Thank You Mom, For Never Giving Up on Me, by Brittany Sherfield

katie britt 2016 18 months clean

For so long, I never understood how my mom stuck by my side. After all of the harm I’ve done, the lies I’ve told, things I’ve stolen…how did she still love and support me?

Once I got sober, I slowly began to understand.

April 2016, I was about 13 months sober and I received a call from my mom. A worried mother in North Carolina had contacted her. Her daughter was homeless in south florida and was on a crazy run. She knew where her daughter was and I wasn’t too far from the area. I never hesitate to help someone and I certainly didn’t this time either.

My mom sent me a picture of her and ten minutes later I found the girl. When I pulled up, my heart sank. She was beautiful..gorgeous blonde hair, bright green and blue eyes. When she got into my car, no words were spoken. I didn’t even know this girl and we instantly hugged each other and started sobbing. I could feel her pain, I could feel how broken she was and I could remember what that was like for me.

A little over 2 years ago, I remember sitting in my room when my mom came in and found me using. I have a younger sister who was 10 at the time and my mom could not have this in her home. At this point, I had been a full blown heroin addict for over 5 years and I knew all of the damage I had I left. I roamed the streets of Detroit for 3 days. I didn’t talk to my parents and I didn’t have any friends left.. I was alone and terrified. I used everything I could find and destroyed anything attempting to stop me. I stole someone’s car and ran around the city like I owned the place. 3 days..3 long, lonely, terrifying, destructive days. My runs kept getting shorter and shorter. And each time they got worse. 

I finally called my mom. I had made it back to the suburbs and was sitting in a Chase bank parking lot, sobbing. I wanted help and she instantly set everything up for me to go to treatment. Not even 20 minutes later I called her back..”I can’t do it mom. Tell Brooke I love her.” My life had spiraled out of control in the darkest ways and I didn’t know a way out of it. I was done. I didn’t want to try addiction created an obsession of drugs and alcohol so profound that I could not control it. I had contemplated suicide for so long and now I was ready.

As I cooked up the shot that was going to put me out of my misery, I cried uncontrollably..thoughts and memories of what life used to be like came racing through my mind like a tornado. Even though so many memories were happy ones, it put me in a dark depression. The only thing that truly made me happy at that moment was knowing I wasn’t going to be alive anymore. I laid back and let the drugs take over my body. When I woke up in the hospital, the only way I can describe the way I felt was hopeless. Even the drugs wouldn’t kill me.

I remember praying for God to please just curse me with any disease, a car accident, anything that would kill me since the drugs wouldn’t. Toward the end, the only reason I used was to die. Even after being so ungrateful for everything my mother had done for me, after not caring about how SHE felt through all of this..she still loved me. She might have been mad, disappointed, angry, hurt..but she loved me nonetheless. She saw how broken I was laying in that hospital bed. She took me into her arms and told me it was going to be okay. And I finally realized she was WAS going to be okay.

Over the last few months that girl and I became very good friends..she is like my soul sister. Her story is my story and vice versa. Everything she does in her addiction, I did. The way she is when she is sober – it is beautiful. So full of life, as I am now. But she can’t seem to stay sober and it breaks my heart. I have tried everything from keeping her at my house, taking her to meetings, getting her to treatment 4 times, searching all over south Florida for consumed me for awhile. All I want is to save this girl. But even after all of the rehab attempts, the arguments, her cussing me out, the continuous lies – I love her. No matter what, she will always be family. Something that helped me in my addiction is when my mom cut me off. All communication ended unless it was for help. No money, nothing. This is something I have had to do with the girl. I have had to tell her to not contact me even though I want to say so much more. I have had to hold myself back, literally, from jumping in the car and going to find her on the streets. I have had to tell her mother and family things that I couldn’t imagine my mother hearing about me.

