My journey started 6 years ago when I decided to turn my life around and get clean–June 16, 2014. It’s still a miracle because I can look back and remember when I couldn’t even make it a full day without getting high. This wasn’t how my life was supposed to go.
I lived in a single parent household where my Mom worked a normal 9-5 job. I had nice things, I was in extracurricular activities. I never imagined my life to go where it went. I swore it never would because I wasn’t like “those people”. My absent dad was “those people” and I would NOT be anything like him. He abandoned his family over drugs and in my eyes, at that point in time, he was a terrible person. I drank a few times in high school, but partying wasn’t my thing. My first “drug” was when I started to learn to regulate my feelings with self-mutilation. I got into it heavily when I was a freshman in high school and ended up staying at Crittenton for a short period of time. I went through a rebellious stage around 14 and 15 but ended up “growing” out of it…kind of.
I got my first script of pain pills after hurting my hand when I was about 20. When I took them for the first time, I felt like the gates of heaven opened, literally. I got to a point that it wasn’t a want anymore but a need. I couldn’t function if I didn’t have any opiates. I ended up telling my loved ones that I had a problem. I went to a few meetings but didn’t think I really fit in. I wasn’t “that bad.” I could do this on my own.
I ended up making a very impulsive decision to move to Washington to restart my life over with long lost family. I moved back to Missouri about 6 months later. Events took place and I slowly started lowering my standards. I started to become someone that I never thought I would be. The crowd I started to hang out with was darker. My addiction told me that my “normal” friends didn’t understand me. The people I was hanging around started doing the one thing I swore I would never ever, ever, NEVER touch–Meth. And I did too.
I very quickly found myself becoming my worst nightmare. I started using intravenously. I looked like a skeleton. My reality was not real. I didn’t know what was real anymore. I was paranoid, I was losing my mind. I was finding myself in trap houses and getting guns pulled on me. It kept getting worse and worse. I overdosed and went through withdrawing and having seizures with a BP of 65/18 and that still didn’t stop me.
I finally went into treatment. There, I learned that I had a choice. The last time I used I realized that I didn’t have to do this anymore. I was tired of the lifestyle, I was sick of the people, I was over the game. I wanted my life back.
I ended up getting into Healing House.Through transitional living I learned structure, and a new lifestyle and respect for myself. I got my relationship with my Higher Power back. I wasn’t just existing. I learned how to live life without the use of drugs or alcohol.
I have learned to have a healthy relationship in my recovery. I’ve learned that a relationship is a team, not a control game. I learned what it means to be truly loved and accept that love and I can say that I get that with him. My husband and I have been married 4.5 years. We have experienced normal marriage struggles, but also the loss of two babies, and got through it clean. We now get to experience life soon as our baby boy was born in December.
Today I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to help people in the same position I was in not that long ago due to my job as a Recovery Coach (CPS) for Comprehensive Mental Health Services. I use my past and my experience to help let that next person coming through the doors know they are not alone, how to deal with this life thing, and how to enjoy it as well. I get to share my experience and my past as a way to connect and help people walk through that dark tunnel until they get to see the light themselves.
Photo is representative and does not show actual CMHS client