These are just a few of the words that tend to come to mind when people think of heroin addicts. But in an emotionally-charged post written by Bobbie Tipton Kaltmayer and shared by Love What Matters, the heartbroken mother paints a picture of her own heroin-addicted son that totally shatters that stereotype.
Bobby says that she’s seen the comments people make about addiction and keeps her mouth shut. Even in reading terrible comments about addicts like “let them weed each other out” through natural selection, Bobbie has remained tight-lipped.
But what she would like to do now is introduce the world to her heroin addict, so people can see that sometimes they look just like you and me.
In opening, she states, “I’m not sure who people picture when they think of heroin addicts, so, I’d like to introduce you to mine”:
“My heroin addict weighed 7 lbs when he was born.
My heroin addict collected hockey cards and memorized all of the players’ names when he was 5 years old.
My heroin addict cried because his dad missed his 7th birthday.
My heroin addict held his baby sister for the first time and was in awe.
My heroin addict played 2nd base in the little league World Series. Twice.
My heroin addict broke up with a girl in middle school and was so concerned about her that he had me call her.
My heroin addict took his little sister to the father/daughter dance because her dad was out of town.
My heroin addict threatened to beat up a kid bigger than him for picking on his sister.
My heroin addict always noticed if I changed my hair.
My heroin addict was reading at a high school level in 2nd grade.
My heroin addict cried because he was homesick while on vacation with his cousin.
My heroin addict believes in aliens and ghosts and I think that’s awesome.
My heroin addict never hangs up the phone without telling me he loves me. Never.
My heroin addict has a two year old daughter that looks a lot like him.
My heroin addict thanks me with tears in his eyes when I visit him in jail.
My heroin addict apologizes when he can’t control his addiction.
My heroin addict fights so freaking hard to stay clean.
My heroin addict is loved by so many people.
Sounds a lot like someone you might know, eh?
After listing the series of statements and attributes that normalizes her child for so many, Bobbie humbly makes this request for compassion in place of judgment:
“So, maybe we should all remember, whatever state they’re in today, there is a mom somewhere, with knees bleeding from prayers, that just wants her baby back. Maybe instead of judging, we say a prayer. Maybe we become a bit more educated and help raise funds to help recovery facilities become more successful. Maybe we contact our lawmakers and request more useful laws concerning addiction, concerning rehab facilities and concerning what happens when they are incarcerated. We are losing an entire generation to this horrible disease. Maybe we use compassion instead of disdain. Maybe we try to remember that every heroin addict is someone’s child.”
In solidarity with Bobbie today, I pray that we all hit our knees before slamming our gavels and work together to beat the monster that is heroin addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, please visit the heroin addiction hotline today. Remember, there is no shame in getting help, and there IS hope.