Recovery Unplugged

“I felt like I was struggling just to survive.”

Kristen Sanabria

Kristen Sanabria - Humans in Recovery

Clean Date: November 27th, 2017
Age: 24
From: New York

My addiction started when I was about 10 years old. I started stealing alcohol from my parents and drinking by myself in my room. When I was 13 I started smoking weed and taking pain pills. By the time I was 14, I had gotten hit by a car and was in the hospital. That was the first time I had regular access to pain killers, because they had been prescribed to me. When I turned 18, I had gotten a lawsuit settlement from the accident and I used all of the money on drugs. That’s when I first felt powerless over using.

When I was in active addiction I used against my better judgement every single day and I did things that I considered immoral in order to get drugs. I felt like I was struggling just to survive.

The first time I went to treatment, it was because my family did an intervention for me when I was 18. I knew I was an addict but I wasn’t willing to accept help yet. About a month later, I decided to go to my first treatment center in Florida.

My life in recovery is comfortable and self-sufficient. Today I’m very proud of who I am and I stand by all of my actions. I like that I’m very tolerant and accepting of others. I have a natural moral compass and I’m very empathetic. Being in recovery has allowed me to see the blind spots that used to hinder me from being the person I really am.

My biggest takeaway from going to Recovery Unplugged are the connections I was able to make with other people. I always found it difficult to open up to others and when I was pushed to do so, and it showed me that not only did I have the ability to connect with another person, but also that I actually enjoyed it.

The advice that I would give to someone that is struggling is to trust that other people that have gone through this themselves have their best interests at heart. When I was struggling, I felt that although there were people who were in my same situation that had gotten past it, they still didn’t understand what I was going through. I can see that was never the case now that I’m clean, and that I had never lost touch with the feelings that I had in active addiction. So now, when I am talking to someone who is struggling, I can try to help them while still being mindful of the pain that they’re feeling.

My advice to families that are struggling with a loved one is to know that the ability for the loved one to change themselves is already there. It’s just a matter of when, because a lot of times people are afraid that their loved one is unable to recover.

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