A Young Woman’s Journey From Drug Addiction to Recovery

The below addiction and recovery story was submitted to us by a young woman who would like to be kept anonymous.  However, she fervently wanted to share her experience in hopes that it would help others choose a life of sobriety and end their addiction.  A special thanks to this young woman for sharing her story with us.  To share your story or read more, visit our heroin addiction and recovery forum.  You can join by clicking here.

drug addiction storyThe first time I experimented with drugs I was in elementary school. My dad kept a colossal coke cola tray under the couch that he kept his pot on. He didn’t roll as he went along. My dad would roll them all and leave them on the tray under the couch. So one day I just reached under the couch and grabbed one. My little brother and I ran out to the barn and took turns trying to light it. Turned out lighting the lighter and keeping the joint lit was hard as hell. Our little fingers weren’t long enough or tough enough. We managed to get a few puffs off of it though.

My little brother and I lived with my father who was technically a single dad, except for the fact that he had a very young girlfriend who was living with us. When I say young, I mean under 18. Apparently, she was our babysitter from the neighborhood we lived in when our mom was still in the home.

There is a story that always stuck with me about when my mother confronted my dad about him messing around with this young girl. My father hadn’t come home the night before, so Mom was furious. This was of course way before cell phones or pagers, so she was forced just to sit and hope that he called. She had some shit to say.

When my father finally called, mom serious as a heart attack, told my Father, ” You need to hurry and get that girl home!” and he denied having any girl with him. ” Stop with the lies, this is no joke. I just spoke to her mom, and she is in big trouble!!” mom said. Now I am not sure why her saying that the girl was in trouble made my dad start to sing a different song, but as soon as it did my mom dropped the line that would be repeated over and over through the years. ” Her mommy and daddy are pissed, Why, my dad said. “It’s been raining, and they said that she left all of her Barbies outside. So if she is with you, you had better get her ass home!!”

Within a year or less my parents were separated, and the babysitter was living with us full-time. She did her best with us, but she was in over her head. We moved so often that we never went to the same school two years in a roll and after a few years or so Dad’s girlfriend had, had enough of his drinking and abuse. On the last day of 5th grade and 3rd grade for my brother, she got us up and ready for school like any other day. She kissed us goodbye, but when we got home, she was gone.

Once my mom caught wind that we were there with just dad for the first time there was the talk of us going to Chicago to stay with her. We stayed for the summer with her but went back to Kentucky before school started. While we were in Chicago, our dad got rid of our ponies, dogs, and cat. We had no idea. We moved from the deep country to downtown Louisville.

My dad was drinking all the time. His temper was worse, everything was worse. He wasn’t buying groceries and would leave for days at a time. It got to the point that my brother and I would steal money out of his wallet while he was showering to go out on Friday nights because we knew that he could be gone for days. We survived most of the time off of candy and cakes from the gas station that was right behind our house.

Boys had just started noticing me at that time. I enjoyed the attention but actually didn’t have much interest beyond that. While dad was gone wherever he went, we started having friends over at the house. There was a girl who lived a few houses down that I met walking to school. Her mom had no clue that my dad wasn’t home when she would spend the night, and my friend thought it was so cool.

She had a boyfriend, so she wanted me to “date” his friend. So of course, I did. One night when she was staying the night, the boys came over and hung out. I couldn’t believe it but my little girlfriend was acting like one of the women on the soap operas, this chick was serious about this boyfriend thing. I was scared to death.

Surely to god he didn’t expect me to kiss him like that. Oh yes, he did. It was gross, but I felt like I was supposed to do this. While we were doing some awful version of kissing he started moving his hands down to my pants. I thought I was going to have a stroke.

I had this belt on, and he tugged and tugged and just then we heard my brother and one of his friends coming through the house, and he stopped. I was so thankful. At that moment to knew I would never see a guy without that belt.

There were a few more instances where my belt saved my dignity so much so that I guess he told some of the other boys about this awful belt of mine and they would make jokes about it. I didn’t care all I knew was I did not want to do whatever it was that belt was protecting me from.

To this day I have no idea where my dad went all of those nights. Evidently, he was seeing a woman or something. All I know is something changed in the way my dad looked at me. Maybe it was gradual, and I just didn’t see it, or perhaps it was as abrupt of a change as it seemed.

Without a mom or really anyone guiding us, my brother and I just did whatever we wanted. No one told us to brush our teeth in the morning or at night. We didn’t have pajama’s, and if we did, I don’t remember. So most nights I would fall asleep in whatever I was wearing that day. Showers were whenever I felt like it or got visibly dirty.

The night that everything changed and I was no longer a little girl I fell asleep with all my clothes on. There was an old stereo in my room that I played the radio on at night when I went to sleep. In the middle of the night, I felt someone sit on my bed. It was my dad, and he was drunk. To this day I can smell the smell of Jack Daniels in that room.

It was always best to ignore him when he was drunk because you never knew what was going to set him off. So I just laid there and pretended to be asleep.

To make a long story short, I found out that night that my little belt was no match for a grown man, even a drunk one.
This is when I think I began my road to addiction. It took years for me to tell my mom and when I did, she just called my grandma, who lived close. She didn’t drive so she called a taxi and had a cab pick me up and bring me to her house. Nobody talked to me about what happened. They didn’t take my brother out of the house and within a week I was enrolled in another school only now I was in Chicago.

