A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

The phrase a picture is worth a thousand words is in English idiom. It means, loosely translated in Melanie-ism, that an idea or notion or thought can be conveyed with a just a single imagine or picture. Every one has experienced this at some point in their life. Looking back at pictures of babies when they were little we can see their innocence. Sometimes a photograph in a newspaper or magazine speaks to the soul in a way that words would seem meager.  I experienced this recently. JoDee and her partner were captured in their local newspaper at a vigil for lost lives to addiction. When she first sent me the picture I showed AC. AC said that she looked good. That she seemed sad but she was at a vigil so that was expected. He noticed the way her partner, aka Scooby Do, was watching her. That was not what I saw.

Insert Picture Here:


When I look at this picture I see a lost girl. A girl who walks around with her hood on so no one will see her face. I see a girl who is ashamed to be seen, by anyone and everyone. I see a girl wearing the same sweatshirt every single time I see her, including this picture, which is a large symbol of her current life, but holding on to the Coach clutch on her wrist, a symbol of her old life. I see pale, lonely, depressed and beaten. I see a girl who wants people to believe she is doing well, and she has things under control but right under the surface is a pile of anxiety and mayhem that she can’t let go of- if it bubbles out, it won’t stop until she is gone.  I see a young woman I miss, and wish was home when I made bagels from scratch and short ribs that braised for two days.

I also see a partner that is holding on to hope that JoDee will pull it together. A young woman who is praying that she doesn’t sink into that hoodie, never showing her face again. I see a pair that together could be great, but right now, are limping along holding each other up. If one falls, the domino effect is going to take them both down.  I know that Scooby is holding out hope that this will end well for both of them. As am I, and everyone that loves them. They are living in a part of Massachusetts that is a small heaven. It’s beautiful and quant and friendly. When JoDee recently went to detox, and subsequently dipped out, leaving both Scooby and me wondering where the hell she went; she turned up a few days later looking the absolute worse I have ever seen her. Thin, dirty, smelly, her teeth unbrushed since Jesus wore short pants, and completely oblivious that her sister and I were horrified for her and with her. Once we dropped her off, I spent the first 30 minutes of the ride home blasting OC’s ear about her wasting her life. And how her and Scooby could be living the high life in a great town with a really cute apartment, in a super gay friendly town (their crosswalks are painted in rainbow colors for Christ Sake!) but stay holed up in their room. I really want to slap the ever-loving shit out of both of them, and then take them home to feed, bath and tuck them into bed.  I would probably then wake them up to slap the shit out of them again just for good measure.


I want to be able to go spend the weekend with them, shopping and eating out, in their cute little town without worrying that she might take my cash, or beg me to come home. Home is some place she can’t come too. No one would be comfortable with that. Take a moment and let that sink in. If you have never experienced addiction, or have never had an addict to this point, think about how that feels. I cannot let my child come home because no one in the house would be comfortable with that. Do  you have any idea how bad that sucks? Do you have any idea how bullshit that is? There was a time I probably wouldn’t put that in black and white but we are so far into this mess, there is no point in sugar-coating it. And worse, she already knows.

A picture is worth a thousand words; it sucks when those words are all shitty.



11 thoughts on “A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

  1. Christine Evans says:

    Yes I do know how bad it is to say my child cannot come home because no one would be comfortable with that. I hated it and nearly had a breakdown. He never did come home as you know because he died. I wish I had never closed the door.
    Jo dee is still here,,,,,,,,love to both of you xxxx


    • dorcon says:

      In my alanon group, one of the parents felt the same way you do, so allowed the child to live home while doing drugs. They found him dead in his bedroom. Another friend watched her son with an eagle eye, and when they went to a wedding, came home to find him passed, his sister upstairs in her bedroom. The sister has felt guilty ever since for something that was not her responsibility to prevent. Living at home doesn’t prevent death, so please don’t feel guilty about a choice you made. Most often living at home prolongs the addiction. I’m sorry for your loss


      • Honestly, I am so thankful for my other kids, for many reasons, but because they are the reason I won’t let her come home. If I found her dead, that would be horrible, but if I am traumatized that is one thing. If one of her siblings found her dead, or knew that they were home when she died, I would never forgive myself. Or her. I know that she can’t come home. And I really appreciate you reminding me why that is….


