While the sun is still shining and we enjoy the rest of the summer at Adfam HQ, our thoughts have turned to chillier festive times as we start to plan our annual carol concert. Each year this event is lit up by the words of families who have lived through a loved one’s addiction and entered our Family Voices competition. It always serves as a wonderful reminder of their strength and resilience to get through the dark times, but also in speaking out to share their stories.
Last year’s winners aged from seven years to in their 60s, highlighting the huge impact drugs and alcohol can have across the whole life journey of family members. Our winner last year was a grandmother who shared the pain of seeing her grandson grow up with parents who use drugs.
A tiny baby wrapped up so tight
Crying helpless through the night
What’s wrong? He looks fine to me
But his pain is deep where we cannot see
A pain that was put there by his mummy
Because she took heroin while he was in her tummy
This tiny baby is growing up strong, looks around and thinks ‘what’s
Why has my life been so sad when all I want is a mam and dad?
A mam and dad he needed most but instead he was passed from pillar
First his dad, then his mam, but he always had to go back to his gran
His gran was the one who held him tight, kept him safe through
But he knew this wasn’t how things should be, why could one of them
They tried and tried but all in vain to rid themselves of all the pain
One would duck one would dive one would run one would hide
One way out… they had to split to rid themselves of all of it
They did the thing they thought was right
But one won the battle… one lost the fight
Now 16 years and college bound that tiny baby won’t look around
He’s come through so much but he’s not sad
Today he’s happy… he lives with his DAD
Joss Smith is director or policy and regional development at Adfam, www.adfam.org.uk