Addiction Services Blog

Stuck on Powerless

By:  AG's Mom aka Aaron's Mom (NYC unspoken Poet)

I lost Aaron April 2010 to an accidental overdose.


My 33 year old addict daughter came to temple last week to hear the Shofar in celebration of Rosh Hoshanah with me.  It was her choice.  The second day she and her son traveled from the Manhattan domestic violence shelter at which they have been residing since she was violently assaulted by an ex-boyfriend in May.  

 She traveled to my home in Queens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with my nine year old grandson to celebrate the new year. On the last day she visited, I bit my tongue as she slurred her speech and watched as she nodded in and out in my home.  She either thought nothing of it or assumed that I was blind to the obvious symptoms of her addiction.  Her nine year old son looked on and rolled his eyes as if to say “again?”  He sat at my computer for three hours creating graphics and writing powerful captions like "Move On" with pictures of legs. 

My daughter asked me if she could come to the cemetery to visit her brother, Aaron, and to visit another girl she knew who had overdosed in July.  I decided I wasn't going to drive six hours to the cemetery with my addicted daughter and grandson in the car.  I was going alone to pay my respects to my son. 

I'm lost.  I must let go. I must have faith.  She's been using since age 17.  She's now 33 years old.  Yes, I'm stuck; I’m powerless.  Yes, I have faith, Yes, I have to let go.  Yes, I didn't cause it, but I can't control it. No, I can't CURE IT! 

When I arrived at the cemetery, before visiting my son, I asked at the office where MK’s grave was located. MK was a beautiful 24 year old woman who, like my son, overdosed. I attended her funeral in July.  The response resonated in my heart when I was told, “She's not far from Aaron.”  The words hit me like a truck.  It ran me down.  MK was from a very Orthodox Jewish community in Boro Park, Brooklyn. No one is immune from this DEADLY DISEASE. 

There are no words to describe the daily pain I struggle with constantly missing Aaron.   My pain is deeper and vaster than an ocean.  Some days the waves of grief are more massive and destructive than the most colossal wave; stronger and more powerful than the ocean’s current.  I have to fight the pain by confronting it.  The only way I get through it is by keeping distracted.  I must live my life by a schedule of healthy choices: from food to hobbies to career choices.  This keeps me moving and keeps me surviving.  This keeps me alive, thriving, and continuously striving to thrive.  I feel blessed to be alive every day when I awake and cry out, “Thank you G-D for returning back my neshoma,” for returning my soul, so I am able to be productive today.  Thank you for giving  me back my life today.  I will survive.  I will thrive, I will continue.  I might be slower, but I will put my left foot in front of my right and continue to move forward.”

Last week, I pitched and secured a segment to promote a Jewish business on a local New York television news program.  The value of the segment was $36K in airtime alone!  I made my client’s dream come true.  It was a blessing because at the moment the segment aired, Puerto Rico was hit with Hurricane Maria and all the news coverage became very serious. I had never seen a light and positive feature thrown in with coverage of catastrophic events like Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma, and the earthquake in Mexico.   There was so much news of natural disasters that I thought my client’s segment would be shutdown. I really didn't think a festive segment on celebrating the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hoshanah,  would be featured, but it did.  It could exist. It did air.  I thrived.

The first step is to recognize not to give up all hope, or abandon all responsibility, in complete rejection of our loved ones.  This means surrendering ourselves to an admission that the ONLY life over which we have direct control is our own.  I’m learning to let go of what I know I cannot control.  I'm learning to take care of myself, single handedly.

I realize we must all fight to survive, to choose life, one day at a time. Life is a gift. You have to choose life. Own your life. 

AG's Mom

AG's MOM lost Aaron to an Overdose

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