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January 26, 2018

Growing up I had a pretty good home life. I never wanted for anything and never did without. As a child I watched my dad mentally, physically, and emotionally abuse my mother every day. As I got older I knew that I always felt different and would do anything to feel a part of. In high school that led me to smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and smoking weed. At the time I really thought it was the thing to do. It made me feel good. It made me feel important.

When I was a senior in high school I got pregnant and dropped out. I thought my life was over and I would never amount to anything. In 2009, at the age of 18, I had Kennedy and really had no idea what I was going to do. I was in a crazy relationship where I thought I was going to have to spend the rest of my life. I began using pain pills everyday just to deal with the everyday life of a young mother.

From this point my life really began to spiral out of control. I was not only doing drugs, but I was selling them to have some control over other people. I started using a needle and my life got truly miserable. I wanted to die. I hated my life and I felt like there was no way out. I thought I would live this way the rest of my life.

In 2011 I got my first DUI and went to jail for the first time. You would think that would scare me a little bit, but it just added fuel to the fire. I became really careless at this point and ended up with a few different charges. Shoplifting, possession, another DUI, and felony contraband were just a few. I was in jail and they offered me SAP, which is a 6 month substance abuse program in a county jail. That sounded really good to me at that point in my life. I was thinking that was just what I needed. I went to Hardin County Detention Center in Elizabethtown, KY and completing the program.

I came home and wanted to be a mom again. I started going to meetings and doing what I needed to do to stay sober. A couple of months went by and I thought I could actually be a “successful dope head,” whatever that was. I thought I could just use on the weekends and nobody would know. I wouldn’t get out of control. That was definitely not what happened. I used a couple days and was already dope sick, miserable, and back out of control.

This was really hard for me to overcome and cope with, but my daughter was six years old and saved my life. I had overdosed for the second time and she found me with my lips purple and barely breathing. My dad rushed me to the ER where they put me on a ventilator for five days. My family was hurting so badly and praying for me to just come back. I woke up with my daughter by my bed crying for her mommy and hoping I was going to wake up. I really thought I was going to change then. However, I think it just made me worse. The guilt and shame was so unmanageable I didn’t think I would ever be able to look at her the same.

I went back to jail and got sent to Pike County Jail for SAP again. I knew this would be it for me. I was going to stay sober this time. I stayed clean longer than the last time but it still wasn’t enough. I was on probation and thought well, maybe I can’t stay clean. I ended up pregnant and not even knowing until I was already 12 weeks along. My probation officer called me in for a drug test and I thought I would be ok because I always brought somebody else’s urine in so that I could pass the test. That day was different. She knew I was pregnant and she knew I had brought urine, so I wore handcuffs out of the office. Screaming, kicking, and crying I went back to jail. I knew I had really done it this time.

All by the grace of God, I was offered residential treatment at Karen’s Place. I wasn’t really sure about it, but at this point, pregnant and in jail, I was willing to do anything. Did I want to go? No. I was very angry with myself and everybody else that came in contact with me. When I got there I was so broken and had been in such a dark place that I didn’t think I could ever deal with myself. After being there a couple weeks I had surrendered my life to God, and I knew something had changed. I had so much peace within myself. I felt like I had been freed at last. I felt so much joy. I could wake up in the morning and smile and be ok with me.

I never dreamed I could change the old selfish, self-centered me. I have been born again in Christ and I have been redeemed. I have been restored. I continued treatment and went to Karen’s Place Maternity Center. On May 16th, 2017 I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl, Paisley Hope. We stayed there until she was six weeks old. I worked on being a sober mother. We came home and I had an amazing opportunity to intern there. I got to work with broken, pregnant women just like I had been. On January 12, 2018 I celebrated one year sober. In His grace, God brought me out of the pits of hell and blessed me with the beautiful life I have and let me know that I have a purpose. I am a mother today. I pay my bills, take my kids to church, and I know God has a plan for me. He created this beautiful masterpiece and I can now say that I am proud of who I am and who He’s made me to be.

What was your aha moment?

When I realized that God loves me unconditionally and that I was worthy of that love. I didn’t have to live a miserable life anymore out of the lives of my children. I had a purpose.

Feelings and emotions in active addiction:

I was broken, beat down, and depressed. I never thought I was good enough. I just felt like a dark cloud followed me everywhere I went.

The driving force that keeps me going when times get tough

God and prayer. I find such peace in Him. I find peace in church, praising and worshipping the One who set me free. My life today is amazing. I wake up, show up, and I’m who I’m supposed to be, working with people just like me.

Advice for the addict still struggling.

Short term pain for long term happiness. By no means is it easy. It’s going to be hard but once you start to have a clear mind and see that you have a way out, the rest will fall into place.

What obstacles or road blocks have you faced in your recovery?

My relationship with my older daughter. She was there through it all and now she sees who I am today, knowing I’m not sick. Sometimes it’s different and I don’t know what to say. However, she always knows how to brighten my days.

My mother had two strokes and now she doesn’t know who I am half of the time. It’s been really hard for me. She has good days and bad days. No matter what, I’m not giving up on her because she never gave up on me. She always believed in me and I believe in her. I know God is going to heal her just like He healed me.

What is something you want people who never struggled with addiction to know?

Addiction doesn’t discriminate. People are struggling and they need support. They need to know that there is hope. Addiction takes over your life and there’s nothing or no one that you won’t hurt for it. People are hurt, broken, and helpless. They really don’t think there’s another way.

What advice do you have for family members of a person in addiction?

If I can change, anybody can change. I was the worst of the worst. I’d do anything for my next fix regardless of what I had to do to get it or who I had to hurt. Just know that there is hope and anybody can change. God is the Almighty and He made us conquers.

Closing Thoughts

Today I am grateful for the small things. I never forget where I came from. I am so grateful that I have been born again.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call Addiction Recovery Care at 606.638.0938 or visit them on the web at www.arccenters.com.

 

There is hope. There is help.

Comments  

-1 #2 Struggle 2018-01-28 12:40
congrats to all have that have been successful. My prayers are with you and stay at it. Your story is an inspiration to others! Stay strong and focused!
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+1 #1 Recovery 2018-01-27 13:19
It would be interesting to see in one year what these people are doing. Their success rate.
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