“Throwback” photos have become a popular way for social media users to share moments from their past as a way to recall happy memories. However, when one West Virginia mother shared a throwback picture of her own, one thing about it left viewers in shock.
Melissa Lee Matos is a recovering drug addict who has now been clean for one year and five months. According to Daily Mail, she is bravely sharing pictures from the lowest points of her addiction on social media in an attempt to inspire others to get sober as well.
“This was what I looked like, daily, for years,” Matos wrote on Facebook. “This was what my husband dealt with. This is what my little girls walked in on. This is what my family and friends saw, on the rare occasions I left the house. I was SICK. I was DYING. I was so far gone I thought I could NEVER recover.”
“I was so lost I couldn’t imagine a life without using. I just wanted to die. I didn’t realize I was hardly alive,” she explained. “I have friends who need to see this. It goes beyond what my words can accomplish,” she added.
“If you are currently in active addiction, this is my plea to you. Look at these pictures,” Matos implored. “Images of a dead girl. A needle junkie with a habit so fierce she spent days and nights in a self-induced coma on her bathroom floor. A girl who would spend every cent on dope and forget she had kids to feed and take care of. A girl who lost every single thing she ever had. A girl who was so sick she thought she would never ever find a way out, until she did.”
“If you are reading this and are going through the same pain I did, I am begging you to reach out. I died more than once. I have now found life,” Matos wrote. “I promise you, there is HOPE. There is recovery. There is freedom and serenity and you are worthy of it,” she continued.
“Please, please reach out. You do not have to suffer any longer. You are not alone. Just reach out your hand, I’m right here,” she concluded. “My name is Melissa. I am a RECOVERED addict. Share with me your darkness, and I’ll lead you towards the light. I love you all.”
Within hours of posting her story and photos on Facebook, Matos had already received more than one hundred messages and thousands of comments from others who struggle with addiction. She also received criticism over her candid post, though, which led her to respond to those who were quick to pass judgment.
“To the people who decided to bash me, attack my character and belittle me, put a value on my life and tell me I don’t deserve to be a mother, here is my message to you,” she began. “Two days ago, I posted a message of truth, hope, and recovery, hoping my message would reach even one lost soul. That message has now gone viral. It has been viewed and shared by over a million,” she wrote.
“For every ONE hateful comment, I have received FIFTY messages of support and love,” added Matos. “I’m sorry if my story offended you. Please forgive me for not responding to your ignorant messages and comments, but I am currently extremely preoccupied with spreading a message and helping those who have reached out.”
With opioid addiction in the United States at unprecedented levels, most of the stories you hear about drug addicts involve them turning up dead somewhere, or worse, their children turning up dead due to neglect. Matos’ sobriety is a major blessing for her and her family. Please share her story so that it might inspire others to get clean. Even if one person can be saved from the clutches of addiction after hearing Matos’ story, it was worth it.
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H/T: Mad World News