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Opinion: My mother’s addiction comes from pain – CNN.com

As published @CNN

Updated 12:29 PM ET, Wed February 5, 2014

Opinion: My mother’s addiction comes from pain – CNN.com.

I have a memory of standing by the fence in my neighbor’s yard. I was 6. My sister and I have had to run next door because mom’s been wasted for weeks on end, and now she’s got a shotgun.
She’s fired it once already. Two of the taller neighborhood kids are nearby, one standing on top of the other’s shoulders, peering over the fence and describing what she sees. “Your grandpa’s got a 2 by 4 and he’s going into the house.” The scene ends.
I could tell you dozens of stories like this. Years later, I learned that grandpa had broken down the door to find mom on the bed with a shotgun and a suicide note, maybe too scared to pull the trigger.
My mother was a lifelong addict — from heroin to alcohol and pills to methadone and pills. If you asked her why, she would tell you she just liked getting high. If you were inclined to believe the prevailing sentiment about addiction as a kind of degenerate hedonism, you could hate her for being a junky screw-up, and for never managing to put anyone or anything before her addiction.  READ MORE

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