Our 51st spotlight in the FACES OF HOPE: WE DO RECOVER series will focus on Vada Ball’s story, Overcomer.
My name is Vada Ball, and I am the daughter of two drug addicts. My life hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, it’s more of the complete opposite. Ever since I can remember, my life has always been affected by drugs. My parents’ poison was prescription pills. When my father would get high, he would turn into the complete opposite of what God designed him to be. My dad loved me, even though his actions said otherwise. My father was a very abusive man. Not to me, but to my mother. They would always fight, and when he thought she had a pill and wasn’t sharing, there was Hell to pay. My dad would tear the house upside down when he was high and had thought she hid pills from him. He would take the cereal boxes out of the pantry and pour all the cereal into the floor thinking she may have hid a pill in there. There was times my mom would get so high that she had to crawl to the bedroom, and while she was crawling my dad would take his belt and beat her. Can you imagine being a little girl and seeing all of that? My mom would come into my room and lock the door to get away from him, and he would literally knock the door down. I remember one time I was sleeping with my mom, and my dad came in the bedroom high. I heard him come in but my mom was asleep. My dad took a basket full of laundry and sat it on fire. If my mom didn’t wake up and throw the basket out of the window in time, the house would’ve caught on fire. That’s what drugs will do to you. Drugs had such a hold on my dad that he didn’t even care his own daughter was in that bedroom.
When my dad wasn’t high, he was a loving father & husband and it showed. He would play the guitar and make up silly songs, and when he would cut the grass he would let me ride the lawnmower with him. He taught me how to ride my bike and always made sure we had what we needed financially. He was an amazing carpenter and would help me with my school projects. But when he was high, he wasn’t my dad. He was a man that didn’t care about anyone or anything besides a pill. I remember being so little and praying to God that my father wouldn’t kill my mother and that the fighting would stop. I spent the majority of my childhood terrified. No child should ever have to worry about things like that. When the fighting would start, I would often climb out of my bedroom window and run down the hill to where my grandmother lived.
My parents’ addiction landed them both in jail quite a few times, and caused my father to be in a horrible car wreck leaving him in a coma for about a month. About 9 months after my father’s wreck, he overdosed and died in his sleep before I could even start high school. I no longer had a father to one day walk me down the aisle or to even scare the boys away when I started dating. He left my mother to be a widow. My mother always had a drug addiction, but after my father passed away she seemed to go downhill. She no longer cared about anything and seemed to really think her children would be better without her. I think my mom often felt like she was a burden to her family. My mom became my best friend, and in a sense I became the mom and she became my daughter. I was always on her case about getting high and hanging out with the wrong people. I would get myself ready for school and I would go to work at a local restaurant after school. The restaurant is where most of my meals came from. I loved my mom and she loved me, but addiction took over her life.
One night in the middle of my senior year, I walked into my mother’s room and saw her sitting Indian style at the edge of her bed with her hair in her face. I thought it was another one of those nights where she’s passed out yet again. I walked over to her and shook her to wake her up. Nothing. I pushed her back onto the bed and saw she was blue in the face. Her eyes were rolled in the back of her head and she was foaming at the mouth. The ambulance came and took her to Highland Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. Just like that, I became an orphan, right in the middle of my senior year. I lost my father, the man who had many demons but I still loved him through all of it. I lost my best friend and mother, the one who I could cry to when I had boy problems and the one who would still hold my hand when walking down the street and still blew me kisses. Both of my parents were 44 when they passed away. This is the result of a horrible addiction. Not only did it take their lives, it completely destroyed mine. I love my parents and still need them to this day. Luckily, I was surrounded by a community of family and friends who encouraged me and cheered me on. I went on to finish high school and finish a few semesters of college. I now have 2 jobs that I love, a vehicle, a house, and a beautiful family of my own. Life dealt me a bad hand, but I didn’t throw down my cards. I rolled with the punches and became successful despite my rough upbringing.
Why did you choose your path?
I chose this path because I didn’t want to end up like my parents. I never want my child to deal with anything that I had to. Just because my parents had a problem with addiction doesn’t mean that’s the only choice I have.
How does addiction still affect you today?
Addiction affects me every day of my life. Because of my parents’ addiction, I have to deal with not having them here when I need them. One day my little boy will ask what happened to his Mamaw and Papaw and I’ll have to tell him.
What would you like to say to those fighting addiction?
You are worth so much more than the life addiction causes you to live. You are so loved by family and friends, even if they show you tough love. They only want what is best for you.
Advice to those who have loved ones struggling with addiction?
If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, love on them! Remind them of their worth, and know that to love them you sometimes have to show tough love. Don’t ever think that your only option in life is to take the same road they did. Look at how rough their life is and use that as determination to do everything you can to not end up like that. Don’t let your rough upbringing be an excuse to take the easy way out. Stay on the right path, and climb those mountains that get in your way. The view from the top is astonishing.
If you have an addiction, know that you’re never too far gone to get help. Take a minute and look at how your addiction is not only affecting your life, but look at how it’s affecting the lives of those who love and care for you. You are worth a second shot at this life, and I promise if you can find the will to break through those chains of addiction that has you held down, you’re going to see just how beautiful and amazing this life can be!
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call Addiction Recovery Care at 606.638.0938 or visit them on the web at www.arccenters.com.
There is hope. There is help.