Yet, all of these things – families, loved ones – you do this DAILY. We don’t realize in active addiction how much you all truly do for us. We don’t understand how blessed we are to have people that love us despite all of the torture we put them through. Thank you for being strong when we aren’t. Thank you for being there when we had no one else.

Thank you for loving us when we could not love ourselves.


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  1. Maggie Parris July 25, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply

    I pray for the day my daughter comes to this point. You give me new hope with everything you post?

  2. Sue Turowski July 25, 2016 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story and your words of hope for families effected by addiction.

  3. Missy July 25, 2016 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Hearing your story gives me hope that, one day, my boyfriend’s daughter will find her way to recovery. You are such an inspiration!
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jane Benfield Fogleman July 25, 2016 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Oh my goodness! The paragraph where you spoke about trying to kill yourself was ME exactly!! I done the same thing (not with heroin but with Oxycontin). I wanted to die so bad but when I woke up in the hospital I was SO MAD that I didn’t die!! I told myself I couldn’t even kill myself right; I felt so worthless and hopeless and useless! Three months after this suicide attempt I got locked up; I pulled five (5) years. It saved my life and forever changed it. I am 10 1/2 years clean now!! The Lord has restored to me so many things, but the most important is the restoration of my family relationships that were destroyed because of my addiction. I love reading your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Amy July 25, 2016 at 10:44 am - Reply

    I learn so much from these posts. I am grateful I am not directly impacted by addiction, but I appreciate the education and understanding. It has to be hard, and hopefully healing, to share such raw emotions. Thank you.

  6. Leslie July 25, 2016 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Thank you. Would like to hear more of your experiences as I myself have a daughter in active addiction that we seem unable to reach.

  7. Audrey Porter July 25, 2016 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Beautifully written.
    May you continue to be blessed in your recovery .

  8. Melody Stotler July 25, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Awesome, thank you for sharing! It’s how so many feel each day. My daughter is struggling which causes my heart to ache. I’m holding onto hope that she’ll be writing something like this one day! I shared your story on our facebook page, Life or Drugs.

  9. Sandy July 25, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for saying your mother had to say no contact and that it was the best thing for you. My daughter is in year five of addiction and I have not spoken to her but twice in a year. I love her I miss her and I Pray every day that she will finally be able to be find her way.

  10. Patti Aguirre July 25, 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

    You sound so beautiful all the way to ur soul! My daughter is on the streets! Been there for too many years & I have hope, but very small hope! She calls me now & then at 3 or 4 am when she knows I’m asleep & wont answer my phone she’ll just say hi & I love u mom! It’s killing me inside not to try & save her but I did try too many to count that’s for sure!! I don’t think the drugs are going to kill her, the streets will tho! Keep up ur good work! I know I’m proud of u so I can just imagine how happy & proud ur mom is!!

  11. Toni Miller July 25, 2016 at 11:16 am - Reply

    You are such an inspiration to me. Your story is the same as my As . I’ve never given up on him and God found another way to get him clean. I was so at peace with him doing jail time. I’m still at peace knowing he’s not destroying his body and mind anymore.Now I get to work on me because I’ve been just as sick as him. I’ll feel so blessed when he is able to help others and give back.

  12. Debbie July 25, 2016 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Thank you for this Brittany. I have been loving my daughter to death for 6 years now. We have tried everything, therapy, psychiatric testing, detox, rehab, sober living. She always go back to drugs, My problem is that I continue to help her by paying her rent, phone and giving her money. I buy into the lies that the money is for shampoo, tampons, tooth paste, detergent. I fall for it every time. How did your mom do it? Did she ignore your phone calls? I love her but, I hate her at the same time. She has sucked me dry.
    Thank you

    • Melinda July 30, 2016 at 12:15 am - Reply

      Debbie, I did the same thing with my Son. I was the Mom and I couldn’t say no. When it came down to my other kids feeling neglected because my Son was taking all of my energy, I knew I had to get tough. After 2 treatment centers and losing everything, he reached out to me. He is in treatment again right now and he is doing great. He is in it to win it. So, please as hard as it is to get tough, this is what has to happen. Never let go, but take care of yourself and let God handle the rest. You will feel so relieved. God bless you.

