Losing My Mom to Addiction. A Journey Into Recovery.

addiction recovery

On February 28th, 2011 I got the worst call of my life. It was 9:30 am.

I woke up to 63 missed calls…

The phone started to ring again. At first I thought I was in trouble for something, so I handed the phone to my girlfriend and told her to answer it. She did. I’ll never forget the look on her face as she must of heard something terrible and started to cry.

She slowly reached the phone towards me. I took it, never expecting what I was about to hear. It was my brother whimpering. He said, “Bro, Mom’s gone.”

Cincinnati KIDIt didn’t even make sense to me. I answered, trying to push down the anxiety, “What do you mean, she’s gone?” He continued to explain she had passed away. I hung up on him, got in my car and raced to the house. As I was pulling up, the coroner was just pulling out. I drove into the yard, slammed the car in park and ran inside. She was gone. I couldn’t even cry. I was in complete shock. I had just spent the whole day with her two days ago. This wasn’t possible; my mother leaving. The fact is my mother drank too much and didn’t wake up the next day.

It’s been five years now.

Today I’m finally able to talk about it. She was my best friend in life. She meant everything to me.

As tragic as this event was, my mom’s death actually pushed me into the position I’m most grateful for today, and that was complete desperation. There was nothing left.

Some people call it rock bottom. All I know is I was faced with a decision, to live or die. I can vividly remember being curled up in a ball on my kitchen floor crying out to God to please help me.

It is the most desperate place I’ve ever been.

Through the strength that was sewn by a seed planted by my mother, I was able to rise again. It has been a journey. I’ve been through five treatment centers. I’ve woke up in the hospital five different times from overdose. I threw away everything that ever meant anything to me…but in these places of brokenness and what seemed like failure, I’ve held onto the hope and potential of who I knew I was —who my mom knew I was —and that in itself has created a driving force that has become my passion. That passion is sharing what has worked for me and what has not worked for me with the hope that someone out there that was as far down and lost as I was might find hope and let it guide them to find their true value.

One thing my mother did for sure was plant a love of music deep within my soul. Music was always a part of my life. My mother was my biggest “fan” as some call it. She knew every word to every song I’d ever written. It’s never ever been about fame or fortune for me. The one thing I saw in my mother’s eyes when she shared and talked about my music was that she was so proud of me. And out of all the funk and trouble I put her through when the music started going places, she didn’t care. She was always so proud of me, and that feeling has been the foundation for my recovery and my music…honoring her and making her proud.

My mom never got to see me clean and sober. She never got to see me perform or speak at a recovery rally. She never got to see the Brandon I am today. I hold onto the things she taught me, mainly about God and heaven and unconditional love. So when it came time to write a song honoring her I chose to make a rendition of Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven. We used to sing it to each other. My mother and I had a deal. Sometimes when I’d call her, I’d be depressed, and she’d tell me, “Now you know if something ever happened to you it would kill me,” and I’d say, “Mom, if something ever happened to you it would kill me.” And we had this agreement, “I won’t leave you, and you don’t leave me…deal?…deal.”

I have to honestly say that I’ve changed that around. Today I choose to live to honor my mother. She never got the chance to go to treatment herself or carry the message to others, but what she did do was teach me about love, and that’s what I do. I carry her love today.

If you’re reading this and your mother is here, regardless of the situation…tell her you love her and thank her for giving you life. I got lucky , the last memory I have of her was us exchanging I love you’s and watching her wave goodbye as I pulled out of the driveway.
It took me a year to finish this song. I wrote it in dedication to her, and all the friends and loved ones I’ve lost to alcoholism/addiction. And to the families and loved ones may this bring you comfort…

Tears in HEAVEN by The Cincinnati KID
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Download it for FREE and please add the name of your loved one in the comments below. We stand together.

R.I.P Donna Castrucci (mom)
R.I.P Laura Mullen (girlfriend)
R.I.P Christine Hessel (cousin)
R.I.P Mark Mercurio (friend)
R.I.P Erik Justice (friend)
R.I.P Shane Cullen (friend)
R.I.P Lauren Fredrick (friend)
R.I.P Brian Lang (friend)
R.I.P Scott Woods (friend)
R.I.P Jason Thomas (friend)
R.I.P Amanda Maxwell (friend)
R.I.P Scott Little (friend)
R.I.P Kristen King (friend)
R.I.P Scot Philbert (friend)
R.I.P Justin Price (friend)
R.I.P Mark Marksberry (friend)
R.I.P Stephen Diehl (friend)
R.I.P Danny Caudill (friend)
R.I.P Brandon Alcorn (friend)
R.I.P Timmy Conners (friend)
R.I.P Rick Weaver (friend)
R.I.P Dustin Pittard (friend)
R.I.P Ericka Griffin (friend)
R.I.P Cyndie Mattingly (friend)
R.I.P Luther Combs (friend)
R.I.P Nychol Jefferies (friend)
R.I.P Clint Smith (friend)
R.I.P Lamonte Hubbard (friend)
R.I.P Lora Woodward (friend)
R.I.P Cory Boehm (friend)
R.I.P Nelson Gonzalez (friend)
R.I.P Erica Workman (friend)
R.I.P Tyler McCabe (friend)
R.I.P Carrie Schille (friend)
R.I.P Brandy Mae Lunsford (friend)
R.I.P Kaitlynn Marshall (friend)


About the Author:
Brandon Kutchera, also known as The Cincinnati KID, is the founder of New Age Recovery LLC.  He is also a Hip Hop producer and artist with Square 1 Records and is actively bringing hope and encouragement to others through his music and testimony. I had the privilege of meeting him at a Silent No More rally in Michigan. He is definitely a hero in recovery.

