I have another special guest post for Truthful Tuesday. This is Molly Ryujin. Molly and I were acquaintances back when I was in junior high/high school. We went to shows at Boom Va; holy fuck that makes me feel so old (and dumb).
***Any of my old friends from Utah will read this and reminisce/cringe while they think of their times spent on 27th street at good ol’ Boom Va. Straight Edge kids (sXe, sellouts, XXX etc) and hardcore shows like To No Avail, Clifton, Kitty, Job for a Cowboy, They Came in Swarms were a weekly social event. Embarrassing, I know.***
Anyway, I got to know her better after she started dating, and got engaged to, my best friend from back home. She is such a great woman for him. He needed a strong woman who would set him on the right path but who would also let him take care of her. I don’t see them anymore and we hardly talk but I will always have a special place in my heart for both of them and their family. ❤
I hope her story helps anyone reading this see they can accomplish truly remarkable things, no matter the circumstances.
My name is Molly. I am a mother and a recovering heroin and methamphetamine addict.
I had, for the most part, an amazing childhood. I had a loving mother and father and three older sisters. In therapy, they help you to identify points in your life that led you to that dark direction you took and as a child I was sexually assaulted.
Confused and small, I didn’t tell anyone for nearly a decade but I came to realize the trauma I endured at an early age would shape me into a person I never knew I could be. Like most teenagers, I loved escaping my reality and found relief in using drugs at parties, loving that feeling of being able to forget. Like most people who are victims of sexual assault, I had no boundaries with people and found myself in co-dependent, unhealthy, abusive relationships most of the time and the men who didn’t use couldn’t save me.
I was clean for a short period of time when I was 20, but then began snorting lines of oxy and smoking meth once in a while. Occasionally turned into every day and pain pills turned into heroin. I was still managing to go to school and maintain decent grades. My family knew something was wrong but I was insist I was fine. Just tired.
The truth came out when my apartment was hit by Ogden Strike Force and although they didn’t find drugs, they found tin foil with residue and lots of paraphernalia. I was arrested for possession of heroin but still lying about it to my family. With the help of an attorney, I fought the charge and was pled down to attempting to possess and controlled substance. By that time I was in a new relationship and put on private probation.
On June 18th 2012, I found out I was pregnant. I knew that this would be my reason to get clean. I knew girls who used while they were pregnant and will admit, I judged them. I couldn’t imagine harming a baby you were carrying and not giving them a choice. I decided to try to wean myself off because at that time, I was using heavily and I feared I couldn’t quit cold turkey. I was in a very unhealthy relationship and in a place where everyone used around me. As much as I wanted to get clean for the baby, my addiction wouldn’t allow it. As time went on, I became more and more depressed with myself and what I was doing to my baby. I felt so guilty and ashamed but could not stop for the life of me. I was still being dishonest with everyone outside of my inner circle that used with me, but I knew even they judged me.
It was Valentines day, 2013 and I knew my water broke. I was so scared and had spent most of my pregnancy in fear and anxiety because I didn’t want my baby taken from me. I was tempted to try to deliver the baby in my apartment because I couldn’t stand the thought of the state taking her but because I didn’t want to put her at risk further, I went to the hospital. Before I was given an epidural, they had advised me that my urine tested positive for amphetamines and opiates and I tried to lie and say I had been around meth users and had taken a pain pill. That entire 8 1/2 months of my pregnancy had been the darkest time of my life so far. I wasn’t able to experience the joys of it because of my addiction and guilt. When confronted by the hospital, I just wanted to disappear. I don’t remember too much of being in labor. I remember sleeping through most of my contractions and waking up ten minutes before I gave birth.
On February 15th I gave birth to Chloe Lillian, 6 lbs 11 oz, 19 inches long. She was perfect and so beautiful and I felt I didn’t deserve this perfect human. She was healthy but she cried a lot. Babies cry, of course, but Chloe was born addicted. Child Protective Services came into my hospital room and advised me I wouldn’t be taking my baby home. This forced me to be honest with my family and admit what they had already suspected.
My mother had my daughter for the first month and a month later, temporary custody was granted to my sister. Things only got worse from there. I was in and out of jail, seeing my daughter for just hours at a time.
Every time I left a visit, I felt like I was saying goodbye. I used more and more and as if things couldn’t get worse, July 5th, I made the choice to shoot heroin. Until that moment, I had feared the needle, knowing its power and so many people it killed. I had lost all hope. As I waited for a bed at a treatment facility to open up for me, I got lower and lower. I got into rehab, only to relapse 12 days later. I was given opportunity after opportunity and continued to sabotage every one of them. I was desperate to get clean and get my daughter back but wasn’t showing much promise.
I entered into Family Drug Court and had been sanctioned to jail time for relapses. I was kicked out of rehab twice at that point and knew the next time I had court, I’d be taken to jail again. I didn’t show up at my court date and went on the run. At that point, my addiction was beyond out of control. I had overdosed in motel rooms, taken advantage of my father *who was my best friend and the only one who still had faith in me* and sunk lower than I ever thought possible.
It was September 27th and I fell asleep at my fathers house where I’d been staying when I wasn’t out running the streets. I awoke to police officers standing over me. They advised me that I had warrants for failing to appear in court and they’d be taking me to jail. I remember the look of sadness and relief as my father just stood there, watching his baby be taken away in handcuffs.
That was the last day I used.
I was in jail for 60 days and was released back into rehab for the 3rd time. I knew what I had to do in order to be a mother. It was hard because my daughter didn’t really know me. She was only 9 months old at that time and hadn’t seen me in close to 3 months. I pushed through and knew that she was the answer the entire time to overcoming this affliction.
I jumped through every hoop the state put in front of me and was grateful to have another chance. I was court ordered to be on methadone with Medication Assisted Treatment to help with cravings. I went from being the addict mother that no one believed would succeed and get clean, to a well respected woman who had beat so many odds and over come so much.
In the summer of 2014, I was granted full custody of my daughter and made a choice taper off of methadone after 11 months.
I’m not a perfect person, but what I do know is that the love I have for my daughter surpasses anything I’ve ever known or felt. I know how precious she is and I don’t take the role I have in her life for granted. I know it’s my job to protect her and accept her, to make sure she’s healthy, to give her confidence and teach her how to be a good person. This has taught me to be more understanding, to be less judgemental and love unconditionally.
My father passed away in July of 2015 and our bond was unbreakable. I can only strive to have that same bond with my daughter. To believe, encourage and push her to always know her worth, never lose hope and always have faith in herself. Being a mother has it’s difficulties but I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.
In the past, I didn’t know who I was or what I was meant to be. But the moment I looked at my daughter through clean and sober eyes, I knew this was it for me. Being Chloes mother is the biggest honor I’ve ever known and I know she’s a huge part of why I choose to stay clean for now 39 months and counting.
Thank you for reading my story.