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Meet Allison and her story of her recovery from a drug addiction.
I am in recovery from drug addiction. I first tried an opiate when I was 17 years old. I hung out with my classmates that were partying, drinking, and doing drugs. I thought at the time that it was completely normal for teens to experiment with drugs and alcohol. I was dating a guy that started to use narcotics. I observed his behavior while he would use them and I didn’t see any negative behaviors or actions from him. We were already considered a toxic relationship because I was being physically and mentally abused by him. He convinced me to try a prescription opioid medication, with no prescription. After my first try, I was “in love” with the feeling of being high from an opiate. I didn’t know the consequences that come with abusing narcotics. I was instantly mentally addicted to the drug and within weeks of using I was physically addicted. After becoming physically addicted to prescription opioid medication, at age 19, I experimented with heroin; an opiate that was cheaper, more accessible, and stronger.
I actively used heroin until I was 22. At that age, my use stopped because I was incarcerated. I stayed sober for about 1 year and 3 months, then I experienced a relapse. My relapse lasted 4 months and I gained the courage to get help for myself by admitting myself into treatment. I began my recovery on December 2, 2015.
I received a lot of support which was very unexpected. I was so ashamed at first about all of the pain I caused my loved ones while using, which led me to believe that no one would care about me. I was wrong. My family was very supportive of my recovery and still are to this day. I also received support from my church members, other people in recovery, and professionals. My most influential support was from my Higher Power, who I call Jesus.
My support worked in the beginning because when I was feeling any self destructive and negative thoughts, every piece of my support system helped me. This support is still there for me today.
Yes, many! I remember one time I was awake late at night with an overwhelming craving to use. I had an immense amount of thoughts in my mind that justified and pushed the cravings to lead to using. I tucked my legs underneath my arms and squeezed them tightly as I rocked back and forth, tears streaming down my face using every bit of me to not give in to this craving. I crawled off of my bed onto the floor. I got on my knees and put my forehead to the carpet. I cried out to God to stop these thoughts and end this craving. I thanked Him for listening to me at this moment and for how far He had already brought me. I begged God help me and He did just that. The craving and thoughts were immediately gone. I started using God to help me through future cravings and they always diminished when I did.
Another turning point for me was when I gained trust from my family. It meant a lot to me that they trusted me because I had lost it for so long. Having their trust was something I didn’t believe would come back, but recovery gave me it.
My life is amazing right now. I’m involved in jobs that are in the field of recovery, volunteering for recovery related events and commitments, and I’ve developed a new way of healthy living. Even though life isn’t always perfect, with the help of God, my support system, and positive coping skills, I have been able to bear any obstacle that comes my way and remain sober.
My goal is to stay sober and continue to help others in their recovery. You can follow my blog about my life in recovery.
I would say to someone that life gets better. If you are struggling there is help and people that will dedicate their hearts to support, love, and encourage you. There was a lot of advice and positivity that people had given me, but I struggled with believing that it could become a reality for me. I want people to know that with a mustard seed amount of faith, you can do anything your heart desires.
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