I got this tattoo when I was 18 years old. I was struggling with substance abuse since I was 14 years old. Anything from weed to extremely hard drugs. I went to treatment a few times, at that age I was forced so I didn’t take it very seriously. It was hard on my family financially and emotionally. Eventually I pulled myself out and started working full time and made something of myself. What inspired me to get this prayer on my body was to remind myself of my past but to also honor those who have passed. I grew up in Maple Grove, MN. Well. For my teen years I did. My group, whatever you want to call it. The “popular” the “sport people” the “pretty people”. Ew but yes I belonged to them. We all used drugs. Bad drugs. Some socially, some daily. I can count on both hands how many friends I have lost due to heroin overdoses. Being that I was nearly one of them, but I survived my OD in 2012. When I was resuscitated three times, all I can remember when I went out was that it was complete darkness. There was no light. There was no “my entire life flashed before my eyes” I was just done. I was in the ICU for 8 days. I didn’t have medical insurance. It hurt me in so many ways. I got this prayer to keep me guided, but also to honor my friends who didn’t get as lucky as I did. Now, recently, fast forward to 2020. My mother was a avid alcoholic since the age of 13. She hid it pretty well throughout my life as she was very in and out of it during my childhood. I knew at the age of 7 that if my mom started shaking, she needed a beer. Or preferably vodka. She battled and battled to get sober. She attended various treatment programs anywhere from 30 days to 120 days. My dad wouldn’t really allow her to see me due to this issue she had. He had 100% custody due to the fact. When I got my own car at 16 I would go and see her frequently. She drank because she lost her marriages and children because of drinking. However it never helped her stop. I tried my most possible best to try to inspire and influence her to do better and be better over the last decade. I gave her two of my pure bred Labrador retrievers so she felt like she had a purpose in life. She didn’t work. So she was home every day, all day. My step dad worked to take care of her. Over the last year she progressively got worse. She would say and do very mean things to me while drunk. She would call the cops on me knowing it would screw me over (license issues) we got into a very bad fight one day as well and to this day it makes me sick. My mom, at the age of 56, had lost this battle with addiction and alcoholism. On July 3rd, 2020. My 4th of July weekends will never be the same. I never got to see her speak or open her eyes since she was rushed to the ER for liver failure. Her skin was bright bright yellow. She told the doctors she wanted to die. She didn’t want any machines hooked up to her, she wanted to die. They drugged her up and let her go over a course of 14 days. I was able to speak to her and get the last twitch of a smile out of her... I sat there for a hour and asked why the world was taking my mom from me at the age of 26. Why couldn’t she have just snapped out of it like I did. She had me? The dogs? My step dad? She had a easy life? Why? Why did she want to die so badly.... she killed herself with the bottle. Not only was her liver failing but so were her kidneys. She then got a infection in her brain which took over her ability to function. Talk, look around etc. We transferred her to a hospice where she passed less than 24 hours. We said bye to her as she was already passed away. I won’t forget how I saw struggle all over her face, blood not wiped up around her nose and lips. Etc. but they had the nerve to tell me she peacefully went in her sleep. She was cold. More vibrantly yellow. I said goodbye to my mom on her deathbed at the age of 26. I miss her so much. And I miss my friends. This is why I have this tattoo. To honor those who have struggled with addiction and who have lost the battle with addiction.