Clean Date: December 9th, 2017
My journey to using began because of trauma from an early age. When I was 10 years old, my mom got sick, and when I was 13, she committed suicide. When I was 14 years old, I went through her purse and found prescription drugs. I decided to try them, and ended up not remembering the whole day. I remember thinking, “I found magic.” I continued to use and self-harm from that point forward. I started hanging around with the wrong crowd because I felt like an outcast. I then went on to get a “bad” boyfriend. I felt like they accepted me for who I was; I didn’t have to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. They were all sad, and so was I, so we understood each other.
Active addiction was a living hell. It was a waking nightmare. I would wake up every morning, and have to figure out how and where I was going to get my drugs. The sheets felt like a thousand pounds. Once I would get my drugs, I was satisfied for maybe 0.2 seconds, and then it was back to the same struggle and pain all over again. I was always around people who didn’t care about me, and I didn’t care about myself either. I remember looking in the mirror and just hating myself. I was down to an extremely low weight, and my family was very concerned about me. I just kept telling them not to worry and that I was fine. But then I would just run away from all my problems.
After my mom had committed suicide, I was put into multiple institutions for my mental health and self-harm. Once I turned to drugs, I was sent to rehab. It didn’t do much for me at the time with our whole family in disheveled states from what happened with my mom. I was just trying to do the best that I could with what I had. I wasn’t willing to give up drugs yet. When I was 17, I got arrested and was put on house arrest. I ended up violating that and got sent to “juvy”. I got six months of probation and one month of shelter care. While I was in shelter care, I started going to AA meetings for the first time. Unfortunately, I thought that I could have “just one drink”, and I started to use again. I had my own apartment and car. I didn’t have any furniture in my apartment and I eventually lost my car. I had a cop tell me to stop doing so many drugs, and at that moment I realized how bad it really was and how obvious it was to others. I felt like that was my Higher Power telling me to “wake up”.
I was sitting in my apartment, crying, and just wanting help from someone, anyone. I didn’t have anyone or anything. I called my dad and he asked if I wanted to go to rehab and I said yes. After detox and rehab, I flew down to Florida to go to a halfway house. The last time I went to rehab, I had nothing left to lose. This time I just listened to everything they told me to do. I decided to implement spiritual principles in my life, especially honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. I was so completely fried, so I held onto any information that was given to me and tried to use it in my life. I got a sponsor, started working the steps, and attended meetings regularly. I stayed in halfway and got a job to pay my rent. I was on this journey of self-discovery and I put that ahead of everything else.
My life in recovery is amazing. I am able to show up for my family today and they trust me. My sisters actually come to me for advice. I’m able to be a good roommate, sponsee, sponsor and friend. Recovery allowed me to travel to Mexico to see my dad and make amends to him and his girlfriend. I have my own apartment and my own car because of the hard work I put in. I got promoted at my job, and now I have the most amazing job where I get to go out and eat, sleep, and breathe recovery. I love my life today, I have so many opportunities to do whatever I want. Really, the main thing is that I get to go to bed at night and not have shaky hands or cold sweats. Instead, I go to bed and I am at peace. I wake up feeling well and feeling like I can take on my day.
I am most grateful for my health being restored. I was so physically unhealthy at only 19 years old that I felt like an 80-year-old woman. Thankfully that is not the case today, and I now take care of my body. I am also very grateful that I am able to have a trusting relationship with my family because, in the past, they never had any trust in me.
My advice to someone who is struggling is to just bite the bullet and do what you need to do. Just be patient with yourself, and really soak in and listen to the suggestions. Take a good, hard look at where your life is and ask yourself, “Is this what you really want?”. And if the answer is “No” or “I don’t know,” then what do you have to lose? Give yourself a chance.
My advice to someone whose loved one is struggling is to stop enabling them. The difference between enabling and helping someone is that helping someone is doing something for them what they cannot do for themselves, and enabling someone is doing something for them that they can and should do for themselves.
Now I get to work at Recovery Unplugged, which is where I went to treatment and got my life back. I was a tech for a little while, and now I get to be an #iPartySober team member. I get to go out to events and show people that I can have a great time without the use of drugs or alcohol. I get to be a presence for people who don’t use, those who are in recovery, or even an inspiration for someone who is struggling. I get to show them that just because your past looks a certain way, doesn’t mean your present and future can’t look like this.