June 1, 2020

Outreach Coordinator Karen McGinnis shared her story of addiction and motherhood in PsychCentral. In this piece, she speaks directly to mothers who are struggling with addiction and those in recovery who may still have feelings of guilt.

Alcohol at age 14 escalated to other substances by the time she graduated high school and throughout her 20s. In her mid-30s, she found out that she was pregnant, which was a shock. She was not sober at the time. Her substance use continued through the pregnancy and by the time her son was 21 months old, she had him taken away twice.

Finally, full of remorse and shame, and after so many harrowing events, she entered treatment for the last time. Today, she has more than five years in recovery, her son is a healthy seven-year-old and she’s made it her life’s work to help others who were once in her shoes.

For mothers who have had similar experiences, she offers advice to assuage the guilt of having a disease that is out of your control:

  • Stop thinking you’re a bad person
  • Accept your truth and interrupt the cycle
  • Use your strength
  • Seek the help you deserve

Her entire story can be read at PsychCentral.