I am going to jail

Sheriff Leonard of the much admired HARP (HARP = Heroin Addicts Seek Fresh Start) program in Chesterfield County along with Dr. Gay and the rest of the crew has invited me in to speak to women struggling with substance use disorder. This program is saving lives.

Imagine realizing your disease has landed you in jail. And then go one step further and think about how it feels when you realize some action on your part separated you from your children.

Many of these women struggle to find hope but they are attending the classes and they want to get better. No one wants to be addicted to a substance. I’m going to bet everyone of them feels some sense of shame and wants their family back.

So my topic, will be finding hope.

Basically, I’ll tell my story and how I manage to survive and find hope after the most devastating loss of my life. I will be, of course, emotionally naked. I’ll share with them my own mistakes and grief relapses, my irrational fears along the way. I want these ladies to know they can dig deep. They have to focus out as well as in and they can have their families back. And that the first step is believing all of that will happen and never, ever giving up. I want them to know they are an integral part to re-connecting us as a culture. I would even like some of them to share their stories here.

Because honestly, I don’t know what it’s like.

Just like many of them might not really know what it’s like to lose a child to suicide who was suffering from SUD and depression. So I’ll be there to listen to what they have to say, too. I want to know their hopes, fears, goals and what coping skills they will cultivate to manage adversity going forward.

Most of all, I want them to know they matter. That they are important. And to believe in themselves and hold onto hope with the edges of their fingernails no matter what and never let that pilot light go out.

Addiction: The broken reward system

 

 

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.

10 thoughts on “I am going to jail”

  1. This. This is so cool. You will get so much more than you give, and you will give your all to these ladies. Amazing! You are a blessing, Anne Moss!

  2. “Most of all, I want them to know they matter. That they are important. And to believe in themselves and hold onto hope with the edges of their fingernails no matter what and never let that pilot light go out.” The ladies really do need to hear that.

    A group of ladies and I have been going to the Richmond City Justice Center for almost 2 years now with with that same message. We try to follow up when they get out at as well.

  3. A couple of weeks after Billy died I received a letter that was in a Hope Church envelope. Inside was another envelope with a department of corrections stamp. I was having a horrible day. Was so sad. Didn’t want to be the “poster child” for heroin addiction. This letter was from three women in jail in Chesterfield. They told me that they had read Billy’s obituary, that in fact the entire 40+ group of women had all read it. They shared their stories with me. They thanked me for understanding the disease. That’s when I decided to put my big girl panties on and use our story to help. Those women didn’t have to take the time to each write me. But they did and it meant so very much. I’m glad you’re going Anne Moss. I hope to be able to one day as well. 💙

    1. Oh wow. That brings tears to my eyes. I’m going to share this comment with them. I think this is how I will end the presentation. A great ending to a message of hope delivered by our little village of caring.

  4. AM – thank you so much for taking hope to these woman. So needed and they are so deserving of our love and compassion.

  5. You’re so right – no one wants to be an addict. I’m looking forward to hearing their stories. Tell them we care.

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