I lived in Seattle for 30 years. My problems began when I moved to Portland. That is where my addiction took full flight. I had always been a drinker but started experimenting with crack cocaine. I heard stories about people who had become hooked, but thought that I was unique and it wouldn't happen to me. I became addicted in 2000 and started a seven year stretch of addiction that would eventually include heroin.
In that seven years. I ended up divorced, homeless and jailed, and my family moved away. I also experienced a violent relationship. I can't describe the feeling of complete uselessness, the loneliness, despair and trauma that I experienced in those years.
I moved back to Seattle to get clean and succeeded for a short time. But I relapsed and then I ended up pregnant. I remained in addiction all during my pregnancy and in 2007 gave birth to my daughter. The state immediately stepped in and took custody.
I continued in addiction for the next 14 months. The clock was ticking and I needed to become engaged in services if I had any hope of being a mother to my daughter. I started yearlong inpatient treatment in 2008, graduated from the program and started working full-time and doing all of the services that the court had ordered.
One by one, was able to work down the list of required services. I went from non-compliant to partially compliant to compliant. Today I can attest to the power of faith, support and love. My daughter and I are together. And she is a light brighter than anything that has touched my life.
Washington State Parent Ally Committee
c/o Children's Home Society of Washington
PO Box 15190
Seattle, WA 98115