Alcohol became a treat at 13. Marijuana
dogged her high school years.
So when Kelly began struggling with
homework in college, unable to concentrate, her roommate introduced
her to Ritalin, "the pill form of cocaine," she claims.
The smart psychology major knew just
what to tell the doctors to get diagnosed with Attention Deficit
Disorder and score a prescription for Ritalin. It didn't take much
crushing and snorting before Kelly became a full-fledged
Yet, life went on. Kelly got a job, got
married and got a home. Her first-born, a boy, arrived four years
ago by Cesarean section. With him came a prescription for
"I got addicted to it right away," says
Kelly, who blames her addictions partly on genetics in a family
filled with alcoholics.
"My parents have told me on the outside
it looked like I was holding everything together."
But inside, she says, she was falling
" … It started interfering with every
single portion of my life because that's all I cared about, was
getting my pills."
She quit her job. The couple lost
Charging through nearly 30 Vicadin a
day and a month's supply of Ritalin a week, she'd go from doctor to
doctor for pills, sometimes several different doctors every day,
carting her boys along. She'd visit dentists and emergency rooms at
night. Before long, she began printing out prescriptions on the
"That became a daily thing where I
would wake up in the morning and print out the prescription, write
it out, go cut it perfectly and go around to pharmacies until I
found one that would fill it for me."
Again, the smart psychology major knew
exactly what to do-until she got caught. Landing in jail for
forgery, without her drugs and without her kids, she says she
thought she was going to die.
Yet just two days out of jail, she
wrote another prescription, nearly getting caught.
"That's when I got on my knees and
said, 'I need help, God. … I don't want to raise my kids this way.'
After a 28-day in-patient treatment
program, she embraced motherhood with the enthusiasm of a new
mother. But she wasn't prepared for all that life with two small
boys can bring. Help came in pill size with a steep price: Three
months in jail.
She was released directly to The
Women's Treatment Center. Pregnant with her third baby, a girl, she
spent many afternoons crafting a keepsake quilt and reflecting on
what she's done to her kids.
Her oldest has seen the changes. "He
had said to me after I had gotten out of rehab the first time,
'you're a good mommy now.' And then when I relapsed, he said,
'momma you're not my best friend anymore, I don't like you
anymore.' He knew instantly. That really crushed me, but it really
hit home, like wow I was affecting my children like this," Kelly
says. "Since we've gotten here, he said 'momma I'm so glad I came
to live with you. I belong with you.'
" 'God gave me the best momma.' "
The family added a new sister last
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