“I wanted to know why my mother couldn’t stop – what made the drugs more important than the family?” Arielle was surrounded by drugs, and even though she struggled with her mother’s addiction to heroin and crack cocaine, when she was 14 she started smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, and began smoking crack cocaine at 18.During her first pregnancy, Arielle tried to quit using crack cocaine. She even entered a treatment program, but ended up leaving and smoking crack during the pregnancy.
When her daughter, Darielle, was born cocaine-positive, Child Protective Services took her away. It was at this point that Arielle says, “It hit me that I had a problem. I was depressed because I wanted my baby but I couldn’t have her with me because I was using drugs. I wanted to stop but didn’t know how.” Arielle chose to come to Meta House for residential treatment because she could have her baby with her once they were reunified.
Shortly after arriving at Meta House, she discovered that she was pregnant with a second daughter. Today, Arielle is 7 months along in her pregnancy and says that experiencing this pregnancy, without the numbing effects of the drugs, is entirely different: “I feel so much more, and it’s painful but a blessing and a joy. I’ll never forget when the baby first kicked. I’m already getting to know her – I know when she’s hungry or wants to sleep.” She is proud that her second daughter has never been touched by drugs, not even cigarettes.
Meta House provides many resources to pregnant and postpartum mothers and their babies. Arielle has been thrilled to have help and now feels prepared for motherhood. Parenting classes and parent-child therapy have taught Arielle how to be patient and constructive with discipline, and about observing her child to read her feelings even when she is too young to talk.
Arielle has also made personal advances during her stay at Meta House. She feels better physically – her skin is clearer and she is taking care of her personal hygiene. Arielle also studied for and obtained her GED while living at Meta House, which gave her a great sense of accomplishment. She now plans to go to school to become a nurse and dreams of eventually becoming a doctor.
Arielle did not know why she started using drugs and alcohol until she came to Meta House and began examining her addiction in counseling. “I’ve learned about how using drugs covered up the hurt I was feeling, the abandonment I felt from my family. I felt so lonely while my mom was using.” Now, she is confident in herself and expects a bright future for her own daughters. Back to Get Inspired…