I’ve always wanted this blog to show all sides of addiction, including the stories from those affected by addiction. I’m honored to share with you today Kim’s story. Kim tragically lost her beautiful daughter Kayela to heroin addiction. Here she bravely tells her story.
Addiction doesn’t just affect the person using drugs it affects the whole family. I know because I lived through my daughter Kayela’s addiction to heroin.
We raise our children and its hard work, changing diapers and heating formula and lining up daycare, the first day of school and homework we don’t understand.
We care for them until they are ready to go off in the world and we can only hope that we did the right thing, made all the right choices.
On my daughters 18th birthday I gave her a gold angel wing with a card that I made, it said: ” I give you this wing and its only one wing not two, so you can find your way in life but keep both feet on the ground ”
My daughter is Kayela Faye Ayers and she passed away at the young age of 21.
She was a heroin addict.
I am her mother and this is my story.
Kayela (right) with her mother Kim
If you think raising a child is hard work, then try watching that same child come in the house high or drunk and not being able to do anything to stop it.
Please don’t ever think ” It won’t happen to me ” because addiction can affect anyone. Once they take hold of that child, the same one we took to teacher conferences, that same child who you get that midnight call from the police department saying they have been arrested on drug charges, or a frantic person saying she stopped breathing and they took her to the hospital.
No one can imagine what a parent goes through when they hear these things unless you have been there.
My daughter started using heroin when she was 18, shortly after she went through some personal issues that involved putting a man in jail and then getting a beating because she did so.
That put her in the hospital with a head concussion and blackened eyes.
I pinpoint that moment because that’s when I saw a change in her and it was a violent change.
It’s hard to see these things and feel you can’t do anything about it. She hid it at first and I thought things were going great but deep inside she wasn’t ok. I don’t know how many times I look back and think, “If I only knew then what I know now, would it have mattered?”
I just don’t have that answer.
I spent a lot of nights crying, picturing her dead somewhere.
Kayela was under a Doctors care so I wanted to discuss with the doctor what was happening.
I called the doctor and told her that my daughter was abusing her meds and was using heroin, but the doctor told me she couldn’t discuss it with me. The doctor just kept filling her scripts.
After Kayela died they kept sending me bills for the prescription they had given her.
Kayela eventually agreed to go to Detox, but we could only get her admitted for 3 days and then there was nowhere for her to go after.
There was so much I didn’t know and I was so frightened. Kayela overdosed and her heart stopped, I naively though that would scare her into not using heroin. But I was wrong, she was back using as soon as she was released from hospital.
We tried to get her into rehab but we couldn’t get her a bed or they were too much money.
She became violent and there were many arguments and fights, as she got more and more desperate. My marriage to her stepfather fell apart because of the stress.
She finally got herself in a mess and was pulled over with heroin in her car and was arrested. She spent time in jail and upon release had to go to a halfway house. I think I slept more during that time then I had in so long, things were looking great and she was doing really well.
She was homesick and during her stay I bought a place for us to live for when she got out.
I painted and put carpet in her room to make it look the best I could. We were both excited.
Around April of 2012 she was able to come home but was on probation and had to attend AA every day. I often went to meetings with her.
Then she began to push me away again and began lashing out in anger. I tried to help her but she says I was nagging her and I needed to trust her. My head would spin because I wanted to trust her but part of me just couldn’t. I was always looking around her room and checking for signs of her using.
She wanted to go back to school, which I was really happy about. She was a smart girl so I wanted to do everything I could to help her. We got new clothes and school supplies, she seemed really happy.
One day I had to drive her to a store to return some clothing that didn’t fit.
It was only $25 and she said it was too small.
She came home and it was a quiet evening. I was watching TV with her sister and Kayela was upstairs sorting out her new stuff.
For some reason Kayela’s sister said I should check on her before I went to bed
I was always told to announce myself as I go upstairs so I called out ‘I’m coming up.’ Her light was on and as my head peaked over the top railing I saw her face down on the floor.
I screamed her name but she did not move. I ran over to her and when I felt her skin she was cold I yelled to her sister to call 911 “I think your sisters dead.” Her touch was cold and the color in her hand was grey.
The operator was asking me to do CPR but I didn’t know how to and I was scared I would hurt her. A couple of minutes passed and I heard sirens coming down the street. The next thing I knew the paramedics were there and they worked on her for over an hour. They took her to the hospital where they worked on her for another hour.
But she was gone.
In my gut I knew she was gone when I first found her face down in her bedroom.
I don’t remember much after that, it was a blur.
I blamed myself; I went through everything trying to think what I could have done differently, how I could have helped her.
Kayela’s addiction affected everyone, when she died a piece of me died with her that day.
You never get over loosing a child.
The only way I could live with the pain of loosing her was to try and help prevent other addicts suffering the same fate.
I tell my story wherever I can and took classes to become a Recovery Coach.
I don’t want anyone else to have to live with what I’m going through, the only way through this pain is to help others.
I miss Kayela every day; no mother should ever have to go through this. Yet drugs take more and more children everyday and we are still not doing enough to stop it.
Goodbye my beautiful angel.