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Dear Loved Ones,

I hope you all had a Happy New Year’s Eve. I, on the other hand, barely slept, which is not surprising to me. You see I haven’t slept much in many years. Drug addiction does that. It steals sleep. It steals dreams. It steals confidence. It steals truths. It steals finances and security.

The saddest part is that all of these things have been stolen from me, and I am not addicted to drugs. I simply love people who are.

It has been almost thirteen years since this horrible disease of addiction entered my life and stole my thoughts. I live and breathe addiction twenty-four hours a day. I think about it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. If I sleep at all, addiction enters my dreams. It’s in my thoughts when I run, when I shower, when I paint, when I clean, when I cook, and when I write.

But the biggest thing addiction has stolen from me is my children. The children I gave birth to and nurtured and raised and loved. Addiction moved in and stole them. Now I’m afraid the addiction is going to steal the next generation. The children of addiction are now bearing the brunt of this terrible disease. Addiction is stealing their childhood.

The children are already forced to keep secrets and tell lies for their addicted parents. The teens and tweens have witnessed the effects of the drugs on the changing attitude and mood of the addicted and the anger and confrontations of the other parent.

The money spent on drugs steals from them as well. Money that should be spent on rent and mortgages, food and fun is instead spent on the disease. The time that should be spent with their parent is instead stolen by that parent to pursue quality time with heroin or cocaine or whatever it is that makes the addict feel better. Their “high” should be going home to a loving family, but addiction stole that pleasure and replaced it with long hours spent alone in pursuit of a miraculous feeling that I have yet to understand.

As I sit at my computer this New Year’s morning, unable to think of anything else but addiction, I cry, hoping my loving husband does not come in to see that addiction has once again been a thief. It has stolen this beautiful, sunny morning and the promise of a wonderful new year.

Drying my tears, I can only say that I hope and pray that this year will be better and bring an end to the thief in our family.

With All My Love,

Mom