My mother was a stranger. I loved her, and she lived much better than we ever did but I hated living there. She was married and had a new baby. Her husband was a drinker and wasn’t the most helpful guy. They were just different then I was, or that is how I felt.

Immediately I started getting into trouble. I was drinking, skipping school, having sex with any guy that gave me any attention and fought everyone at school. My poor mom didn’t know what to do. I stayed with her for about two years. My dad got married, and to me, that meant that it would be safe to go home. I was determined to get back to Kentucky, and I did.

When I got back to Kentucky, I was right. My dad didn’t look at me in that awful way anymore. The only problem was now I was fucked in the head. The drinking on my part continued along with everything else. I was just a troublemaker through and through. At 16 I ended up pregnant.

I didn’t tell a soul until I was 7 months pregnant. My dad called my mom, and she drove straight down from Chicago and took me to an abortion clinic. On the way, I tried telling her that I could feel the baby move, but she just called me a liar, and we went to the clinic.

Once in the clinic, we were taken to this room where all the girls were waiting to be seen. One by one they called their names, and when the girls came back, they said this was just to do the ultrasound to see how far along they were. All the girls came back making circles with their index finger and thumb trying to show the size of their babies. Oh boy, I thought, mine is definitely bigger than that. When they called my name my mom, and I walked back together. I got undressed and got up on the table. ( the craziest thing is that I didn’t really show, not until this moment. after this ultrasound, I looked 7 months pregnant. before it no one even knew ) When the doctor measured my stomach, she said how far along are you, sweetie? I said I didn’t know, but I thought I could feel the baby kicking.

Then we did the ultrasound, she said do you want to see how big your baby is? I said yes, and on the screen, all I could see was an oval or round shape that took up the whole screen. I said wow that’s my baby huh and I held up my hands like the other girls did to show the size and the doctor said no honey. That is just the head. My mom almost fainted. I knew that I was way farther along than the 3 month limit to get an abortion. That is why I didn’t put up a massive fight about going. I knew I wasn’t going to be getting any abortions that day.

As soon as we left the clinic, my mom took me to get maternity clothes because like I said, somehow getting that confirmation that I was pregnant made me relax I guess, and my body stopped hiding the pregnancy. It was terrifying to hide it all that time. Several times I had nightmares that I would go into labor at school, and no one would know what was wrong with me.

It was decided that since I was so far along that I would go back to Chicago with my mom and stay. I believe insurance had something to do with that decision, but I am not sure. Almost immediately though we started talking about adoption. I knew I wasn’t ready for a baby. I didn’t love the dad, and even if I had, we were just kids. I gave birth to a perfect little boy in May of 1990. That was the hardest thing I have ever and will ever do. I know that I made the right choice for everyone involved but leaving the hospital without my baby was indescribable.

After that, I really didn’t give a shit about anything and least of all me. I was back to sleeping around and just being an all around shitty person. Three years after giving my son up for adoption I was pregnant. again. I lived in a homeless shelter throughout the pregnancy and was too selfish to give this baby up for adoption, so I took my little boy and moved back to Kentucky.

Once in Kentucky, I was really screwed. Before I knew it, I was working for an escort service to pay my bills. Hell, I had never lived on my own much less with a baby. I was 19 years old and had no clue how to do anything. The only thing I knew was that men liked me and that they were willing to pay me money to spend time with me. I wasn’t even using drugs yet.

After about a year I opened my own service. I was making a shit ton of money and didn’t even have to go out with any of the guys. One night I had an awful headache. I started asking around to the girls if anyone had aspirin or something. No one had anything. Then a girl named Kendra ( not her real name ) told me she had a prescription pain pill if I wanted it. I said will it make my head stop hurting? She said yes, so I took it. That moment the course of the rest of my life changed. Before I took that pill, I smoked the hell out of the pot, but that was it. I wasn’t drinking or anything.

That little Lortab led to two, three, four, five, six…all the way to me taking upwards of ten at a time if I had enough. I moved up to snorting oxys, and within 5 years I was at the methadone clinic. I spent the next 15 years going on and coming off of either methadone or Suboxone. I have kicked methadone I believe three times and Suboxone.
I was determined that I was one of the people that had to stay on some kind of maintenance drug for the rest of my life. Every time I relapsed I moved up to the next level drug. So at first, I was taking Lortab, then went on Methadone. Family pressured me to get off of Methadone so I did. After a few months, I relapsed, only this time I was taking oxys (oxycodone). I once again got on Methadone and stayed on it successfully for six years. My family found out again and pressured me into getting off of the program. I did by weaning all the way down to one mg a day. I was only clean for a few months before I was then taking Opanas.

Once I began Suboxone I was convinced that I would need it for the rest of my life. I became active in a group on Facebook and with the support from all of the inspirational people on Facebook I gave it a try and found some success. I would be lying if I didn’t say that to this day I am scared to death of relapse and what that looks like. This time the only place to go to is heroin. I am not sure I would live through that.

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Edited and Published By William Charles, Owner/Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News, and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)

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One thought on “A Young Woman’s Journey From Drug Addiction to Recovery

  1. Getting over any kind of addiction is a tough task. This post is very motivating as the person mentioned in the post came over a drug addiction. It is very hard to control urges and getting over those urges is an achievement. There are many articles that talk about addiction and how to overcome it. But real life stories like this one is inspiring and relatable.
    Thanks for the share.

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