I am strong because of what I went through.

This may not be the best edited or put together piece as well as a bit lengthy, but I must put it out. Clear my head of it. Let the world know what I did and that I managed to make it out the other side alive.

Some may say that what I am about to talk about is too personal or ask why I would ever want the world to know this aspect of my past. Well, it’s simple really. I don’t care. What I went through has helped make me the woman I am today and if I can put my story out there and possibly help someone else, that’s wonderful.

Nobody should ever feel as if they are alone with their problems.

Today is a wonderful day for me. A huge milestone that I couldn’t even fathom in the beginning of my journey. Today marks my ten year anniversary of being clean from drugs. I cannot even begin to try and explain just how happy and grateful I am to have reached this milestone.

When I was eighteen, I moved to a town so I could be close to a boy I had been liking for a few years but my parents forbid me from being anywhere near. I’m sure you all understand that teenage rebellion of wanting what you’re told no to. Looking back, I should have listened to them for it would have prevented a great deal of issues I found myself in. But this story isn’t about all of that. This is about a different journey.

This boy, let’s just call him Steve for the sake of protecting his identity and for easier future reading, introduced me to the world of sex, drugs, partying and total self obliteration.

It really was not that difficult for him to twist my way of life into his. At first, I was good. I said no but was still around everyone else while they were partaking in these activities (Not the sex part. That would be weird to be sitting in a room with people doing that). I figured I could keep this up and all would be fine. But my will quickly crumbled and it was starting to look more enticing to use and run away from all my problems and self hate.

Anyone who says that pot isn’t a gateway drug is lying.

You start with just a couple of puffs from a joint. You realize how easy it is to escape your reality. Or at least quiet it down a bit. After a while, it is no longer enough so you try a little more. When you realize that there is still that nagging in the back of your head, you find something else. Something stronger, that is better at completely quieting the noise. That’s when you start using cocaine, acid, prescription drugs that aren’t yours. The pot makes you sleepy but you still want to party so you following it up with a line to help wake yourself up.

The more often you use, the more you need to use to get the same effect.

It is a vicious cycle. I was aware of how terrible these things were for me but I did not care. I hated the fact that I loved coke so much but still could not find myself the strength to quit.

I was running away from all my problems by creating a new one.

I hated myself and my life before I started but that self hate and loathing grew the more I used so I used more so I wouldn’t feel that. I did not care if I lived or died so why should I bother taking care of myself or quit?

People don’t realize that once you start one of the biggest reasons why many don’t stop is because of how much they grow to not care about themselves. They more than likely don’t want to be dependent on these things but because they started when they didn’t like themself, it makes it even harder. You don’t like yourself, you start using to escape, you need more to get to the escape, you hate that you depend on it but you can’t see any other way to rid yourself of the horrible thoughts in your head so you use more, hate yourself more.

Addiction takes a toll on not only your body, but your mind.

You will do anything in order to get that next fix. If your sober, younger self could see you, they would be disgusted. Shake you while screaming “What the fuck are you doing to yourself?!” But you no longer care. You drown it out. Continue to slowly kill yourself. And killing myself was exactly what I was doing.

They say that a woman will know when she is pregnant. That she will feel the differences in her body. That may be so for most. When you are in a constant state of being high and drunk, you no longer are capable of noticing these things. You are too numb and high to feel your body or even think properly. Your periods have been screwed up for some time because of the toxins that are constantly circulating throughout you. So yes, I got pregnant and did not know. I was about a month and half along until I finally knew. But at that point it was too late.

I woke up one morning with the worse abdominal pains of my entire life. I had been prone to having rupturing ovarian cysts since I was fifteen and figured this was a big one I was feeling. I brought myself to the bathroom like I do every morning to take care of business and then more pain. The toilet looked like a crime scene. In a sense it was. I had unknowingly been pregnant and just miscarried. I began to cry like I had never cried before. I knew I was not ready to be a mother. I was only a kid myself and clearly couldn’t even care for my own well being. But I bawled my eyes out.

My reckless way of living caused me kill a part of myself that I could never get back.

I felt like I was a murderer and hated myself more than I ever had before.

This situation, though saddening and dark, was my blessing in disguise. My sliver of light in my dark world. It was the slap in the face I needed to finally wake myself up and fix myself. That very moment was when I made the decision to become clean. I wasn’t going to be easy. I had been living this crazy life for about a year. But I needed to do it. I was physically sick within an hour of waking because I had not taken anything yet. This was going to be harder than I thought. I called my boss at work and told her that I wasn’t going to be able to come in because I was sick with the flu. Between the fact that it was currently going around and that I had vomited again while on the phone she immediately bought it and told me to just stay home, get better and call once I was better so they could put me back on the schedule.

Two weeks! That’s how long it took for the vomit to stop. You think the flu or food poisoning is bad? Ha! That’s nothing in comparison. I did not talk to anyone during this time. I kept completely to myself. Slept a lot. Drank a ton of Gatorade and for the most part only ate toast and scrambled eggs. But I could move around again. I called my boss and told her I was doing better. I also told her that I was going to be moving so I gave my two weeks.

At this point I only spoke to those I needed to at work and family. Anyone I had partied with I would ignore their phone calls and knocks on my door. I only had to force myself to be strong another two weeks so I could move.

Two weeks of ignoring them coming to my door and asking for me. Two weeks of not answering my phone unless it was my mother. Two weeks of not giving in to go back to my dealers. Two weeks of not giving in to be with the people that brought me into this crazy world.

I made it!

I finished my last day of work and then moved back in with my mom. It was about an hour away from where I had been so I knew I would not be bothered again to try and get together. All my friends from school I had in this town we’re good and clean like I used to be. There was no temptation near me anymore.

I was still addicted in a psychological manner because I still frequently thought about using again. But I managed. I did not go back to any of my “party crowd”.

It took a few years to finally make all of the phantom feeling go away as well as the wanting. But it slowly passed. Now I am married to a wonderful man who has never done a drug a day in his life. We are coming up on ten years together and one year of marriage. I am a full time student working towards a bachelors in communications with a focus in professional writing. I finally love myself. Scars and all.

I tell this story to show that it is possible to get yourself out of that lifestyle and situation. That anything is possible if you want it badly enough. To remind myself that if I could go through all of that and come out the other side by myself, no help from others or a clinic, that I can do anything.

I am strong.

I am healthy.

I am happy.

And I am ten years clean.