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Melissa Mackolin Middletown NJ Addiction
Jan 07, 2019

Breaking Addiction

By Lori Draz and Melissa Mackolin

Melissa Mackolin Middletown NJ Addiction

The numbers are staggering. Every day, month and year, more and more people succumb to addictive behaviors. These are not people from some distant place; they are your friends, co-workers, family members, maybe even you.

Melissa Mackolin made the journey from having a bright future, to reaching the depths as an addict, to a glorious today where she helps people find their way back. Here is Melissa’s very honest, very personal and very hopeful story:

When I was in kindergarten, I remember everyone talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up. We would say things like astronaut, president, pilot, mailman, almost anything but “I want to be an IV heroin addict. I want to destroy my entire life as well as my family’s life and be someone who takes years off of my mother’s life by consuming her with worry and sleepless nights while I try and fail numerous times at sobriety.”

Yet that was me, yes me, St. Leo’s the Great graduate, a Lincroft resident with a promising future, incredibly talented and smart … I was a heroin addict.

I want you to know that addiction doesn’t care where you come from, who you are, who your family is, or where you rank in terms of social status. Addiction cares about one thing: ruining you.

Growing up, I would have never been picked as the “class drug addict.” It didn’t happen overnight. There was a slow progression. Weekend partying turned to daily partying, any authority became my enemy, and I was spiraling fast.

My family knew something was wrong, but how does a parent reach out and say, “I think my oldest child may be a drug addict” without feeling as if they failed, or feeling that they let their child and their family and themselves down?

Jewelry, cash, other valuables went missing, and it continuously got worse. Every day continued to feel like the worst day of my life.

The best thing my family ever did was research some things online, find help for me, and make that call. Mine was a fast descent to the bottom. I had many failed attempts at sobriety, homelessness, incarceration; all the horrible things that “never should have been” my life, were. I was living a nightmare, and dragging anyone who cared about me through it with me.

Thankfully, my story ended differently than many. I got the help I so desperately needed, and surrendered to this disease that was beating me down without avail. My family supported me, and showed understanding the best they could, without enabling me.

I today, by the grace of God, am in long-term recovery. I have been afforded the ability of working in the substance abuse treatment field, as an Outreach Coordinator for Sanctuary Health Group, helping others who struggle the way I have find treatment resources.

Eventually I did find recovery after years of pain, and that recovery is worth fighting for, no matter how many times it takes, how long it takes, how hard the battle. It’s worth it, and recovery is possible. Help is very much available, it is just a phone call away: 732-427-1294.