Post Series: A Mother's Heartbreak

This blog is a guest contribution from MaryBeth, one of the members of the My Recovery Helper Facebook community. MaryBeth is a mother who lost her son to the disease of addiction, and wants to share her story with our readers. To read more of her story, visit

Matt, everyone keeps telling me I should be angry at you. Enough time has passed that the anger should come. The well-publicized stages of grief states that I am in the anger phase. Well, I’m angry. I’m dam angry. I’m angry at a system that let you down. I’m angry at the insurance companies that place more value on the dollar than human life. I’m angry that addiction is not treated like the disease it truly is. I’m angry at the states that allow scumbags to run sober living houses that only care about collecting rent from their addict tenants and don’t give a dam about helping the addict. I’m angry that lawmakers sat back and allowed relapsing addicts to be thrown in the streets or taken half unconscious to motels where they later died. I’m angry that my handsome, funny, loving son died in a motel room because no one cared. I’m angry that the health care system allows pill mills to operate, changing everyday people into addicts craving the narcotics that they prescribe like candy. I’m angry that addiction carries a stigma. I’m angry that every day I live in gut-wrenching pain knowing that I will never hear your voice or see your smiling face again. I’m angry when I see the pain on your brother’s face and hear his voice crack when he says your name. I’m so dam angry I just don’t know what to do.

There are days I get on my bike and ride like the wind. Pushing myself to release the pain. Crying and praying as I petal, trying to release this anger that everyone thinks should be directed at you. Matt, please know I could never be angry at you. I saw your struggle. I felt your pain as we battled your demons together. I know you fought your best fight. I was there by your side with every relapse, every rehab, every struggle. I know you did your best to fight your demons. I am not angry, I’m proud of the man you were, of the battle you fought and the life you tried to live. You will always be my hero.  No anger, just sadness that your life is over.

Now my battle begins as I use my anger to make changes. Pain clinics need to be regulated and have their prescribing practices monitored. The medical community needs to be held accountable in their treatment and perception of the addict. Addiction needs to become part of the curriculum in medical schools educating new physicians in this misunderstood disease. Rehab facilities need to have readily available beds as we all know the window of time is brief when the addict is ready to accept help. Insurance companies need to recognize addiction as a disease and extend the allowable time covered in rehab giving the addict a fighting chance at recovery.

Anger, not against you but aimed at a broken system. A system that allows a stigma to exist against a vulnerable population of people with a horrible disease. Anger that has given me new purpose. Anger that will help me go on without you. Anger that will allow me to step out of my comfort zone saying your name and telling our story to let other mothers know that there is no shame in addiction. I will join the fight to stop this epidemic killing the next generation of beautiful people.

Anger fuels the purpose that has now become my journey. RIP my beautiful boy, your angry mom’s got this.

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