    • HeartnSoul Yogini says:

      Please know it’s not your fault … this is not in our control … if it were.. thins would be different! I’m so sorry for your loss and pray that you find some peace somehow …🙏💕


  2. HeartnSoul Yogini says:

    It is a statement that only a mother of an addict (hopefully in recovery) can understand… with all our hearts, we want our kids home – yet that would be the single worst place for them to be for them – for us and anyone else in the home … how do you even explain that to anyone who isn’t in the same situation??? Not possible .., they wouldn’t understand. More than anything I would love my daughter home as well yet I know she would not do well . Nobody’s to blame … this is simply a fact .. sad fact ! Praying for JoDee that she keeps fighting and finds herself again under that damn hoodie 🙏💕


  3. Toni A Warden says:

    I know that all the nice responses and words of wisdom you receive here are supposed to make us addict moms feel better. But for me, they just don’t. All of my family have turned their backs on me, because I won’t turn my back on her completely. They are all sure that if they were living in my shoes, they would have all of the answers, ipso facto, I have all of the wrong answers and do all of the wrong things.

    My daughter doesn’t live here anymore either… hasn’t in a very long time, with the exception of a few nights here and there due to health problems. But I live alone, it’s only my things that are in jeopardy of being stolen, and it’s only me who’s in jeopardy of finding her dead.

    As I enter year 10 of this clusterfuck, I’m $100k in debt with no family, no boyfriend or husband (I would never bring an outsider into this mess… it would just be yet another person who will think I’m doing things all wrong – I’d rather be alone), only a couple of really close friends (and I consider you one if them, Melanie), damage to my home, etc. And you know what I’m likely to get out of all this toil and strife, what will be my reward? Probably my beautiful baby’s funeral.

    I get that it’s not my fault. I understand that there is not a single thing I can do to make this better. But did I still spend $896 last weekend on a new brake system on her car, because they’d worn down the whole system so badly that there was nothing left & had been using the e-brake for a while now? Yep! I had to use what was left of FIVE credit cards to pay for it too! But I’m not having my heroin-addicted daughter die in a car crash because she had no brakes.

    There are just some things I will continue to for her. The positive thing that comes with having no more family is that there is no one left to judge my shitty decisions.

    I came to the conclusion today as I was driving home from work that I’m going to do what I’m going to do as the mother of my addict. And no one is going to tell me it’s wrong ever again. They’re my mistakes to make and I’m the only one who has to live with them. Yay me.

    Sorry for the tome. My point was to just tell you about my freeing decision. Lol!


    • I have said a thousand times that I can’t listen to everyone’s advice or all the books or Dr. Phil because at the end of the day I have to live with myself. I have to do what I have to do to feel better because no one else is going to look out for me, but me.


    • dorcon says:

      I don’t like to make judgements, but feel I have to speak up. Giving a heroin addict a car is a big mistake. If she doesn’t kill herself while driving, she may kill someone else. I would give her a bike so she has some transportation. A car, no way. How can she possibly drive responsibly while under the influence, or in withdrawal?


      • dorcon says:

        My response about the car was directed to Toni A. Warden, not you Melanie. Sorry for the confusion. It was intended to only make parents aware of how there may be tragic unintended consequences to innocent drivers if they help their addict maintain a car.


  4. Christine Evans says:

    It is so funny that when my son was alive and before addiction took hold my family and friends often critisised the way I was raising him. I was too soft, too bossy.too lenient.too strict etc etc. Then he became addicted and for 6 years everyone put in their opinion of how I was handling it all wrong. Then he died and I was totally distraught and blamed myself loudly and constantly for getting it all wrong, screaming crying yelling emotions totally out of control. AND THEN they all decided it Was Not MY Fault after all. I am still distraught just quieter about it these days. But I an confused about the attitudes of those around me.
    Keep on loving Melanie and give mine to Jo Dee as always. xxx


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