A Loyal Bond: How One Mother Helped Her Daughter to Recovery
By Emma Jenkins
Becky Hayes-Heckman always had a great relationship with her daughter, Anna.
When she found out Anna was using heroin in 2014, she panicked. Wanting to help, she took her daughter to the emergency room, where Anna was given Suboxone to help control her addiction. Everything was paid for out-of-pocket, including the weekly in-house therapy sessions Anna began to attend.
Eventually, Anna stopped seeking treatment but continued asking for money. When Becky realized Anna was not using the money for bills, she stopped providing financial support.
Desperate in her addiction, Anna began stealing checks from her mom to buy drugs.
“I didn’t know how to be honest,” Anna says. “I loved my mom and she loved me, but there was a separation.”
Despite this, Becky knew that turning away her daughter wasn’t the answer. Instead, she set out to help her.
Anna agreed to go to a 30-day treatment program in Florida. While she was gone, Becky took care of Anna’s then 2-year-old daughter. She hoped that when Anna returned home, she would remain clean and be able to take care of her daughter again.
But as soon as Anna got back, she was picked up by her ex-boyfriend, who supplied her with heroin.
A few days later, Becky got a call from her granddaughter’s daycare. No one had picked her up that day. Becky couldn’t get ahold of Anna, so she went to her apartment. When she walked inside, she found Anna unconscious on the ground. She had overdosed.
Becky called 911. When police arrived on the scene, they found narcotics in the home. Scared for her daughter’s life, Becky decided to press charges against Anna, hoping it would lead to a solution.
“I remember being in the car with my mom after my relapse,” Anna says. “I was scared she was going to hate me or be disappointed. But she just hugged me and said ‘it’s okay, it’s going to take a few times.”
Anna continued to struggle with her addiction. She spent multiple periods of time in jail, as well as two four-month stays at Talbert House Adapt and two two-month stays at Crossroad’s Chaney Allen program.
Some of her family members began to grow distant. And the situation impacted Anna’s daughter, who now asks questions about the events.
However, through it all, Becky remained supportive of her daughter. They talked on the phone at least once a day.
“My love for Anna has never wavered,” she says. “My trust has, but not my love.”
Becky says the Chaney Allen program, combined with her support, became a turning point for Anna. Her daughter agrees.
“I was finally able to realize [my mom] wasn’t going anywhere,” Anna says. “That love and support was what made me get clean.”
Anna has now been clean for over one year.
As a mother, Becky advises other people who have family members struggling with addiction to not turn their backs.
“If you have to hold on to that last thread of love, do it. That’s what’s going to get [those with addiction] through it,” she says.
Becky and Anna’s relationship is now stronger than ever.