    • Sarah November 2, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

      Debbie I appreciate your post I struggle between supporting my daughter and enabling her. My support group said just loving her may be the only support I can give. The fact that my enabling her was only hurting her and prolonging her from hitting her bottom opened my eyes but I struggle with this. She’s my daughter and I love her so much. My husband and I escorted her to California last may where she completed a twelve day detox followed by a successful ninety day rehab. She moved into a sober living and lasted only two weeks. Somehow she managed to get herself home (not exactly sure how she pulled that off with not a dime to her name but she did) she’s living with “friends” not far from my house. We ve spoken briefly a few times since she’s been home and yesterday she texted and said she wants to drop off her suitcases today that are taking up too much room where she is living. I have no idea if she’ll even show up today and I have no idea if she has something up her sleeve to manipulate me into getting something. She knows how to work me because I’m am an enabler. I just keep praying God will give me the wisdom and strength to say no to enabling. I tell you all this because when I read you words about buying shampoo etc.. it hit me..that’s me to a T. I’ve spent countless dollars on countless shopping trips thinking if she had all these things that a “normal” healthy person needs maybe it will help her be a normal healthy person. I realize it’s up to her now.I recently saw a psychic (the first time ever) and after the second card she flipped over she asked who’s the child in your life that’s suffering she told me to stay strong because she will suck me dry financially and emotionally. I keep her words in the back of my mind always because that’s what users do. They use substances and they use people in order to get what they want because they are not healthy. They are beautiful people deep down but the drugs and alcohol are over powering them. My daughter told me directly she s a master of manipulation. I tuned that out back then but not anymore I also keep those words in the back of mind and pull them to the fore front when I need a dose of reality. I apologize for writing such a long comment I think I needed to write and read this to help myself stay strong. Thank you for sharing and listening. God bless.

  13. Kristen mayo July 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Some must die…so that we might live…beautiful writing…and story

  14. Kerri July 25, 2016 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Unfortnatly i lost a wondeful son in 08 to overdose of herion. I am so happy for you. And b prroud of yourself. Give yourself praise. Fight and continue to fight
    I am so glad to c how u r helping people w ur story. Bless u. Ur story is precious
    I am employed as a addiction counselor in a treatment center. I luv my job with all i learned and went thru w my son has given me this calling. And if i can save. One. It will b one as u r
    I now am in school and am working toward my official lisc ladac. Lisc alcohol drug addiction counselor
    Spread ur story

    • Karen Hupp July 26, 2016 at 6:11 am - Reply

      At times I wonder if it’s ever going to end, the addiction my daughter fights . I have never given up on her and never will. She is under going treatment and dealing with depression. I showed her your story so she can see hope is there. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Roseanne been an July 25, 2016 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    This is beautiful I have been the the same reading this I cried it brought back all the memories of my addiction and like you no matter what I did to my mom whether it was lying stealing using in her house she loved me no matter what now as I sit and write this I’ll be 2 years clean and I feel better then I ever have its people like you who help us get through at least in my case thank you for sharing your wonderful story! !!!

  16. Roseanne been an July 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you

  17. Lori Plant July 25, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Beautiful young lady inside and out. You are right sometimes we have to stop enabling.

  18. Cheryl Medack July 25, 2016 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your amazing story of hope and determination and the unconditional love from your mom.

  19. Jean Carpenter July 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Beautiful story and it gives me HOPE for my RAS. God bless you all.

