WATCH A PERFORMANCE OF
CAN YOU HEAR ME IN MEMORY OF ALLYSON JOYCE http://youtu.be/yl8mwb8hBLg
CHOREOGRAPHED BY DANCE FORCE, PREVIOUSLY DANCE EXPRESSIONS
children grew up in Lacey Township, New Jersey. During their pre-teen
and teen years I spoke openly about boys, drinking and drugs as well as many
other lifes do’s and don’ts. I spoke it often, over and over.
Unfortunately, Allyson did not listen. Like so many others I hear
about, Allyson thought what she was doing was harmless. She felt what
she was doing was normal teenager behavior. She never realized the
dangers until she was in danger. She started binge drinking at an early
age, began smoking marijuana, soon after cocaine, and then moved to
these years certainly we suspected a problem but could never get to the bottom of it.
We spoke to Allyson often. We were assured nothing was wrong. We did
not trust our instincts and we should have. Looking back and learning about addiction, we were in complete denial.
Allyson was still smart, responsible and looked healthy. At this point
in our lives we believed substance abusers fit a stereo type. It took
quite a long time for us to realize how wrong we were.
changes were happening in Allyson's life by the time she graduated High
School. Still, after continuing to question her, we believed (we
WANTED to believe) that everything was okay. Then, Allyson’s friends began voicing their concerns as well as our family. It was then that we knew there was a problem but had no idea of how to address it. It literally took an earth
shattering moment for us to realize the real hard truth of how serious
the situation was and begin our journey of supporting her recovery.
addiction, well hidden by her had already progressed to a dangerous
situation. She was using heroin daily and multiple times per day. We
quickly set boundaries and Allyson sought the help she needed. Her first
serious fight for recovery lasted well over 9 months. There were many
relapses and many attempts at recovery.
At times during relapses she became a person
we didn't know. She was frightened and couldn't believe this had
happened so easily to her. We loved her unconditionally through all
this, but still boundaries remained to help her regain her health. This
was not easy, and often our love for her made us fail and we relapsed
ourselves into enablers. So many people tried to help her, but nobody
can control an addiction except the person the addiction controls. That
is the hard part, the part that takes more control then some addicts can
had become someone she didn't want to be and fought to regain control
and live a healthy life. She worked through recovery based on the twelve
steps. She was successful many times, but she was the happiest with the
progress she made the last couple months of her life. She was proud of
the way she was living.
On March 25, 2008 our worst nightmare became
reality. For reasons we will never know, Allyson relapsed while
visiting us and it was just too much for her body to handle. She
overdosed that evening at home at the age of 21. This one last decision
was not how she intended her life to end. This was the drug pulling her
back, stronger then she was at that very moment.
day before Allyson lost her battle we were lucky enough to spend a
wonderful afternoon & dinner together filled with laughter and love.
Family and friends stopped by. We went to bed with hugs and kisses
and I love you's. For this we will always be grateful. Allyson taught
us a lot about life and love... and we will keep that in our hearts
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