My name is Jane and I am the mother of a recovering addict. My son, Korey struggled with addiction from the age of 17 years old up to when he got clean at the age of 30. My son was a criminal in the eyes of the law and had served a 5 year prison sentence, but as his Mother I knew what a good person he was when not under the influence of drugs. I even wrote the warden a letter letting him know that. He said I was the first Mom he ever got a letter from. I guess that is why I pretty much believed everything he told me when it came to needing money & borrowing my car. The new car that I only had for 2 weeks before he totaled it in Baltimore. He had taken me to my local doctor appointment and dropped me off. He said he would be back in an hour to pick me up. An hour turned into me having to walk home, worrying where and how he was and where was my car. A single mom with 1 income I was thinking the worst. The call came from him later telling me that he had totaled my car and had minor injuries. I cried so hard but was thankful he was okay. This was not the only time my car disappeared. He took it to Baltimore and was arrested. As a result it was impounded so I had to pay to get it out of impound. I hated that my car felt dirty to me knowing there were drugs and needles in it and God only knows who was in it so I decided to trade it in. Korey’s response to that was, “I did you a favor Mom, now you have a nicer car.” There were times when I would come home from work and would find needles on my floor but of course they weren’t Korey’s (someone else must have been there) Living with an addict is heart breaking and sometimes I would think…who is going to die from this first him or me. I loved Korey so much that he tells me now I was loving him to death. I was an enabler and didn’t even realize it. That broke my heart to hear him say but it was true now that I look back on it. I was so depressed and my heart ached for him. I watched him lay on the sofa and shake. I would cover him up and he would beg me to please find him some drugs. He would say, Mom I don’t want to be like this!!!! Just writing this after all these years I still cry. It’s something you will never forget. I had to sleep with my purse in bed with me and keep my bedroom door locked. There were times when I was afraid of my own child. I knew this person who had stolen my rent money and my checks was not the same person I raised. Everyone saw what this was doing to me and they would say there is nothing you can do—GIVE UP ON HIM. This was something I was not willing to do and decided to fight even harder. Everyone needs to realize this is a Disease. Just like alcohol and cigarettes but thousands of times worse. I wrote letters to this TV show called Intervention asking for their help and they responded with how much money I needed to send him to the rehab, which I could not afford so that was not an option. I became more depressed to the point that when I came home from work I pulled down the blinds, locked the doors and sat and cried just hoping no-one would call or knock on the door. I didn’t want to hear the negativity. Korey had even robbed family members so I felt nobody understood the power of drug addiction. He had felony charges so not many wanted to give him a second chance. Nobody until I wrote a letter to Drug Court and ask them to please give him a chance to show he can change and they did just that. Drug Court turned Korey’s life around—sure he had his setbacks but he fought through them.
I want all of the Mom’s and Dad’s to know there is always hope in this fight against drugs. Follow your hearts and don’t give up on them no matter how hard it seems. Never stop loving them or praying which I did a lot of. I also find that I don’t pass judgment now because I know what they are going through. These drugs are tearing families apart and taking innocent lives.
Korey went from living on the streets of Baltimore to starting the Up & Out Foundation, serving a 3 year term on the Frederick County Substance Abuse Council, receiving the 2nd Chance Do-Gooder Award and many other accomplishments. This is a true testament that you can GET UP AND OUT from these drugs. His goal is to help as many as he possibly can. He tells me never look down on someone unless you are helping them up. I am proud to say Korey is my son and I don’t have to hide behind locked doors anymore ashamed of what people are thinking or saying.
Today he is a great son and a wonderful dad to his beautiful 4 year old daughter Kalynn whom I would never have gotten the pleasure of loving if he had not gotten clean.