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Dear Mom and Dad

I have a lot of things to say right now and a lot of emotions to express. I want to be honest with you and I have been working really hard to reach that point where I can be. Please understand how hard it is for me to share these things with YOU…my parents who I love so much. Thank you for loving and accepting me, so here it goes…

I want to explain to you why I looked to drugs and how I thought they cured my pain. You know I had been smoking weed and I had stopped. I was glad I stopped but soon I got sucked into doing roxies. It only took place for a couple of weeks but that’s enough to ruin someone. I started just taking ½ a pill when I was in serious physical pain and I always felt like I was hurting for something new each day. It happened so fast. One of my best friends, was doing a lot of them and he started dealing them all around Sarasota. I was always with him and I was always around them. It was never a bunch but it was always 2 or 3. It was so easy to get them and it was so easy not to pay for them when I was exposed to them so frequently. When I felt like I was doing too many I would back off and quit and wait a couple of days. But, once again, the pain, stress, emotions would come flowing in again. I was putting myself in awful situations. Driving to a dealers house just to get a pill. I always felt so uncomfortable there and out of place but I was so fixed on getting 1 or 2 and being at ease all night. I would wait to get them after school or work and would be so relieved knowing I would be able to sleep peacefully at night. Sleeping was a huge problem for me and they allowed me to sleep like a baby. I stopped going out, I stopped wanting to be with my friends. I was so sad and distant all the time. All I started looking forward to was coming home, snorting a roxy and finally being at ease and alone. There were times I let myself be so obvious because I wanted to get caught. I’d leave the little bags out and I would use the end of a tampon to snort them. I would do this right when you were in the den and I would wonder, “How do they not know?” I felt so gross about myself and I felt I didn’t deserve to be surrounded with my real friends so I hung out with people I knew felt like I did and were making poor choices like I was. But I started to depend on them every day. I begged to be alone for so long and that’s what I got. I was embarrassed by what I was doing. It’s something I hid from everyone, something I would never want Hillary, Jack, Sara or Stuart to know. I remember so many times my real friends were so concerned about me. I would get angry and defensive and then distance myself. That’s what I did. I did it to you too. The instant you called me out I got angry, defensive and distant. I would then go to be by myself alone in my room and just stare at myself for hours, honing in on my ugliness, convincing myself it was something that was a part of me now. Something I couldn’t escape. The more ugly I saw myself the more twisted my mind got and the more it made sense to just fall back to roxies. Mommy and Daddy, I realize now that I can escape from this and I have! I don’t feel ugly anymore and I know I can overcome this. I am getting stronger every day and I do not ever want to lose my life again.

Love, Brandi xoxo

Brandi wrote this letter from Trails North Carolina where she participated in a Wilderness Program for 98 days. After transitioning from the program with flying colors and recognized by her therapist as a leader, she went onto to a therapeutic boarding school until July 2010 to complete her senior year. From November 2009 when she wrote this letter until December 2010 she was committed to living a drug-free life and worked a very solid recovery program. She was accepted to the University of Alabama to begin her college experience and we all looked forward eagerly to her renewed beautiful life.

In December of 2010 we experienced Brandi’s first relapse. Relapse is a part of recovery and we knew that so we had our eyes wide open and our arms fully around Brandi. Her relapse was short and quick but, nonetheless, brought her back into feeling all of the pain she held felt early on and great disappointment in herself. She detoxed and recommitted herself to working her recovery program again. After 3 months of sobriety, in March of 2011, she made the deadly decision to use opiates “one more time” during Spring Break. That night her decision to use a prescription opiate resulted in tragedy and we lost the daughter we love so much, fought so diligently alongside, to accidental drug poisoning. She didn’t expect to die. She didn’t believe she would die. Nobody who dies this way ever thinks they won’t wake up again.

Death to accidental drug poisoning is preventable. It is now the number one cause of accidental death in our nation, surpassing even automobile accidents. One pill can kill. Please do not become a victim of this epidemic. Educate yourselves to the dangers of using and abusing prescription medications. The easiest way to stop using is to never, ever start. Decree to be Free and achieve all of your dreams and wishes for the amazing life that awaits you.

Love to All,

Lisa Brandy
Adoring Mother
President of Brandi’s Wish Foundation