Note from ‘yesterday’s child’ in Vernon shows shame and heartbreak of addiction - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy
0.5°C

Note from ‘yesterday’s child’ in Vernon shows shame and heartbreak of addiction

"Yesterday I was my parents pride and joy" reads the beginning of a note left on a Vernon rock.
Image Credit: Submitted
November 16, 2017 - 8:00 PM

VERNON - It’s only three sentences long, but it sums up well the anguish of addiction.

The anonymous note is scribbled in black lettering on a rock in Vernon, accompanied by a cluster of red hearts. It reads:

“Yesterday I was my parents pride and joy. Today they found my needles and I’m an embarrassment and all I touch I destroy. I am still yesterday’s child.”

The note was discovered recently by Vernon bylaw officers, who took a picture of it and sent it to Kelly Fehr, co-executive director of the John Howard Society. Fehr, who later posted the image on Facebook to raise awareness about addiction, says the poignant words almost brought him to tears.

“I made it the screensaver on my computer as a solemn reminder of why we do the work that we do and how hard addiction and severe mental health issues can be not only for individuals, but for the entire family,” he says.

The John Howard Society of the North Okanagan operates two homeless shelters as well as an addictions recovery home for men and women.

Fehr says the emotions of shame and guilt expressed in the note are not uncommon to those struggling with substance abuse. 

“There is shame, not just from the individual suffering the addiction but from family members. Shame of their child or shame of their family situation. Embarrassment of what other people will think of them,” Fehr says. “It’s important to remember addiction is not a moral failure. It’s a disease that’s curable.”

Placed in the context of B.C.’s ongoing opioid overdose crisis, the message underscores the profound effect addiction has on individuals and families. 

Whoever wrote the note, Fehr hopes they choose not to battle their addiction alone.

“Please come in to our centre,” he says.

The society has two recovery programs in Vernon for men and women.

RELATED LINKS

North Okanagan men share how they kicked their addictions

Off the streets, the drugs and the alcohol, Vernon men give each other strength and hope

The hidden population dying from B.C.'s overdose crisis

Image Credit: Submitted

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular penticton News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile