The first time I tried a substance was age 13, by the age of 16 I was injecting heroin and using crack cocaine daily. At the age of 17, I became homeless on the streets of Seattle, by 18 I found myself deep into a life of prostitution and drug addiction. My path to destructive addiction came fast, within a couple years of my first use, I was engaging in sexual acts with strangers on a daily basis to sustain my drug habit. I started participating in other illegal activity and often found myself in danger of losing my life. I honestly did not expect to live past the age of 25. When I looked in the mirror, I saw someone who was wasting away not only physically but emotionally and spiritually.
After multiple arrests, I was faced with the choice to enroll in a treatment program or spend time in prison. I am not sure what changed in me but I was decided to move to a different state and enroll in a treatment program. While I learned a lot about myself during my first treatment stay, I left the program early and went back to using drugs and alcohol. The shame and guilt I felt almost destroyed my chances at recovery but fortunately during my last relapse I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified. Drugs and alcohol had been my solution for years and I had no idea how to take care of myself, let alone a baby.
What I Did to Change
I learned that I had to invite recovery into all areas of my life into order to feel sustainable change and not rely solely on the fact that I was going to be a mother. I learned a new way to live through my treatment team and the amazing people I met in 12 step programs. I witnessed them lead productive and purposeful lives. I immersed in 12 step recovery, I attended a meeting daily and worked hard with my sponsor, through this process I learned self-revealing and painful aspects of myself that I must change in order to recover from the hopeless state of drug addiction and alcoholism. I have been blessed with a large safety net of caring people to catch me when I struggle, who taught me what real friendships are and who continue to show me compassion without wanting anything in return. The women in the program taught me that I could support myself and my baby without being used or abused ever again. I found out that my self-worth couldn’t be attained through relationships with men, rather I had to start relying on a higher power to carry me through.
My Life Now
Almost a year ago I gave birth to a healthy beautiful baby girl SOBER ☺, her and God are my world. Today I have several close friends, a great relationship with my family (one that I thought could never be repaired), I am a college student and full time employee, I graduated my treatment program and have over a year of consistent sobriety.I am a strong independent single mother who enjoys sharing the gift of sobriety and recovery with others. I absolutely love my life and am beyond grateful to be alive. For the past several years I had been signing my life over to drugs, alcohol, and a life on the streets, but today I am a miracle of treatment recovery and AA.