Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Mathis.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kimberly. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In my new book entitled Dope Girl, I candidly share painful details of being born a drug dependent infant to a mother with a tumultuous addiction to heroin and cocaine. I relive moments of growing up with a drug addict and give riveting and emotionally charged, first-hand eye witness accounts to the perils of addiction. To include the gruesome reality of seeing my mom become a homeless addict who was living on the streets. I was a victim of her addiction and was born into this world a DOPE GIRL. Now, I live a DOPE life of helping others. Going from BORN DOPE to BORN to WIN!
I am a native of Dallas, TX and a 1996 honors graduate of Skyline High School. I watched the stronghold of addiction crush my heart and the relationship I had with my mother. Growing up, I was the recipient of painful scorn from both kids and teenagers as they mocked my mom’s absence and my dad’s overprotective parenting style due to their insensitivity of his attempts to shield me from my mom’s dreadful state and any unfamiliar `surroundings.
Dope Girl not only awakens our senses to the mental illness of addiction while simultaneously pulling at our heartstrings, but it also unveils the herculean strength required to be the child of an addict; and the overwhelming obstacles that children born into addiction automatically suffer.
I am vulnerable when traveling through the past and take you on a tear-jerking adventure of overcoming abandonment, lack of parental love, societal statistics, impoverished living conditions, and hopelessness before achieving both personal and professional success plus mental freedom.
As a result, my life’s mission is to help others and be a chain breaker! Breaking the cycle of addiction! In my heart and mind, my service is always in Rose’s honor. Giving away what addiction stole from me. I guess things do have to fall apart so better things can come together.
The heartbeat of Dope Girl lies in its message of learning to live with other people’s moral choices and shedding the shame and stigma of circumstances that can’t or couldn’t be controlled. Dope Girl is not just a story, but a movement to help people confront their own personal obstacles and seek a life of truth and boldness.
My motto is, “Live your truth, do it afraid and be dope.” Because there’s nothing harder than facing yourself. My truth was living with my mom’s addiction and the negative impacts it had on my life. From a lack of trust in people to fighting with my words to mask the pain. “I was born addicted, but it is now my absolute responsibility to help others live a life they can be addicted to.” Due to her addiction, my mom wasn’t suited to teach me what I needed, but she did teach me the meaning of unconditional love.”You may never get an apology from someone who hurt you or let you down, stop looking for it. Forgive them anyway, even if they’re not sorry. People can’t give you emotionally about what they don’t possess. But you can make a deliberate decision to do what’s best for you and release the pain. Just let it go. Healing is a choice. You have to consciously decide that you want to be free.”
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Almost every encounter we have with a person who suffers from addiction focuses primarily on their failed attempts to achieve sobriety, a typical life of crime to support their habit, and in some positive cases, their re-acclimation back into society and the monstrous task of maintaining a drug-free life. We almost never dissect what the family of an addict experiences. I felt moved to write this book to offer a deep and personal look into how drug addiction has detrimental effects on the family members of addicts as well, particularly their children.
Since ADDICTION is that nasty word that stokes our immediate judgment and ridicule of those who find themselves in its stronghold, I explored it in abundant detail. As truth would have it, addiction is nothing short of brain disease. Though a self-inflicted one, a brain disease, nevertheless. Mom was living with a brain disease. The drugs had completely changed the chemical makeup of her brain, she had very little control of her choices, her actions and even how she felt. Being a witness to the perils of addiction caused me to be a fearful, worrisome person who was a socially aware needle hater with an “I don’t care” attitude. It would rob my mother of basic life commonalities, dignity, self-esteem, valuable relationships, any meaningful accomplishments, and health, as she frequently found herself on one-way streets that led to ceaseless dead ends.
Born a dope baby, I became a college graduate, a mother of three, an entrepreneur, an Income Tax professional and an NFL wife. My mom’s choices was the driving force behind much of my success.
What do you do? What do you specialize in?
As the author of Dope Girl, and the Vice President of the Kevin Mathis Foundation, a nonprofit 501(C)3 organization founded in 2004. I serve as the organization’s community service organizer. The overall mission of the Kevin Mathis Foundation is to enrich lives and build communities while demonstrating how giving back proves that one person can make a difference.
Roses for Rose is an extensive arm of the Kevin Mathis Foundation that intensely focuses on providing financial and material support for families affected by drug addiction. Our efforts include providing financial assistance to aid in counseling services and drug education programs, donating clothing and food items, school supplies, toys and volunteerism at local shelters and resource centers.
Roses for Rose is a deeply personal and passionate initiative that operates under the same founding principles while focusing solely on the mental and physical health, and overall well-being of kids and families living with the complexities of drug addiction. Join us in our efforts as we water and smell the roses.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My dad’s sister taught me all about makeup and clothes and would let me destroy her closet trying on every piece of sequin clothing and high heels I could find. I’d paint my lips with ruby red lipstick and strut down the hallway with a boa and long sleeve gloves, mimicking the beautiful ladies of the Harlem Renaissance. Then in a flash, I’d come back out with my ice-skating leotard on and leg warmers, giving my best impression of Debbie Allen in Fame. I would go on for hours turning myself into new characters. My aunt would sit on the couch and just laugh. She would even give me ideas on who to be next. But man, I sure made a mess. Clothes were sprinkled all over the place, from the bedroom to the kitchen. And I would have to solicit her help to clean it all up. She was so cool about it and this would become routine entertainment every time I stayed at my aunt’s house. Mom never crossed my mind on those days, and it felt great to just be a kid.
- Website: www.kmathis.com
- Instagram: kimberly_d_mathis
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kimberly-D-Mathis-314940282733909/
Kauwuane Burton, De’le Vision Photography by Ed & Cheriece Crawl