Of all of my years living with addiction, then recovery, then in the quest for the always elusive sobriety; in all of my attempts to help others reach this place I’ve enjoyed for over twenty years, I’ve never felt this impacted.
I’ve never been bold enough to declare myself sober. I’m still trying to reach that place of complete clarity and calm. At best, I’m working the process. People have admired me for my strength. Trust me, I’ve got nothing inside remotely resembling strength.
I never have been as affected as I’ve been by the story of this little girl, Lilly, the baby her family, fans and followers call “Lilly Bug.”
This is a story of strength from corners totally unexpected and unrelated. In the depths of possibly the darkest, meanest, most broken corner of this life comes a strength I cannot even begin to imagine.
A baby born addicted to heroin. Think about that. Just stop what you are doing for a second, and ponder that, please.
This is a little girl who entered this world, and took her first breaths into her lungs addicted to heroin. Imagine your first act as a human being going though withdrawal – dope sick. Something that has killed so many. Imagine the sickest you’ve ever been in your life, now make it ten times worse.
Cerebral Palsy, no gag reflex, feeding tubes in her belly
This blog is going to be a journal of strength and sacrifice and courage. Courage from people like her grandma, who has put her life on hold to care for Lilly. It’s about the love of total strangers who have become a patchwork of family.
It is no one’s place to judge and comment on the mother, although many will. To the minority of people who believe addiction is a choice and addicts lack the inner strength to “pull themselves up” and out of addiction, please think about this: Think about the level of desperation required to buy a chemical off the street, of unknown origin or quality. You don’t know if it is rat poison, fentanyl, animal tranquilizer… Prepare it using crude, filthy tools, probably infected with God knows what disease. Now put that needle and drug, not sure if it will kill you, this time or next time, maybe in few hours – incredibly the odds are it will – put that rig into your vein.
At this point life has lost its meaning and the love of that life is, life itself is, at best, a fleeting memory.
Heroin is your life now… repeat the above cycle as needed…
Now imagine there was a baby inside you. Imagine the power of a drug to go against every instinct that has driven and molded humanity for thousands of years. The instinct to survive, to procreate, to parent, to care for your kids.
Imagine being addicted to a drug that negates those instincts.
Imagine being a baby born into this world and knowing noting but pain…
Now tell me it’s a fucking choice.