Life Lessons From a Hard Life: 7 Things I Learned Being Raised By a Drug Addict by Amanda Condio
Everybody has a story and some are more dramatic than others. Reading about someone else’s struggles and being able to relate can create a connection to the author and reader that keeps you wanting more.
Unlike many bloggers you see around the world, I did not come from a wealthy family. I am not religious and I did not marry a doctor or lawyer, and remain a stay-at-home mom with my kids. I worked my butt off for everything I have and I gained all of my persistence and drive from the mistakes I witnessed by my mother as a child. I was poor, and I mean standing in food bank lines, screening bill collectors and never having school lunches poor.
So what good lessons did I learn from my drug-addict mother? And how can you turn negative experiences into positive drive and motivation? Here is how I turned every frown I came across upside down:
1. I learned excellent work ethic. My mom did not work for most of my preteen/teen years – she sat on her butt and collected welfare and left us to starve many days out of the year. She was addicted to cocaine and prescription pills for years and it was the only thing she cared about for most of my life. As a mother of three kids now, I can never imagine letting them go hungry due to an addiction. Working was never top priority; food bank lineups and stealing was an excellent way to provide in her eyes. Now I work hard to ensure all our bills are paid our fridge is stocked and we have funds to fall back on in an emergency.
2. I learned to take care of our health care and dental needs. Every ailment we had growing up was a reason to go to the doctor and get pain pills. My mother would not take us to the dentist she would simply tell us to go to the doctor and get antibiotics and opioids. My kids see the dentist every six months and brush and floss regularly. Each of our kids is getting braces to ensure a beautiful smile as they get older and their health and well-being is top priority.
3. I learned to keep an open dialogue with my kids. My mom never talked to me about my life, how my days were, what my hopes and dreams were or anything that would want me to open up and talk with her. I keep things open and ask lots of questions about my kids lives and let them tell me things that concern them, scare them or simply cause them wonder.
4. I learned the importance of education. I was never forced to go to school. My mom would prefer if I stayed home and watched TV all day with her so she wasn’t alone. When I look back at what I could have accomplished with my great grades and strong work ethic it makes me wonder what could have been. I try to show my children the importance of education and how having the right schooling can change your life for the better.
5. I learned amazing money management skills. We never had money growing up and when we did it was gone quickly and things were being pawned to get more. Not having money showed me how hard life can be without it. I am very careful with my budget, bill payments, grocery and entertainment habits to ensure we have all our money allocated properly to get us through each month without any issues.
6. I learned how to be extremely resourceful. Making things became second nature to me growing up. If I didn’t have something I made it I was constantly crafting and building as a child. Finding ways to save money has become a fun game for me, making it one of my favorite ways of using resources. Learning to create frugal meals, snacks, crafts, entertainment and more has lead me to creating this blog and helping others who aren’t financially satisfied and could use help making more for their families and themselves.
7. I learned to work at my relationships. I hated when my parents split up. It separated me from much of the family I loved my whole life. My whole life changed and it wasn’t for the better. I absolutely love being with my partner and I work hard on our relationship to make sure we are both happy. There is no one-way street in a relationship and you both need to accept that. It takes a lot of work, dedication, positivity, honesty, sacrifice and love to make a relationship work.
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