I’m not really sure what put me in the mood to write a blog post this personal, but with my 5 year mark coming up I’ve been thinking about it a lot more lately. Some of you might know this about me, most of you probably don’t. Either way, it’s something super personal and I feel like you guys should know it, since y’all know everything else about my life.
Maybe by me sharing my story it can help you or someone else you know going through the same battle.
So…without further ado….Here’s my sobriety story!
My journey, I guess we’ll call it, started when I was 20, a couple months before I turned 21. It’s you’re typical story- I met a guy [we’ll call him Rob] and we started dating and by hanging around him and his friends all the time I got sucked into their activities, which led me to things I honestly don’t think I would have done if I had never met Rob/his friends/his family.
When I first met and started dating Rob, I would just sit back or go into a different room when he and his friends/family would do their “activities”. But eventually, I’d say after about 2-3 months, I started getting curious and was staying in the same room and watching them. They’d smoke the normal weed, but I also noticed they were doing cocaine, crack, and pills. I had known people who smoked weed before, so that was nothing new or bad to me. But being introduced to crack, cocaine (powder form), and pills was new to me. I had only ever known pills as a type of medication, I had no idea that you could use it for anything else, or take it any other way than orally for that matter.
Well, much like most people, eventually the curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to try everything these people were doing. You can probably guess, I was hooked, or addicted, to the feelings those things gave me from day one. That’s all it took. One hit from the crack pipe. One line of cocaine or pill up my nose. After that, my only focus in life was getting my next high feeling. That numb feeling where even my worst days didn’t feel that bad.
I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t like what I was doing at that time, back then it was all I did and I loved it. I lost all my drive and any future plans I had previously made for my life. Nothing mattered by getting my next high. Eventually, I’d fall deeper in that rabbit hole.
I ended up failing my sophomore year of community college. Eventually, I dropped out of college all together after failing most of my classes and losing my federal financial aid. I never have tried any attempts to fix that or go back and finish my degree, even after being sober.
If you know anyone who is currently using, or has used before, then you know a drug habit is NOT cheap, AT ALL. We started out spending roughly $50-$100 a week on our habit, but that quickly escalated to $50-$75 a day, and by the end of our second year together, we were spending an average of $250-$300 a day just to keep us on that cloud 9 feeling.
I’ve lied to family about being on drugs in general, in those moments I even lied to them when I would ask for money. I would tell them some made up lie about what I needed it for, but in all reality the only things I was buying was drugs. There were times I would go days without eating because I thought it was better to spend my last dollar on a drug than on food.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am in no way, shape, or form placing all of the blame for my addiction on Rob. While it was him that introduced me to the drugs and showed me how to use/abuse them, it was NOT his decision for me to start doing them. He initially wanted to keep me away from them, but eventually I was persistent enough to him and his brother and I was given some to try on my own. It was ultimately my own decision that got me into using, NOT Rob, NOT his friends, NOT his family. NOBODY is responsible for me having that addiction but MYSELF.
I’m not really sure 100% on the timing, but roughly 3-4 years into our relationship, we were introduced to “whip-its”. If you’re not familiar, that is basically inhaling nitrous oxide gas. Nitrous oxide gas makes cream into whipped cream, makes Vin Diesel’s car go faster, and makes dental work slightly less awful. And if you take a lungful of it for fun, you’ll be like “whoooooo…” for about the time it takes to breathe in and out. While the feeling was euphoric, to say the least, while it lasted- it doesn’t last very long. By the time you exhale once, maybe twice, it’s gone. But you get hooked because, much like any other drug, you’re constantly chasing that first high feeling [also known as chasing the dragon], but you’ll never get that first high feeling again. You know you’ll never get it again, but you keep trying in hopes you’re wrong.
Trust me, you’re not wrong!
Anyway, by the end of our 6 year relationship I was addicted to crack [rock form smoking], cocaine [powder form inhaling], whip-its [inhaling], and pills [crushing and inhaling]. I was lying to both friends and family about what I was spending all of my money on [I was working supporting some of my habit], and when I would ask them to borrow money [with no intention of paying it back ever] I would lie about what I needed it for.
I had talked with Rob more times than I can count, or care to admit, about us both quitting the drugs and getting sober. He would say he was interested, but after about 2 days of not doing the drugs, because our body would start going into withdrawals and we’d start fighting constantly [about complete dumb and irrelevant shit], we’d end up using again just to function.
Which, being completely honest and looking back now, if I couldn’t be around him without the drugs and not fight- it should have been a red flag and a sign for me to leave then, but I was just as addicted as him and couldn’t quit either. I was dumb.
