight in the eye and asked her what happens next.
We had driven across country a few months earlier and rescued her. She had decided she was ready to fight to get out of her lifestyle.
She had moved in and was going to therapy and to Alcoholic’s Anonymous. She had found a sponsor.
She had even begun working, which was why she wanted to celebrate.
Mom had been out of town so Jorjia had gone to stay at the trailer and drive back and forth to work. This was a taste of independence.
A taste that unbeknownst to me apparently had alcohol in the recipe.
I didn’t back down, I stared in those red, wet, beautiful hazel eyes and waited.
‘She has to make the choice’ echoed in my mind, from my time with God just moments before.
“I need to go to an AA meeting.”
So, I asked when the next one was. She said 7am. I said ok, I will get you there.
We got home at 4:30am. I was up and waking her at 6am.
She then decided she would go to a later one instead.
“Nope. You told me the 7am meeting. You said that was what you needed to do. I changed my plans. I am up. You are going. Get up. Let’s go.”
I saw respect in her eyes. I saw a glimmer of rebellion, but then a brighter light of determination set in.
Was that her defining moment?
Did my refusal to accept her weakness of wanting more sleep help strengthen her resolve to get help?
I don’t know. I do know that in that moment I knew babying my baby would not help her.
So I stood firm.
After that, I asked what else she needed to do.
She said she should call her counselor and ask to get into a rehabilitation center.
I stood with her while she put it all in motion.
Jorjia made the calls. She did it all.
Once a bed was available, we drove her to drop her off. Hours away from home.
The fear was evident on her face.
There was so much unknown.
The pride for her was incredible, watching her humble herself to take this giant step.
We wanted to believe that she could do this.
We wanted to believe that she would do this.
We wanted to believe that she wanted this.
As Ken, Michael and I drove away, silence filled the car. Each of us in our own thoughts, wanting to believe.
Next month marks 3 1/2 years of sobriety for Jorjia.
3 1/2 years of fighting for her life.
3 1/2 years of building a great support system and a structure to keep herself on track.
3 1/2 years of preparing a healthy foundation that hopefully will help her be able to always stay clean and sober.
Jorjia, we are so proud of you and are so thankful that you chose to fight for your sobriety.
We are so proud that you choose to help others fight for their sobriety too.
We love you.
To anyone that battles addiction (of any sort – drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, porn, video games, anything) there is help out there. You can make it out.
For the families and friends of the addict – encourage them to get help, but know that they are responsible for their own sobriety. No matter how much we want to ‘fix them’, we don’t have that power.
Please know that God is there. Even in the darkest hour, He is there.
I remember screaming out at Him that His word says He loves Jorjia even more than I do, and that I accepted that I had no control. This was a few years back – before she got sober. I know that it didn’t get her sober and I know that it won’t keep her sober. What it did was help me put some things in perspective and be able to begin to stop enabling her.
We were blessed, Jorjia made it out.
Now we pray that she is able stay out.
It is a day by day choice to fight.
Addiction doesn’t just evaporate like alcohol spilled from a bottle.
It’s always there.
Always waiting for a chance to sneak back in.
Keep fighting Jorjia!
Love, your mama, Amy
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Monica di Loxley
Woman in window
Woman long hair & black tank