I didn't talk about Matt's addiction at work. Addiction is a dirty word. It was my dirty little secret. I would sit and listen to my fellow nurses brag about the accomplishments of their children, all the while wanting to scream. My child is an addict and I need to be supported, not shunned, MaryBeth Cichocki says in her honest and sad letter posted on HuffingtonPost. Cichocki, a NICU nurse, suffered through her son's addiction like many mothers: denying her son had a problem, admitting he did, kicking him out, letting him back in, sending him to rehab, living in fear, trying to save his life, giving up her own life to save someone who didn't want to be saved. In the end, she lost her son to an overdose after he had gone to rehab and gotten on the straight and narrow. But addiction is a nasty beast, a monster that rears its head when you least expect it. And Cichocki lost her son when he relapsed.
Here was this woman who was saving other mother's children, but as she puts it, was unable to save her own. "Matt's addiction became my addiction. I was addicted to saving him. Yes, I know, I've heard it all. Only the addict can save himself. Unfortunately, I saved other mother's babies for a living so I foolishly let myself think that I had the power to save my own. I let myself believe that I had the problem under control. I was a nurse, how could my son be an addict," she says. She did her part, more than her part. And yet, she still felt it wasn't enough. Being a nurse I had contacts in the treatment world and believe me I exhausted them. There wasn't a mental health facility in Delaware that I haven't visited with Matt in tow.
Unfortunately for us my state had no rehabs so it was always a fight to find him a safe place out of state. Getting him admitted and finally being able to breath even just for 28 days felt like the weight of the world left my heart. Knowing he was safe gave me the false security that my son would also be one of the survivors. Matt coming home was always a mixed bag of emotions. Yes, I was happy to see him but at the same time I was scared to death. Being the mother of an addict is not easy. It's hard. It's heartbreaking. "We spoke at 6:23 p.m. on Friday night. He died 5 a.m. on Saturday morning. My last words to him were, 'I love you Matt, stay safe.' He replied with, 'I love you, Mom, I'll call you tomorrow.' That call never came. No amount of nursing education could have prepared me for this ending." No closure. After birthing and raising her son, seeing him through his addiction, she lost him with no closure.
Today, Cichocki runs a blog dedicated to Mat's life called mothersheartbreak.com, where, she says, "I offer support to other mothers who share my grief of losing a child to addiction. I speak out against the stigma that prevents addicts from getting the treatment they need and deserve. I pray that someday I will find peace knowing that Matt is safe, and I hope to forgive myself. I used to think I was a smart girl, a critical care nurse who saved other mother's babies but could not save her own." If you or someone you love is suffering through addiction, share your story. It's through these stories that we find support and strength.
l View Hide Sources:
Seeking addiction treatment can feel overwhelming. We know the struggle, which is why we're uniquely qualified to help.
Your call is confidential, and there's no pressure to commit to treatment until you're ready. As a voluntary facility, we're here to help you heal -- on your terms. Our sole focus is getting you back to the healthy, sober life you deserve, and we are ready and waiting to answer your questions or concerns 24/7.
l Family & Friends
l Dual Diagnosis
l Inpatient Treatment
You don’t have to go through detox and rehab treatment alone. Get the help you need today. Speak with a treatment specialist now about the struggles you are facing.
Enter your phone number below
You will receive a call from a treatment specialist
Calls to our general helpline will be answered by Freedom From Addiction an online addiction resource owned and operated by Desert Rose FL, LLC (Desert Rose Recovery) a Behavioral Health Options company (BHO). Information provided is for internal use only and not shared or distributed in any manner.
Our Treatment Specialist work solely for BHO and will discuss whether BHO facilities are an option for you.
Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. BHO does not provide referrals nor receive any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment a visitor may ultimately choose.
Our mission is to improve access to substance use disorder and dual-diagnosis treatment by making easier to ask for help and get reliable resources faster. FFA is saving lives by improving universal access for addiction treatment help.
Technology to educate and empower society on a path to recovery. One addict at a time.
© Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved, Freedom From Addiction