MAYDAY FOR EVERYONE!
Posted February 2016
My name is Connie Riddick and I am a recovering codependent!
For many years I have battled addiction on the side lines and for many of those years I have been defeated. My daughter has suffered from this terrible disease for almost 10 years now. She is beautiful, intelligent, compassionate and extremely talented. Before drugs were in her life, she showed great promise of a future that could have taken her to any place she desired. She was involved in many extracurricular activities during her young life. She was a great student, 1st chair in her school band, an amazing singing ability, was cheerleading captain, involved in 4-H and spent many hours volunteering to help others.
When it was time for her to get her driver’s license, it seemed as though she traded her brain for them. She became the mother of twins at age 17. For a while she straighten up, finished high school and then worked as an administrative coordinator for a prominent company. Then she was laid off so she enrolled in a community college to study cosmetology. She lost her focus and that’s when her life began to spiral out of control. She began to slowly lose everything that she had once loved more than life. After her addiction became apparent, the girls went to live with their dad. It was in those days that I thought certainly she would pull herself out of this life for their sake, but it only worsened.
For years I blamed myself and her father for her addiction. I blamed our failed business, a divorce from her father, a broken court system, and the list goes on and on. I let her addiction dictate my life and allowed her to manipulate me time and time again. Everyone said you need to show her tough love so I had her arrested, testified against her in court and pleaded with the judge to please send her to treatment before she killed herself or even worse, someone else. I have kicked her out, disowned her, stalked her, chased her down, took her to NA meetings, to see counselors, to church services, rushed her to the hospital on many occasions, begged and pleaded, but no matter what, I could not change her path of destruction. She has had many overdose episodes that I know about and I am sure many more that I do not. GOD has spared her life so many times and I know that her days cannot continue like this before the inevitable happens. I live in fear for her life constantly.
I have suffered with her for a long time, and let me tell you, the pain is real! I have been very sick from worry and spent many sleepless nights. Feeling defeated and sick, I laid it all at the Lord’s feet. I spent many hours studying to find peace and understanding. I slowly began to see substance abuse for what it truly is. I have prayed and prayed and the answer that keeps whispering to me has made me think I must be crazy! How in the world can I help others when I can’t help my own? I really don’t know how all of this will come to pass but my faith in this has blossomed because of the continued support I have received from many that have this common desire to take action. Through their support I have come to realize that this pain is not just mine, as we all can sadly see many lives that this substance abuse epidemic is destroying. It’s catching on like a wild fire burning out of control.
In the past few years, I have learned many things that have helped me improve my life and break the chains of enabling and codependency. Through all the pain and sorrow I have come realize that I am not alone as I have witnessed many losses due to this debilitating disease, including lives of ones I hold dear. I am sad to say that I have personally known 10 people that have died due to this madness since I had this vision of helping others by asking everyone I can find to stand with me and come together to shed some light on all of this darkness. I finally have the courage to pursue that dream and I have had many amazing people pledge to be a part of that glorious day when people come together me to take action in a different way. Yes, I am truly overwhelmed by all the support I have received from people like myself that are willing to embark on a journey to change the sigma of addiction.
We are in the process of organizing a large community service event called “May Day” scheduled for 5-14-16 at Perquimans County Recreation Dept. in the small town of Hertford located in Northeastern NC.
The MAYDAY event seeks to promote community understanding of substance abuse as a brain disease, not a moral weakness, and to provide information as to local, regional, and statewide supports and resources available to addicted persons and their families. This year’s MAYDAY event will be held at the Perquimans County Recreation Department, 310 Granby St. Hertford NC. The day will be highlighted by guest speakers reknown Addictionologist, Dr. Michael Bohan and his associate, Saulo Ortiz, LCSW from Meridian Psychotherapy in Virginia Beach, VA. Other speakers will include representatives of the 12-step recovery community. Inspirational musical groups will be performing and there will be food vendors on site as well. There will be no cost for the event and all food sales will go toward our mission fund.
Local substance abuse and mental health professionals will be available to provide information, educational materials and appropriate referral to persons who may have a substance/alcohol problem or families affected by these issues. By pooling our resources, event participants will receive an up to date listing of resources and referral sources. Other booths will include AA, NA, Spiritual Supports, and Healthy Coping Options/Self Care, all of which are volunteers of the mission.
There is great need for substance abuse awareness, prevention and services in our community and the surrounding counties. We are currently in the planning process and request your help to make this event and the further development of community services and awareness happen. All proceeds from this event will be used to fund substance abuse prevention programs and to support organizations that assist in recovery for the addict and their families. Please support our ever important mission.
Thank you and God Bless
Connie Riddick, May Day Mission Coordinator