marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

The Voice of an Addict

This is a text Angie sent me a couple of years ago: “Maybe any mistreatment you got from me was just your OVERDUE comeuppances for YEARS of the most miserable, ABUSIVE, pathetic excuse for parenting we suffered under you? Did you ever think about that?” Seventeen years after she confronted me with my diary, Angie’s terrible anger has come back to accuse me again. But is this the voice of strung-out drug addict? Or is it the stilled and angry voice of my little girl? Is there anything left of the daughter I raised in that body? Her rage is not so simple now; it’s much more complex. It’s not just a mother/daughter battle anymore. There’s a third character in this drama: the terrible monster Addiction. Years of pain and anguish doing battle with It have colored Angie’s life since then. Twelve years of drug abuse and the terrible life it carries with it have changed my daughter profoundly. Yet I have changed too. I have taken the excruciating steps necessary to let go and survive the effects of loving a drug addict. I have learned and am still learning how to bridge the gulf of pain and grief and somehow find myself able to transcend my loss. My story seeks to shed light on how I’ve accomplished this. But now I must watch her falter on her own. I have no need to chase her where she’s going. I keep her away from my life raft. The phone rings at 7:00 a.m. today. Do I rush to answer, afraid it’s her and she needs me? No, I go...

The Making of a Memoir

                                   A Journey of Transformation  This is a memoir of my recovery from addiction and the effects of living with it. But it didn’t start out that way. I began it several years ago solely as a story about my daughter’s drug addiction. And as I got deeper into the writing of it I realized that there was much more of a story to tell, and that that story began with me in my childhood. And so I began the excavation process, the unfolding of my life, and laid myself out before the reader in the Introduction. Angie didn’t become an addict in a vacuum. She is the latest in at least four generations of troubled souls. So I allow you, the reader, to get to know me long before my daughter was hijacked by this cruel disease.  It adds another dimension to my very personal story, and allows you to consider that addiction is often a generational illness. And you will see why it is, indeed, “A Mother’s Story.” Ironically it was my daughter Angie whose disease brought me to a place of wellness and peace in my life. All the ugliness of behavior and spirit that often goes with unbridled addiction is documented in the book, as addiction is a monster that takes few prisoners. Yet Angie was a beautiful young woman with her whole life ahead of her before addiction seduced her. Her tapestry described in the book reminds us that beauty is often born out of loss. This is...

Recovery Blog

This is a recovery blog, recovery from addiction—my own and a number of my family members. But I’m hoping that it will evolve into other musings about my life. Recovery is a big part of my life right now. But it doesn’t define me. I’m the sum of many parts—and I have more years behind me than in front of me. You know, it’s a darn shame that addiction has such a bad rap. Is it an affliction found only in industrialized societies? Do pygmies in Africa, some of them, eat too much food? Do descendants of the Inca living in Peru still chew too many coca leaves? And how do their peers treat them if they do? Do they laugh it off: “Oh, there goes Kon again, racing through his chores. Shit, man, I could use some of that stuff he’s chewing. I could barely get off my mat this morning.” Or, deep in darkest Africa, our pygmy pal Polyps finds herself ignoring her chores so that she can scrounge around for fallen mangoes that she stuffs into her mouth like a hungry dog. She waddles back to her circle of huts looking like she’s about to retire and have another little pygmy. How do her peers view her? Do they inflict shame and flog her with banana leaves? I’m just wondering out loud if this disease is confined to Western civilization. I guess it doesn’t matter. Right now I live in the heart of New Mexico, one of our country’s hotbeds of drug abuse. When I was house hunting six years ago, I looked at one house...

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it…we are in charge of our attitudes.”

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