Alexa is my daughter. She was adored by so many from the moment she was born to the moment she left this earth. She was inquisitive, playful and intelligent. She was kind and loving with a smile that lit up a conversation; lit up a room and warmed a heart. She had a passion for reading. Many of her books focused on spirituality, holistic living, and ways that she could find herself, and books where she could learn about the injustices in the world. Among the favorites of her collection were “The Secret”, “Gone with the Wind”, Victorian romances,
and “The Bell Jar”.
Alexa developed an instant passion for horses at the age of two. She was often found in the pastures with her grandmother's horses, walking amongst and in between them directing them "back". She loved riding and grooming horses throughout her life.
She cherished her Yorkies, her “little monkeys” Hudson and Sabine. She cared for them as a mother would care for her children. She sat each on her lap and talked to them as washed and she trimmed the fur around their faces and cut and filed their nails. She learned how to train her dogs to “sit pretty” and “play dead” by watching “The Dog Whisperer”, one of her favorite television shows.
Alexa excelled in school from the very beginning. She was a consistent honor roll student in middle school and high school. She excelled in college earning her place on the Dean's List.
Tragically, she injected heroin for the first time while living on her college campus. From that first time the vicious cycle of addiction took hold immediately and Alexa would never be the same again.
It was heart wrenching for those of us who loved her as we watched her suffer. We did everything we could think of and what was recommended to us, desperate to help her in some way. We bestowed unconditional love, guidance, and encouragement upon her.
She entered many rehabs and detoxes over the years and gained strength from them. So many times she would start her life over with fierce determination and a renewed faith that this time she would stay free of heroin. During these months and years of sobriety, Alexa fought against the powerful hold of addiction with great courage and perseverance. She held jobs, attended classes, studied alternative therapies, and focused on holistic living eating only organic foods.
She took vitamins, exercised, and prayed to God to keep her sober.
Seemingly out of nowhere, despite all the positives in her life, the darkness would creep into Lexi’s mind again. It would take hold of her thoughts again, and it would suffocate her every dream and aspiration, yet again. Ultimately, Lexi would turn to the very drug that caused her the intense pain and heartache. Desperate to escape for a time from her tortuous obsessions of guilt, shame, and disappointment for causing such anguish to the family she cherished so.
Alexa kept journals throughout her life with pages full of raw emotion, poetry, and delicate sketches. She was deeply sensitive and felt life intensely and expressed this through her words and drawings. The obsessions of self-loathing hijacked her mind every minute of every day whether she was actively using or living drug free.
“I’m addicted”, she wrote. And it’s disgusting.” Alexa described heroin as a "lonely drug that takes you away from every part of your life, it robs you of who you are and leaves you hanging on the brink of death".
I share my Lexi’s Story because:
The horrible stigma of people who become addicted to heroin needs to be dispelled. Our daughter was beautiful inside and out, intelligent, educated, compassionate and well spoken. She was given every opportunity a child should have. We are hard working parents and have raised our three children with morals and values. We are not addicts. We are loving parents who have always given the best to our children. Alexa was not a "junkie", as some would say. She worked from the age of 16 and supported herself until her death. She was somebody. She was our beloved daughter. Her father and I will forever wonder if there was anything we could have done differently.
It only takes one use to become addicted to heroin.
Alexa took heroin that first time having no idea the power it would have over her body and mind.
She was addicted immediately.
Heroin is EVERYWHERE: in our neighborhoods, schools, college campuses, shopping malls.
Please understand that YOUR child or YOUR loved one will likely be offered heroin at some point in their lives.
I am here to explain this: if my precious daughter, who had the world at her feet and the love and support of her family,
could become addicted from that first heroin use and subsequently die from an overdose,
then it can happen to YOUR child or loved one just as quickly and easily.
Save someone from taking that first dose.
Adopt the Learn from Lexi Foundation slogan:
"NOT EVEN ONCE!”