FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — In February, WANE 15 produced several stories about former drug addicts who are now in recovery. We asked for anyone who would like to share their story to submit it to us via email.
The first person who reached out was Jennifer Hope, the founder and director of The Mom of an Addict.
The Mom of an Addict offers meetings where family members or loved ones of people dealing with addiction can come together to talk and learn.
Hope decided to hold the first meeting in June 2019 after dealing with seven years of her son battling alcoholism.
Her son was able to turn his life around, which inspired Hope to find a way to offer others the things she felt would’ve helped her. The most important thing being someone she could talk to.
Because there’s a stigma surrounding addiction, she felt like she couldn’t tell anyone about what she was going through.
“I didn’t want people to think I was a bad mom. I didn’t want others to keep their children away from my younger children. But the big thing was I didn’t want people to judge my son Jake. So, I suffered alone in silence,” Hope said.
She was nervous about what would happen at the first meeting. Hope said 65 people showed up to the meeting room at The Chapel on W Hamilton Rd, and a community was instantly created.
The Mom of an Addict has since expanded throughout Fort Wayne, to Warsaw and online. They’re also looking at hosting a potential meeting in Wabash County.
They created a 20-course curriculum that includes the science behind addiction, education on street drugs, lessons on creating healthy boundaries and more.
The big lesson is to learn how to control only what you can control.
“Honestly, if one person came and got help, I would have been thrilled,” Hope said.
Now, there’s plenty of people, like Tara Bustos, getting help.
Bustos said she had a loved one who overdosed. After that, she said she constantly hovered over them and tried to control what she couldn’t.
Bustos said the best thing that ever happened to her was when her loved one handed her a flyer for The Mom of an Addict.
“I think they were letting me know that you can’t fix or control me, but I think that it’s time that you work on you,” Bustos said. “This group has been life-changing for me in how it has impacted me and my family and my loved one.”
Bustos said she has faithfully attended meetings ever since. She now leads a weekly meeting herself. She’s happy and thankful to say that her loved one is currently choosing recovery.
She and Hope continue to try and spread hope.
The end each meeting by reminding the attendees that there is always hope.
“There’s always hope. While we don’t have control of someone else’s outcome, we can have control of the conversations and the relationships we have with them,” Hope said.
If you have a story of recovery you’d like to share, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.