Me and My Daughter – by Tracy Levine


Me and my daughter

5:30 a.m. wake up. Wow! We slept in today! Normal run to get coffees before Cassidy goes off to school.

She is my 17 year old senior. She’s incredibly talented in every area academically, and even art, drama, creative writing, anything you can imagine.

I spent quite a while on the phone with colleges and doing a last minute FAFSA application to send to Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She was accepted into an accelerated dental hygiene program, so she’d have her degree in three years.

Life was a struggle

Ten years ago, this wouldn’t have been happening. I’m a recovering addict. Nine years clean April 27.

But when I got clean life wasn’t all daisies and sunshine. And I struggle with depression on a daily basis since.

Better times

It’s gotten much better, I see counselors, try to do daily positive affirmations, look toward the positive in every situation. But Cassidy took the brunt of it in my active years. I started falling at 12. Full blown addict at 14.

And she lives with me now, we have a very solid relationship built on honesty, trust, love, and just a great mother/daughter bond. We’re also best friends.

She looks to me for advice, help, security, and guidance. But whenever she does, her father, my ex, brings up my past. And she laughs and blows it off. She knows who I am now.

But it’s not as easy for me.

Strength after destruction

I got up this morning, washed my face, held on to the vanity, almost afraid that person that I was would be looking back. Thinking of all the destruction, chaos, and hurt I caused not only myself, but my children too.

Jail, house arrest, junkie, addicted to anything, what a loser.

Why would she look up to me?

I looked in the mirror and I saw the woman that scraped and crawled her way out of hell and came out the other side. Stronger, better, wiser.

Two years ago I was in a homeless shelter with my girls, fighting my husband and his addictions. Marriage and heart smashed to pieces. The kids would go to bed and I’d cry. Daily. Uncontrollably. Inconsolable.

Looking into the mirror

That mirror showed me today. Even though I may battle with depression, addiction, and so much more, I saw a mother that pulled her stuff together and found a home for our family, confidence for myself, security and a sense of stability and a real life and sense of family.

My children are thriving and happy, and I’ve another on the way.

I’m not that person I was ten years ago. I’ve done a complete change. I’m proud to be me. I can hold my head high. I smile and get that happy feeling again. My confidence and self esteem have made incredible leaps and bounds.

I am important, loved, depended on, and looked to for guidance.

I should be grateful and happy, not wallowing in a decade ago because that’s what people who are unhappy do. They try to bring us down, we’re easy targets. Because we have hearts, empathy, and feelings.

You take home message

Don’t ever lose that. But don’t mistake it for a weakness. That is what helped me, and still does, get thru the day.

Everyone of us is worth it. Find one thing a day that makes you happy. That makes you YOU. Write it in a piece of paper, and tuck it in a bottle, bag, Tupperware container. When you’ve think you’ve got enough, or simply need a boost, read those papers (we do ours on New Years).

We are all important and we are all worth it. And don’t ever let anyone or anything make you feel otherwise.

by Tracy Levine

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