One night, I don’t exactly remember what I was doing, but I do know I was living at my mom’s apartment and got a call from Rob [who was at his mom’s at the time] saying that he needed a ride somewhere because his mom was kicking him out after a fight and she was calling the police on him. So, I convinced my mom to go pick him up and he ended up living with my mom and I in her apartment. It wasn’t horrible at first. And [as far as I knew] I was doing pretty decent at hiding the drug addiction from my mom. Until one day, like it always does, it revealed itself.
My mom came upstairs into our bedroom, not mad or anything, she had just wanted to talk about something. Well, I was actually in the middle of both snorting pills and doing whip-its with Rob and she interrupted that. I didn’t even listen to anything she had to say. I just started yelling and screaming for her to get out of my room. And I tried shutting my door and locking it to keep her out. After yelling and screaming didn’t get her out, I eventually pushed my mom backwards and she hit the stair railing and fell.
I’m not even going to try hiding that or pretending that it was ok no matter what I was feeling or doing. In that moment, I didn’t see where I had done anything wrong, I just simply wanted my privacy. It took me a while to actually grasp the concept that I was wrong. It took months for me to actually realize that my mom hadn’t done anything wrong, she had simply come into my room to talk [which she had done probably a billion times before].
I actually think that was the turning point for me. Once I finally grasped what I had really done, I realized not only had my life completely gone off the originally track I had planned, I was going into a completely different and horrible direction. I knew right then I needed [and wanted] to get sober and away from all those drugs and TAKE MY LIFE BACK!
The only issue [I saw] with that plan, was in order for me to get sober I would have to completely get away from Rob, his friends, and his family. But I was hooked. I was hooked on the drugs. I was hooked on Rob. I was honestly convinced that I was in love with him and he was in love with me.
Heads up: I WAS WRONG!
I tried counseling. I tried out patient rehab [which honestly, looking back now, was a complete joke!]. I tried using methadone [worst thing ever at that time]. After the first try of all of those, and seeing none work, I figured that was it and I was just supposed to keep doing the drugs to keep surviving.
Again, I was wrong!
Eventually, I’m not sure what it really was, something snapped in my brain. I woke up one day after a long night binge of doing all those drugs, and trying heroin for the first time, and told myself “That’s it! I quit!” And I started actually looking into ways to get sober at home. I talked online with tons of other people who had been through sobriety themselves.
I finally had it in me. I woke up, packed all of my stuff. And left Rob. I tried keeping in touch with him the first few months, and we would hang out once in a while. But I slowly realized that all that was doing was keeping me using. So finally I had to block him from calling/texting, removed him from all social media, and just completely cut him off.
And honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to do any of that if I hadn’t met Andy. When Andy and I first got together, I was still talking to Rob [as a friend, not trying to get back in a relationship] and I was still paying his cell-phone bill. Andy made it clear one day, that I was either in a relationship with him or I wanted to be friends with Rob, but he wasn’t going to allow both. [Not in a controlling kind of way, he just knew I was still early in my sobriety- 1 year clean- and he knew Rob would drag me back down.- Which so did I subconsciously, but I didn’t want to believe it]. I made the [very smart] choice that I wanted to be with Andy, so I cut Rob out completely.
I know this shouldn’t surprise me, but it still does sometimes…MY LIFE ACTUALLY STARTED COMING TOGETHER MORE. Andy and I managed to get our first place together, we got married, had AJ, took vacations…it was absolutely amazing.
Getting sober, while one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through, has definitely been my greatest accomplishment [other than my kids of course]. Since being sober, Andy and I have managed to get vehicles, have steady income, take vacations, had 2 kids, still have our own place, and are now looking into buying our first home together.
Before ever starting the drugs, this is all I wanted: a family, my own house, taking vacations. During my addiction, I had given up on it. I thought being an addict was all I was ever going to do with my life. And now, being sober for almost 5 years, my life has honestly NEVER been better.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I’ll get over stressed, or something bad will happen and I’ll think about a drug, but I haven’t touched them because I know how much can be lost during an addiction, and NOTHING is worth losing this life I have now over.
While it may not always seem or be an easy choice, SOBRIETY IS ALWAYS AN OPTION! It’s always there for addicts and worth it. BUT, the one thing I can’t stress enough is that IF THE ADDICT DOES NOT WANT TO GET SOBER FOR THEMSELVES, THEY WON’T GET SOBER. You can’t force someone to get clean, no matter their addiction. They have to hit whatever point they consider rock bottom themselves, before they really want it and will get clean.
If anyone does come to you, or you yourself, needing help with getting sober here are some great resources:
- SAMHSA National Helpline Confidential free help, from public health agencies, to find substance use treatment and information. 1-800-662-4357
- Free Drug Rehab Centers
- Recovery Centers of America
- Immediate Addiction Helpline (24-hour) 855-920-4069 844-977-3454
YOU CAN DO IT! #WEDORECOVER