  20. Pamela McGregor July 25, 2016 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Brittany I belong to the group your mom belongs to but I dont always read all the post for several reasons but something about the picture of you and your mom drew me to the article and it didn’t take very long to shed some tears. Tears of sadness for the children and parents that that haven’t reached this point yet and happiness for us the moms that have gotten our children back! I have a son that I love more than the air I breathe and I know he feels exactly the same way you do but is unable to express himself as you have but its ok I don’t need to hear the words. I can look at his face and his smile and see how grateful he is. We are all very blessed❤️ Than I saw that you were in south Florida and that’s where we sent my son Rob 6 years ago and I thought what are the chances that you know each other it’s such a huge recovery area? Well you do, you are FB friends! May the future bring nothing but happiness and health to you.

  21. Jan July 25, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    I am so tearful as I ready your story – so thankful you are clean and at peace; I admire you so much, it truly take God on this journey! My 21 yr old daughter is now in sober living 2300 miles away from home, after 60 days treatment at The Ranch…she is over 100 days clean…first time this long in 2 years of using Heroin. I have so many fears about relapse for her and pray she stays strong – she has never lived away from home, so to make the decision not to return because of the strong pull her high school friends have on her is a major step in her recovery. You are a beautiful young lady and I pray you continue to pay it forward to help save others…and in turn it heals you! I am happy I found your website, sometimes I still feel I am still enabling because she needs my financial help to remain in sober living…she only works PT and the IOP there feels strongly about not too much stress too soon. I am staying strong and involved with NarAnon and The addicts Mom…and now reading your blogs helps. My daughter is finally learning to love life again; I pray she stays strong. God Bless you always and thank you for sharing for those like me.

  22. Herb July 25, 2016 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    I love reading your Blogs Brittany and I am so glad I was able to meet you. You are truly amazing and strong and caring….and I am so proud of you. I still can’t believe that my Mother has never given up on me and that my Family has forgiven me for all that I have put them thru. ~I am forever thankful~

    • Melinda July 30, 2016 at 12:25 am - Reply

      Herb, this is a Mother’s Love that no one other than a Mother, can understand. God Bless you.

  23. Catherine Fleischer July 25, 2016 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    God left you here to inspire. God Bless! keep preaching your word and don’t ever give up. You are a brave young woman. I have had two friends that their children overdosed on heroine. ?

  24. Angie July 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Such an Inspiring Story! As a Mom love is Unconditional. I’m so glad your Mom never gave up on you & that you never gave up. Keep Sharing your story & continue Shining in your Recovery. Much Love for all you do ❤

  25. Laura July 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Dear Brittany,

    That was beautiful. So well thought out and spoken. Your words speak for millions of us who have struggled through our addictions and I just wanted to say thank you for your spoken words. You nailed it baby!

  26. Shanna white July 25, 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    I have been following ur story for a few months now. My daughter also mimics exactly what you and ur mom write about. She is in lansing now at club rise. Has been there since March but still has days she struggles. Club rise has been the only place we have found that is working for her.. i hope one day she relizes just how much we do love her and that I will never give up on her or give into her addiction. Please contibue to write about this. I dont think u relize how much it helps me and am sure iothers. It helps to know we are not alone

  27. Barb July 25, 2016 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    A beautiful, poignant tale. I pray your friend finds sobriety like you have and may you keep at yours.

  28. Donna July 25, 2016 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Amazing story. Tears and heartache. Im so happy for you and your family that you are clean and sober. Be proud and thankful. Realize you just cant save everyone. This story could be the key that unlocks the light for someone else.