Losing a parent to addiction is preventable. If you are concerned about a parent or loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, please call us for help.

About Robin Bright

Hi. My name is Robin Bright. I'm a mom, author, part of The John Maxwell Team and a recovery advocate who struggled with the torment of addiction for over a decade. I still remember what it was like. I know the desperation and hollowness of addiction. The stories here are about our journey to the light. They are raw, authentic, vulnerable. We talk about getting free, staying free, and loving ourselves through the process. I used to believe I had become the worst version of myself. And then God introduced me to me —as only He can. It is my hope that you will use the resources found here to uncover your own true identity...the vision God had when He formed you. xo


  1. Teresa Grasso

    RIP Justin Ellis (friend)

  2. Christina

    R.I.P Peter Fistunenko (Friend)

  3. Alexis Noel

    To the girl I became friends with in middle school & 10 years later it rekindled and formed an everlasting bond as she reached out and helped me find way back home back into recovery 2 years now.. for my beautiful friend JESSICA HOLT will remain exactly as I saw her then forever young!

    And my father Leon m. Noel

  4. Robin Bright Post author

    Elliot Red-Beard Dorning (friend)

    Sara Montgomery (friend)

    And to two beautiful women who are currently in the struggle and suffering today. I am praying and believing I will never have to miss your presence on this earth.

    “No weapon formed against you will prosper.” —Isaiah 54:17

  5. Jayme

    R.I.P. Tom ‘TIP’ Myers (brother)

  6. Chrystal

    RIP: Blake Card (son)

  7. Bree

    R.i.p. Edward Collins My father was clean for five years then he replasped and it killed him. No one would believe me I knew something wasn’t right and he sat there for three days until I could convince someone to go check on him. My best friend my everything. Addiction is such a horrible thing no one should have to go threw that laying to your friends he died of a heart attack to protect him one last time to the grave.

  8. Marleigh


  9. Venus

    RIP ~~ Phillip Miller (baby brother – not really a baby at 38 but he was my “baby brother “)

    RIP ~~ Samantha Miller “Sam” (niece, passed at just 16)

    Love and Miss you both so much!! The only consolation is that you aren’t suffering with that horrible, nasty disease of Addiction anymore.

  10. Toni

    R.I.P. Carol Nichols, Douglas Crawford, Josh Pender, Eddy Ready, Lawnmower John, Heres my mom, husband, son and friends all have left in last 4 years due to there addictions . I go to my meetings regularly and stay clean.

  11. Kayannmoyer@gmail.com

    R.I.P. Noah James Moyer ( son)
    R.i.p. Adam Dalton ( friend)

  12. Jenna

    R.I.P. Uncle Tom, heroin addiction led to suicide after so many years out there battling this disease.
    My beautiful mother, Jacquelyn Warman, whom fell into the pain management trap for legitimate back pain
    My best friend Jessica Small who died from an OD after a brief relapse after over a year clean.
    And countless others in my area that were all under 30 years old. All from OD. This disease is no joke as I am struggling now to get clean.
    Also R.I.P. to my daughter Aura Anastasia whom never got to open her eyes and see my face but I know is in a better place with her grandmother, who crazily died a year to the day,watching over me.

  13. Tanya Jean Hart-Garman

    Rest in peace Richard Lee Campbell 1-12-69 to 8-182003 and lots of hope for his son who’s still fighting the addiction.

  14. Al rose

    R.i.P. Kelly Billingsley


    RIP Cole Schuler (brother)

  16. Renee

    rip ❤ Denise (mom) ?

  17. Tricia

    Donnie Moore (cousin)
    8-28-15 ?

  18. Robin Baker

    RIP Nick Castleberry 10/30/83-1/28/15

  19. Brandi

    RIP Austin P Duckworth 12/23/94 to 05/12/15 I love you to the moon and Back Aunt B??

  20. Angela McCormack

    Rest in peace
    Jerrilyn McCormack (mom)
    Barry Calvin Johnson ( my love)
    Ryan Patrick Delorey ( brother)
    Raphael Knight ( friend)
    Jordan McCauley ( friend)
    Tammy Sampson ( friend)
    Corey McCauley ( friend)
    Bobby MacDonald ( friend)
    Dana Nickerson( protector/ friend)
    Richard Smith ( friend)
    ‘ only the good die young’

  21. Nicki

    RIP Erik Caldwell
    RIP Bobby Leveline

  22. Maggie

    RIP Millie Chapman (mom)

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