People who are addicted to drugs and other substance are suffering and need all the help and love to help them recover. I watch my younger brother struggle with addiction for almost 10 years. He went to two rehabilitation homes; during his third rehab, our mother wrote him this letter:
July 12, 2016
When I had your older brother and sister, I was very young and I didn’t have the time and money to take care of them properly. When I had you, I gave you everything. I loved you more than everyone. I provided all your needs and wants.
When you were growing up, you were smart and intelligent and everyone that knew you loved you. You gave us so much happiness and we thank God every day for bringing you into our lives. I watched you grow from a sweet innocent bundle of joy to a mischievous little boy. Doing all the things that little boys do. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that one day a horrible disease would strike you and turn you into a monster.
When you became a teenager I saw changes but thought that it was just typical teenage behavior. But as days and weeks went by the typical turned into worry, and worry to fear, and that fear into desperation.
It began with small things, like not entering class when your dad dropped you off at school and having low grades until the addiction enveloped your entire life. Then it was all about how to get the money for the drugs; where to get the drugs; and then how to do the drug but not let anyone know you have. We were still giving you money because we never knew that you were doing drugs. We thought that you didn’t like the school anymore so we changed your school, but you kept failing because you were not going to school. We noticed that something weird was going on with you after we started seeing all kinds of friends coming to the house to look for you. We became afraid that you might follow them and start taking drugs so we stopped giving you money (not knowing that you were already addicted to drug).
You became a liar, a thief and a full-blown drug addict. Your father and I have always been good parents, even without a handbook. We prayed, and did all the right things. We were guided by specialists and really believed in them. We did all that we were asked to do, we even sent you to rehabilitation homes on two different occasions but you still allow addiction to creep into your life and destroy your entire family and leave us with pain and loss. I tried to ignore you but it kept eating me inside and I started performing poorly on my job. Your father tried to be violent and hard on you, but it led him to mild stroke. Your brothers and sister talked to you and set all the examples for you to follow, but you ignore all of them and follow your addiction.
Though you hurt all of us, we still love you and want the best of you. You are praying and hoping that you use this last opportunity to get well and go back to your normal life. We are here ready to give you all the help you need. Please use this your last chance wisely.
By Josephine Monger
Josephine Monger holds a BSW in social work from the Stella Maris Polytechnic, the Founder of the Elections & Us Project, a 2017 Humphrey Fellowship finalist, a YALI RLC Nigeria N2 Cohort participant, a YALI Elections TechCamp Ghana 2016 participant and currently working as a project associate at the United Nations Development Programme-Liberia.
Read more about Josephine here