My reasons for running have changed over the years from a desire for fitness, to compete in races, and to decompress from the mental weariness that came with being the mother of an addict. Now I run to cope with and to overcome the despair from the death of my only child to a drug overdose
My only child was found dead in his apartment on Feb 12, 2014.
He was only 26.
I run for those who have lost their lives to addiction.
I run for those who continue to struggle.
I run for addiction awareness and prevention.
I run for those who believe it could not happen to their family.
Running brings life back to me through body, mind, and spirit. As I listen to my breathing and my footsteps, running reminds me that I am strong, that I have purpose, that the world is still beautiful, and that life really is a gift in spite of the grief and sorrow.
I run to remember my beautiful boy before addiction caught him in its ugly snare. Grief has been my greatest teacher. It has taught me to pay attention, to remember that each moment is sacred and may be the last, to love the gift of life and to practice gratitude.
If God had whispered in my ear moments before the nurse placed my newborn baby boy into my arms, "there will be much heartache on the road ahead and you can only have him for 26 years...do you still want him?" My reply would have been a swift and resounding “Yes”.
Eric was 16 years old when he hurt his back playing high school football. When he was in pain from standing so long at the neighborhood restaurant he worked at, his boss gave him the painkiller oxycontin. He told him to take them because they would make him feel better and to keep on working. He gave Eric those pills for quite some time. A drug addict was born and the living nightmare began.
Eric would lie. He would steal. He would do whatever he could to get the drugs he needed. He became someone I no longer recognized. I cried, begged, enabled, threatened, screamed and used tough love. I became addicted to his addiction.
How I managed to keep my job was a miracle. How my new husband came into my life and actually stayed is a miracle. How I didn't have a breakdown is a miracle. I kept it all hidden from friends and family for many years because of the awful stigma associated with addicts.
I was still trying to protect my son. I would have given my life for him.
Now that you’ve read her story would you please take a moment and click on the link below to vote to get Kimberly on the cover of this magazine to spread the word and raise awareness. A click on a link is so powerful.
Thank you all.
- Anita Devlin