Addiction-Embrace the Moments


She was 2 months clean, after experiencing several seizures due to xanax withdrawal that hospitalized her. I remember this moment so clearly.  It was a Friday night, and my youngest daughter Brooke and I were going to work on a puzzle.  One of those huge 5000 piece puzzles that make my brain fizzle but she loves them.  We started to lay the pieces out, when my husband John came home and started to help us as well.

While we were sifting through, trying to find the corner pieces, Brittany walked in the door from a meeting.  She set her purse down and I fully expected her to go to her bedroom and shut the door, isolating herself in her depression, from the family, as she had done so often.

But this time, she walked into the kitchen.  A big smile on her face, grabbed a slice of pizza and started to pull out the puzzle pieces as well.

I remember practically not being able to breathe.  The joy in my heart was so heavy, tears stinging my eyes, with thoughts that she may just be slowly coming back to us.

As I stood back and watched my family laugh, tease, engaging in such a simple evening of putting a puzzle together, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  You see, it had been YEARS since we had a moment like this.  A moment of pure love, happiness, enjoying each other.

This moment I did not question her.  I did not ask her how she was feeling, or what her goals were, or bring up past issues.


I grabbed my phone and took this picture.  This picture represents so much to me.  Its a reminder to me to cherish the moments.  The moments of clarity, the moments of clean time, the moments of true family love.

With addiction, as family members, we can get so caught up in the chaos, in the panic, the moments of fear, anxiety, and yes, anger as well.

We must live in in the moment.  We must love them wherever they are in their journey and remove our own expectations of how WE feel they should recover.  Their recovery should not be on our timeline.

I know she is still there, the real Brittany, that addiction seemed to mask.  When these moments arise, it brings me to my knees thanking God that she is still here.  Still fighting.  Still alive.


With love and gratitude,



About the Author:


  1. Mary Geran Schifano November 6, 2017 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Beautifullly written. So true!

  2. Mike Grider November 6, 2017 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Love this…

  3. Liz November 6, 2017 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Oh, how I love this post. I can relate to it so much. My only daughter, Katie…my addict. I love her so much. I’ve gone thru the ups and downs and the hell of active addiction and then the euphoria of clean time… Clean time has never lasted long with my girl… maybe the longest she’s been clean is about a year and a half when she was in prison. When she was released, she was clean for about 8 months and then relapsed. Back and forth we go on this roller coaster of emotions… For me, fear is biggest emotion. What will happen to my beautiful girl? Will she ever be able to beat this addiction? Or will she eventually die at a young age? I just don’t know and that gives me tremendous fear. I do know that when she is clean, I cherish, CHERISH every single minute of her clear headed, funny, sweet and goofy self. Watching TV together, shopping, talking on the phone chit chatting, playing with the cat, doing puzzles.. all of it is precious. Every single minute. I live for these moments.

  4. Patty November 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    We should all appreciate those type moments but I really do understand why you are clutching it so tightly. Hoping and praying that the good moments, days, and years will outweigh the more difficult ones, now and forever.

  5. MICHELLE Bartley November 6, 2017 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Thankyou Katie!!

    A God sent reminder to trust Him now my son John his home. It was easy while he was in the bubble at ONE80TC! Now he’s home after a year in their program praise God but he’s also in the real world now where the possibility of his old lifestyle can drag him back

  6. Kim November 6, 2017 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Clearly Brooke felt the joy as well. Her face is lit up💕

  7. Jeanne Clausen November 6, 2017 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Written as though it came from my heart. Thank you.

  8. Anna November 7, 2017 at 8:35 am - Reply

    I know this feeling. ….we also have a puzzle we’re working on as well. Gives me peace of mind and brings us together for a little while. Blessings to you and Britney
    <3 <3?

  9. Regan Davidson November 7, 2017 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    I’m with you in cherishing the good times. My son was clean a year and a half when a friend was murdered. He then relapsed, od’d and suffered a heart attack as a result of the od. He then started taking xanax (off the street of course) and had trouble with that. He says he is clean, a couple of months, but lost his chance to live at gma’s after she found needles in her bed. He lives with a friend who is currently clean also. He turned 27 yesterday. I am glad he is still alive. At times amazed. He suffers from depression, anxiety, and probably ptsd from the numerous deaths of friends and associates. I’m certain it nears 20. I’m working so hard to break the cycle of dependence. It only hurts him. But his circumstances hurt me to my core. He has alienated all but myself and my mother.I’m encouraging him to get mental health help. Every day is a struggle.

  10. Karen November 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    This post has really struck a nerve with me! I am new to being a mother of a recovering addict and stay confused most of the time. My 20 year old son spiraled out of control rather quickly over the last year. He didn’t live with us at the time so I didn’t get to witness all the awful behavior, he had been living with my parents. He has just returned from a 60 day stay at a rehab and neither my husband nor I believe that was enough time but my husband has completely cut our son out of his life because he didn’t do it HIS way. He is not allowed to live with us or my parents now so we really have no contact with him to even see if there is progress. It breaks my heart, I stay stressed all the time–this tough love is TOUGH! I understand fully that an addict has to have an enabler to be an addict so I am being strong about not enabling. I am going to Al-Anon meetings by myself, reading everything I can to make it through and be there for my son.

  11. Nicole Clarke November 13, 2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    How lucky they are to have a mother like you. It is truly the little things. And what a beautiful happy picture. I’m glad you had the chance to capture such a moment – and to be able to appreciate it as well.

Leave A Comment