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Kelly is a person in long-term recovery – This is part of her story


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I’m ready when you guys are.
We can just start it real naturally if you wanna you know, take a deep breath.

I feel like I’m about to do a triathlon, I’m all nervous.

Okay, I’m ready now.


Do you remember that thanks giving, when Debbie came to visit?
That to me was probably the thing that took me right over the edge.
Everybody was against me, Roger was against me, Debbie was against me. It was
a family thing and I knew you needed help.

And that is when I started, and Debbie helped me. We called California, we
called Florida, we called Utah, we called all these places, cause money was
tied, do you remember that time?
You don’t have any memory of that.

I don’t even remember the thanks giving now.

No, it was really really difficult.

What was it that I did?

I think it was the very first time, I admitted to myself that you really did
have a problem. There was something I didn’t understand. And I think you were
just asleep, on the table, at the table, the dining table. You were rude and
you’d giggle for five minutes or 10 minutes at nothing, and then you’d go back
to sleep. And there was kind of fight in the whole family.

I think that I always knew I had a problem, but I thought that it was a
manageable problem. So I guess would be like you know, for me recognizing when
it wasn’t manageable anymore. Because even in New York, I mean I was using the
whole time. But I felt like I had control of things. Like I had a little bit
of a thumb on things you know. I could hide it enough where I felt like it
wasn’t completely obvious. And when I came down here to Florida, and then I
got clean for a little tiny bit, as far as the OP, and then it kind of
escalated here, I would say. And I think really after Dad died was when I
recognized me being completely out of control. But I don’t really remember when
it was that, it was like all of a sudden I was in control, in control, and
then I don’t even remember when I was completely out of control, because all
of a sudden it was there.

I think it was when Joey’s here. Or

Yeah, It probably not..

When it seem to go really really bad..

and didn’t, it just climbed uphill again..

Right. And then it was, I mean that was when the cheating and the lying and
the stealing and the, that was like all day everyday. And I was always,
constantly, like worrying about how to hide what from who. It’s because I
spent all my time hiding everything from you, and like all the family, from
Joe, like the whole, everybody. And I was consumed by hiding the addiction,
finding the substance, like it was all day thing. Like it was consuming. And
so you know, I really didn’t notice my actions per se, cause I was so consumed
by hiding and finding.

I think the first time, I knew there was something but I thought also that
I’m a mom and I can fix it.


And when you lived in the cute little house, by the water. And you had, you
started cutting yourself, you got spots and you’re cutting your arm, and
cutting your face and from then on, and then I thought I could fix it. But the
first time I realized that I couldn’t fix it was the thanksgiving, and you
needed help.

I think, one of the things that was the hardest for me, was that initial
acceptance that there was something, again not 100% sure what it was, but knew
there was something was when you were cutting your face and your arms, and
you’d say “Look, look, do you see this, can you see this?” and I’d be like
“No.”. So I felt like I had to be with you 24/7. And then you got the job that
offered clients alcohol as a courtesy, and I spent more money in that store
because I felt that I should be watching you 24/7. And sometimes that, which
you don’t know, I just park my car and just be watching you through the
window to see if you’re okay. So if you did anything wrong I could protect
you, remember that bit.


But that didn’t work, did it?

What was the next bit? When you started falling asleep all the time, and I
think the real big big big one for me was when you wouldn’t respond to me on
your birthday. Do you remember that?



No, you can carry on.

I told him I’m not a crier so.

I know you’re not, but I am.

When you came back from treatment, and I redecorated all your room, oh dear.

Okay. Okay. I decorated your room, I thought if I’d change everything,
papered, painted. Do you remember?

Of course.

New bed covers, new furniture, you’d have a fresh start, but it didn’t work.
I wasn’t going to do this, oh dear.

It’s hard.

And, but I don’t know why I’m doing that because it’s nice now.

And remember that birthday?

I just remembered not coming till really late in the day.

I’ve been calling you all day, every hour.

All day, and I think I don’t even remember what I was doing. I have no idea. I
was probably trying to find shit.

There was a group of friends in the house, obviously fellow users. And you got
that cute apartment, and they were all in there. We did, it did, at this point
now, I was ready to divorce my husband, I was ready to dump all my friends,
because they were all talking negatively. And they’re all being know-alls. And
I thought I could fix it. And I did kinda, but I didn’t do a very good job.
But I finally got you the right place.