    • Melinda July 30, 2016 at 12:27 am - Reply


  29. Julianne July 25, 2016 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    I write this with tears in my eyes sobbing like I have everyday since November 11th, 2015 when I found my son OD in Hus room w the syringe and holding arm still up. Since then, its been 3 od’s and the last one on June 26, 2016 after a 3 month sobriety off heroin. My son needed 3 Narcam shots to revive him ad he lay, fallen off his bike, right down the street from our house. (Suburb south of Detroit). I too… Like your sweet mom will NEVER give up. I know who he is behind the drugs, the sweetest, caring, gentle, insecure, handsome boy I know he is. I saw a glimpse over the 3 month sobriety. He’s only 21 but legally we cannot do anything to help him. He will not seek any sort of treatment at all. He has detoxed on his own but it never lasts too long. I wish he, like you did, will realize the trauma it has caused me, his dad and 16yr old sister. You are such an inspiration… Please know that you will be thought of and prayed for, as will your family and the girl you befriended. I joined a Facebook page called “The Addicts Mom”. There are THOUSANDS of moms on there and we all have similar stories. We are from all over the country! You are now in my heart and god…. So is your MOM!! Please keep us updated as to how you are doing or if you need help. Complete strangers will fight this with you! You will NEVER be alone. I wish my son could be saved… I’m so scared. God bless you sweetie. Stay strong!

  30. Becky Bates July 25, 2016 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Oh my this hit so home for me! I nearly am in tears right now! I will have 4 years clean in September an I am so glad that I have an had! Stay strong stay sober it’s a beautiful thing!

  31. Sally July 25, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    Oh how I pray my son will get better. He is homeless and it breaks my heart. Please let him realize he needs help! You give me hope when I feel I have none left.

  32. Anne Moss Rogers July 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    I wish my son had not been successful at his suicide. I am so glad you found recovery. It offers such hope.

  33. Eva July 26, 2016 at 9:44 am - Reply

    I remember when you called me when my son was in rehab to ask me if I could pay for something to help him sleep. I said sure, I’m his go to person when he is in need. I’m the one he always turns to for help, and you said yep, so is my mom. ❤️ You will always be our babies!

  34. Julie July 26, 2016 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Brittany thanks for sharing with us. I hope some day my son will realize that I will always love him no matter what. He is in treatment at the present time and this is not his first rodeo. All the things you talk about feels like the same life I have lived with my son. It has been very hard on me but I pray every day for him to have the success that you have had.

  35. Carole July 26, 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    My daughter turns 25 today and will be six months clean on Thursday. We, too, lived through five years of hell–10 years altogether using drugs. Today is a true miracle.

    She is a totally different person today and looking back, there wasn’t one thing I could have done to MAKE her get clean. It had to be her (and it was, in jail).

    We need true prison reform (why are people rotting in jail and not benefiting from rehab services?) and a simple, affordable, well executed mental health system.

    never give up hope! God Bless Us All!

  36. Terry July 26, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    My son has been an addict since he was around 15. He is now 27. I love him so dearly and hope that he is telling me the truth about his 60 day sobriety. Your story is so very touching. My heart aches as I want to be there for him but I need him to know he must earn trust! I have worried all these years about him actually overdosing. I have waited for that phone call. Praying each and every day for him. Thank you for making me realize that i can still be here for him with good boundaries. God bless you and your mom!

  37. CINDY BOTARD July 28, 2016 at 11:02 pm - Reply


    • Debbie August 4, 2016 at 1:19 am - Reply

      We are powerless of our addicts no matter how hard we try to control different aspects of their world, I am in disbelief the I am actually sitting here writing this as I have a 22 year old son who is an addict living across the country from me and I worry about him every min. He is my only child and I love him beyond words but I am starting to realize that there is nothing we can do to keep them on the right path, that has to come from them. I pray every night that my son is living his life on the right path and I try to put encouraging words and thoughts into his head. He spent 5 months in a rehab/recovery home and now its up to him if he wants to stay healthy to use all the tools that he has learned. I did set a boundary for myself and that boundary is that he can not come back to live with me. I have come to realize that him living with me has totally affected my peace and serenity and I can never allow that again. He knows how much I love him and that I am always here for him to support, love, encourage but he has to make a life for himself and hopefully he will choose a healthy life. I do pay for his cell phone still.

