Where do I begin? That's the biggest question for us, isn't it? There are so many beginnings in the chapters of our ever changing lives that I could start anywhere. Do we start with 9 year old Megan, sitting in the back of her dads 1987 Chevy Beretta- no seat belt, going 70 mph on a 45 mph back country road; a beer in his hand and Nirvana blasting on the cassette player? Sounds nostalgic right?? Not for me, not for a little girl that has already had that seed of anxiety disorders planted in her.
They say that for a child to feel safe and succeed in life, they need routine and order. Children actually crave routine to make them feel safe. I was never sexually, physically or emotionally abused, but I was a child raised by children who weren't taught how to properly pay attention- and not emotionally neglect a child. I have forgiven my mother for that, she's had her faults but she's still the sweetest, kindest woman I know. Unfortunately my dad is not there yet, hopefully one day he will grow out of his '20's' and we can have a mature, productive conversation.
Anyway, I want to peddle back to the anxiety part. I believe this is the most important part in my story. I believe this was a huge factor in why I was addicted to pills, heroin and eventually benzo's. In the 90's we weren't diagnosed like we are today, it took me until my mid 20's to go to a psychiatrist and REALLY tell them how I felt. How I was running away from that never ending anxiety by popping every pill in sight. That's why I'm a huge advocate for mental health and therapy because it literally changed my life. When I turned about 17 and was reasonably attractive, I got alcohol, weed, coke and then eventually pills and heroin thrown to me by men twice, sometimes three times my age. Then I'd turn around and go home to my suburban 2-story house and no questions were ever asked.
That is why I am what people call a 'helicopter mom' because I've seen the most vile, disgusting human beings on this planet and I refuse to let anyone go near the one thing I feel I did right in this world. My dearest daughter and her dearest bio dad- one is and the other was literally a fucking shining bright star in a pitch black world. Shon was the type to skip school, yet ace the test. The type that was naturally athletic without even trying. The type to have a million friends, the type to be naturally funny and sweet but heroin took him when my daughter was 1. The one person from East Troy that would've made something of himself, he had enormous ambition and enormous talent and heroin took that. I see him every day in my daughter in the strangest ways- the way her sweat smells, how her feet look and her facial expressions.
Thankfully I met Steve when she was about 4/5 years old. I had just gotten out of Racine county jail, and Steve just finished 18 months in prison. We met at a restaurant without shit to our names, and in just 5 years we own 2 cars, a house and adopted our puppy Tucker. I don't say this to brag AT ALL! I want everyone struggling to know that if I can make it from sleeping in cars during blizzards, sleeping in strange mens beds, sleeping in apartment building storage units, sleeping in homeless shelters and fucking jail cells to sleeping in my comfy king size bed next to my dog and partner then YOU CAN TOO!!! I PROMISE! It isn't easy and it takes time and a lot of hard work.
I'm a firm believer that you can only get sober for yourself, but I'm an even firmer believer that it is ALL about who you surround yourself with. You won't make it with someone still using,you won't make it with someone with a negative mindset and you definitely won't make it with fake friends! So fuck what people say- you will relapse, just pick yourself back up and try again. You are allowed to use Subs or Methadone if they help, Methadone saved my life. I KNOW you want to change, I know you don't want to end up like me, or Shon, or even Steve. I want to help- on my mother's life/Shon's grave/my beautiful daughters life, anything you've been through I can bet I've been through the same or very, very similar. There's so much to say but it will be never ending. My email is MeganJanish1@gmail.com. Much love my beautiful friends, we are in this together!
I will do my best to post new powerful stories every other week from Mother's in all walks of life. Some will be like Heather. Some incarcerated. Some just got out. I still keep in contact with a few women inside so I'll be letting them know to spread the word; We need your powerful stories! If you or someone you know has a story or poems too, please contact me, I'd love to share it for you!