Note: This article contains graphic content.
Melissa Lee Matos’s husband wanted to show his wife what their children see when they looked at their mother.
According to Metro, the father took a set of photos as if he were looking through their children’s eyes after the kids found their mother in the bathroom slumped over, her mouth wide open, and her eyes rolled back in her head.
She was not suffering from a medical emergency, and this wasn’t the first time her family saw her this way.
The mother was a heroin addict.
Sadly, seeing her fight to keep her eyes open and unable to pull herself up, her face covered in sores, was nothing new to them.
That was then.
The woman kicked her drug addiction and has been clean for a year and five months.
She bravely shared the photos of her former life, when she lived like a zombie, worrying only about getting high.
Matos revealed what her drug addiction looked like and felt like in a Facebook post:
I have NEVER shared these before. I’m not sure I ever intended to. This is extremely hard for me in so many ways. However, too many people are dying. I have friends who need to see this. It goes beyond what my words can accomplish. This is by far, the most raw thing I have shared with the world. Please read. Please share.
The mother was blind to the damage she was inflicting on her family when she was high, but her eyes are wide open to it now.
This was what I looked like, daily, for years. This is 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.
Now she realizes how far gone she truly was:
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.
The mother urged addicts to look at who she was in the photos and who she became after battling her drug demons.
Look at these pictures. 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.
The mom spread encouragement in her post, letting people know they can change:
I died more than once. I have now found life. I promise you, there is HOPE. There is recovery. There is freedom and serenity and you are worthy of it.
As the Daily Mail reports, not everyone responded with love and kind words to the mother — some blamed her for doing drugs to begin with. But instead of letting it get to her, she hit back at the cruel comments.
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 …
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.
The woman hopes her photos show others who are struggling that they can say goodbye to their former life of addiction and begin a new one. Just as she did.