  38. Corinna August 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    My sister is an active addict. I understand your mom because families never give up. We try everything we can and continue to do so regardless outside of providing financial support. She went to jail recently does 23 days we had a treatment facility ready when she got out and she did not commit ( not the first time) and here we go again with no contact while she lives on the streets. I pray daily that one day she will see the light like you did. I hope that one day we get her back like your mom did. Stories like yours help us to never give up hope, never stop believing she will pull through this. We never know if she is dead or alive. We continue to have faith. We have been in jail for a long time while she is an addict. One day I hope we can share the same success story. God bless you all!

  39. Gabriel Rheaume August 22, 2016 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    That is a truly beautiful story!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  40. Heidi August 30, 2016 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Ugh I wish my daughter knew how much we have done for her. She isn’t our biological daughter but we adopted her and she has been ours for 8 yrs. I can’t even believe this is happening! At the age of 18 we asked her to leave our home because we found that she was snorting pills. The only way she was allowed back in our home was when she was ready for help. She stayed away for 3 yrs last November she came to us for help. She went to rehab for sixty days and then was clean for 7 months she relapsed and I still said she could stay if she got help she agreed. Two days later we find out she is not only using she is selling as well. We asked her to leave and a hour later after the cops came to our home there was another cop letting us know that she was not breathing and they were headed to the Emergancy room to try to get her to breath again. She died that night and was so mad that she was alive. She was mandated to go to a psychiatric hospital. From there she swore she saw the light and she knew that Jesus took her addiction away. She is out of that hospital and staying with her biological aunt….which is fine because we wanted her to go into Away for her drug use but her trauma and to work on everything she needs to to stay clean. She refused so we said no to her living here. She is so manipulative that she has said everything she needed to say to have a place to go. As I am typing I still can’t believe I am in this situation and tbh I hate it

    • Katie September 1, 2016 at 7:36 am - Reply

      Heidi, I’m so sorry, this disease is so hard. Please call me, I would love to help. 586-556-2602

    • Thomas Ludwig October 30, 2016 at 10:47 am - Reply

      I am in the same situation. I have finally had to say goodbye to my son in the interest of self-preservation. The manipulation, lying, stealing, putting us all at risk. He stole from his birth mother, I am adoptive father for ten years, his dad died when he was young. His continuous addictions, in and out of jail then sober for maybe two weeks, then back at it. He stole tens of thousands of dollars in a very short period of time. Probation, breaking probation. I was at the Walmart in Seabrook and there was a young man there from Teen Challenge of New Jersey and New England. I donated and had a short but troubled conversation with him. He was sober for 19 months. I told him I just had to say goodbye to my son, this time for good. The love I had for him has left my heart. I can’t take anymore damage. I can’t do it. As much I read about Katie’s story, and I am at tears with this, I’ve lost the love. Too much and it’s too late. So I have given up, it’s in God’s hands now. I hate it too. The stress, my health is failing….

  41. toni September 11, 2016 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Where do you go when your parents don’t have the money and you been running for years and nothing is available to help ?

  42. Jan September 12, 2016 at 10:25 am - Reply

    TEEN CHALLENGE…FREE not just for teens…Salvation Army…..RUN to a NA meeting TODAY – don’t wait GREAT RESOURCE for HELP at no charge. Today “make the decision to live”,,,,running can be exhausting…you can live drug free, PRAYERS

  43. Laura November 3, 2016 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I think giving up and turning it over to God was the best decision (and only one left) that you could have made. There is a saying in the Program that says, “Let Go and Let God.” Although this is usually told to the addict, I think this is the perfect saying for you to hear right now. Clearly, your son has chosen the path with which he is most comfortable and you most uncomfortable. With that said, may God bless your son with the tools he needs in life to overcome a power greater than himself. Best of luck to you!

  44. Laura November 6, 2016 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Sarah. Stick to your guns gal. If you know you are an enabler and your daughter knows admittedly so that she can manipulate anybody, bad news is in the forefront. Just stay strong!!!!! I know that that is as impossible as not wanting to comfort a crying baby, but it has to be. Please let us know how things went when your daughter stopped by to drop off her suitcases. My thoughts of strength are with you!

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