Trudie, can you, can you speak to Kelly about what it’s been like for you to
watch how she’s changed and to watch part of her come back, the part of her
that was lost for a while.

Oh I can do that one easily.


That’s easy.

Yeah. You could do it.


Can you maybe think of memorable times when you visited her specifically
around the time that she was from Into Action, that, any kind of things that
stand out when it comes to..

You know, the first thing that stands out to me is the day we dropped you off
here. Me and Christopher came up together, three of us came up together. It
was in the evening, we stopped at the garage down the road. You wanted soda
before you came in. It kinda reminded me of when I went to hospital to give
birth to you, because I got to the hospital, and I was in labor, and decided
to get some mints so I did three trips to the shop going round and round the
block, cause I didn’t want to go in. And that’s what kinda reminded me of that
time. And we came and we dropped you off. And I honestly felt, at that point,
it could have been wishful thinking, I don’t know, but I felt like this was
the right time and the right place to be. And then just a few weeks later,
when we get to come to the open house, or the parents day or whatever it was
called. To see you all ready, still not a hundred percent and still not my
Little Kelly, but to see you improved such an extent was unbelievable. And
obviously all the time you’re nervous, and I’m watching you, thinking “is she
gonna make it, is she gonna make it” but, I kinda knew it would.

You know, when I came here, there was things that had happened that were
different that time, As far as me actually trying to get help. And then, I
didn’t feel very different for a while, like I felt, but all I wasn’t doing
was making promises like , you know, I’m not gonna say anything cause I felt
like I was gonna still mess up. So and I think that was maybe the beginning of
change. And then as I got better and better, it’s just like they say, you
know, who you love the most nothing changes. And it was this, as if I’ve been
on vacation for the past 15 years. You know what I mean?


Like I’ve been on this like, I’ve on one side of the world and you’ve been on
the other, and all of a sudden came home, that was what it felt like.


Oohhh, So and then you were like the best friend, the mom that pretended that
the time haven’t even been gone. Like you just pretended like 15 years wasn’t
gone, and it was just 15 years ago just the next day.

So, you know for me that allowed me to move forward. And you didn’t harp on
me, and you didn’t feel bad and then I can just get better and better. And now
I feel like we have a relationship that’s even.


I feel like I can talk to you, I feel like and you can talk to me. I feel like
I can set boundaries just like, I feel like, I hope you can set boundaries, I
feel like we can have an adult relationship which I don’t think we’ve ever had
because I was a kid and then I was an adult on drugs, so I was a kid. So now I
have like a best friend and a mom, you know, cause we’re adults now.

It really is nice to have, because you went from being a child, because you
were 16,17 and you did the childhood things then. Then, when you turned into
an adult, you stayed a child and that’s true.

And now, it’s true I got a friend. I can say to you.

You cooked the thanksgiving dinner this year, which I’ve never ever been able
to say that, never.


So it’s true, we’ve grown.

But I can say how actually proud I am, because I really am. I’m proud you got
through it, you made it. You worked hard. Came out absolutely flying. And now
you’re helping others, I couldn’t be more proud ever. I know how hard you
tried. And you’re the best little girl in the world. And I must say an adult,
you’ll always be my little girl.

Right, and like I said I can’t put into words, cause I don’t think there is.
The only thing that I can do is just to continue to do what I do, which is
just to stay sober, be honest, be open. Because words meant so little back
then. And I think you’d agree like actions speaks a lot louder than words, and
specially when it comes to this disease cause a lot of the time I did a lot of
this. And I didn’t show anything for it, so I feel like I try to show instead
of speaking nowadays. But I mean, as far as being grateful, I mean I could
never me more grateful that you did everything that you did for me, which was
more than a lot of people would do. I mean you never gave up on me ever.
Ever, ever, ever.

No, never will either, no reason to. Cause eventually you would get there.
Look at you now a blooming triathlete as well. Hey you’re a little superstar
now. Winning races. Dedicating your time to working out and getting strong and
helping. I think that’s the thing I’m most proud about, that you help others
now. To get through what you got through, and that’s good.

I love you.

I love you too doll. Now I need a tissue. Baby girl. Can I get a tissue?

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