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Chocolate-box

I remember when I really learned the truth of this statement.

My daughter was a drug addict. I was cautiously optimistic that she was serious this time. Jaime moved back into her old room after being gone for 10 years. We lived in a 2 bedroom condo and during her departure I learned to live in my whole house. It didn’t seem so small – until she moved back in.

Jaime detoxed, and then left for a recovery center several states away. I gave her the opportunity to clean out her room before she left. She didn’t take it, but knew that leaving me in charge, well….things just might go missing. She knew!

I began the arduous task of cleaning out her room. I wanted to get rid of any semblance of her old lifestyle. I hoped that when she came home she could start fresh.

In her armoire I found 2 bottles of pills. One was Oxycodone and the other MORPHINE. As a child morphine meant “the end.” A person on morphine was being kept “comfortable” until their last day of life.

And here my daughter had two bottles of pills that weren’t even her drugs of choice. These were, what I call, her step-down drugs. They supplied just enough relief, without her becoming too dependent on them.

I remember holding those bottles and thinking that I could stay “high” for a long time if I chose to. If I was a different type of person I could fill my wallet quite nicely.

I chose neither of those options. Those pills did absolutely NOTHING for me. I was glad to throw them away.

I went back to Jaime’s room and found a heart-shaped valentine’s box. I opened the box and to my astonishment it was filled with Hershey kisses. I remember when she bought these.

She had stayed at an assisted living center for 3 months after her below the knee amputation. These chocolates were left over from the gifts she made for her nurses and friends on Valentine’s Day. I found them at the end of April.

As I held this box of chocolates I pondered so many questions! How did I not know these chocolates were here? What was wrong with my daughter? Did I not teach her well? How could she keep them and not eat them? Why was this box still so full after 2 months?

Within 3 hours those chocolates were history. I peeled and ate every last one of them!

Chocolate is said to have the same effect on ones’ brain as marijuana, cocaine, and love. As I stood at my kitchen sink – coming down from my sugar high – I had a different view of my daughters addiction. I saw that while I was diligent in other areas of my life, once faced with a weakness – a compulsion, I was a full blown addict.

My heart softened to the pain and torment my daughter suffered with for over 10 years. Many times I questioned why she couldn’t “just stop.” My chocolate fest showed me the power of the pull something can have on your life – until we make the choice to detox and rehabilitate.

Is there anything in your life that you struggle to keep under control? Do you think that will power is real?

  1. December 20, 2013

    Pac Man. I was addicted to it in college. I missed the only class I ever missed at any time in my entire education to play that game. When I went home from college for the Thanksgiving holiday I decided to quit cold turkey.

    I did. I totally lost my desire to ever play again. I stay away from computer games, especially those on Facebook. I know that I would be right back in the same place.

    I have an addictive personality. Without the Spirit’s help (self-control, after all, is a fruit of the Spirit) I would be drowning. Things do sneak up on you. Good luck with chocolate and the holidays. It’s really tough. I like chocolate too much, too.

    • December 20, 2013

      Thank you for sharing Eva. No chocolate is making it’s way through the front door this year!!

  2. December 20, 2013

    Sheryl…this is such a strong post. It really puts things in perspective. There is no one that is without sin or temptation. But for the grace of God, we are all addicts with no hope.

    Thanks for being so open. Your perspective is both authentic and a powerful reminder.

    • December 20, 2013

      Thank you Kent. I hope that God’s grace will shine through always. I would be nothing if not for Him!

  3. December 21, 2013

    Sheryl, this is an important site and topic while I did not have a child addicted to drugs I did have one in an unhealthy relationship…there’s no rehab for that.

    I too had many “angry” and judgemental times of prayer for my child, before The Lord began to show me my own sin, “bonds of wickedness” and I was able to pray with compassion and faith rather than judgement and fear…that was when my prayers began to be answered.

    Many parents will be helped with your story. God Bless You, your daughter and your ministry!

    • December 23, 2013

      Thank you Celeste for your encouraging words! I am so glad your prayers were answered. Isn’t it so much easier when we “just” give it over to God?

  4. December 22, 2013

    I used to have a different perspective on addiction. I was talking to a friend one day and said “I just don’t get it, they know its bad for them, and they still do it. Why can’t they just see it!”
    My wise friend asked me “Why are you FAT!!!”
    The question shocked me, not because I didn’t want to face the fact that I am fat, but it was so removed from our topic of addiction…….or so I thought.
    He went on to point out that I was studying medical stuff and yet I weighed more than 300lbs.
    He said “you know that overeating is bad for you, and will probably kill you at a younger age than you should die. Yet you keep eating more than you should. Why?”
    I now realize that I am a food addict and am on the road to recovery, but more than that it helped me realize that “addicts” are not much different from you and I.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. This is a great opportunity for people to learn from you.

    • December 23, 2013

      Allan, thank you for sharing a piece of your soul! What a realization. Yes, we all have a thorn in our flesh, but we can overcome. Best wishes on your “recovery!”

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