It’s Never Too Late to Make a Change
Hi, my name is Angel. I am going to start out by saying that drug and alcohol addiction crosses all races, ages, cultures and socioeconomic classes. I have been judged so severely by others when they have found out about my drug use...probably because i work in the healthcare field as a Registered Nurse. But everyone who reads this needs to realize... alcohol and drug addiction is a disease. None of us have asked for it, just like no one asks for diabetes, depression, cancer or anything else. Drug and alcohol addiction is also a disease that can be managed. None of us are less of a person because of our addiction. None of us are losers because we have done some things we may not be proud of. EVERYONE has skeletons in the closet.
I was not always an addict. As the youngest child I was lonely, sad, ignored.. "the accident", I once heard my mother tell my father. Never hugged or loved by my father, or any male figure. Always searched for the love of a man, resulting in a string of poor relationship choices and abuse. In high school I drank occasionally and smoked weed. In college, i drank socially on the weekends, graduating with honors with a four year bachelor's degree... addicted more to being an overachiever, working out and guys more than drugs or alcohol. The death of my best friend sent me on about a six month drinking binge, got pregnant, got married. Ended up having three children all in a row...only drank a few times a year for about five years because my husband and I rarely got to go out. Couldn't stand my abusive marriage anymore... got arrested and thrown in jail for my young child running outside at about midnight cuz I had a nervous breakdown and blacked out from alcohol. Went to intensive outpatient treatment for dual diagnosis (alcohol and major depression).
After divorcing my husband and getting full custody of our children...i had one addiction after another.... first it was amphetamines from a diet doctor so i could lose a little weight...then lots of cocaine... then prescription pills due to an injury and multiple surgeries.....All the while I worked in a variety of settings in healthcare. Nearly died a few times... went into atrial fibrillation. The last year of my drug use I was introduced to a bad crowd from another one of my "poor choice piece of crap boyfriends"... people who did meth, ketamine and heroin. My love of opiates led me down a long road, about a fourteen month heroin binge. I afforded it due to my career and great income. But spending $4000 per month got old, so i lost my car, stopped paying my bills, electric, gas and cable tv/internet got turned off. My house got trashed......i physically looked like hell....I always made sure my children had food, but i never ate.. I used every last dime on heroin. Finally lost my job. Cashed in life insurance policies, mutual funds and IRA for more cash to live on after i lost my job. Borrowed, borrowed , borrowed. Pawned jewelry, coins, instruments.. you name it. Had to get food stamps and medical care because i was exposed to Hepatitis C (only have antibodies, not active Hep C).
Eight months ago I decided enough was enough. Signed up at another treatment center (this time on my own, not court ordered). I have been clean and sober for almost seven months now. A wonderful company hired me...Ive been there for nine months now and have managed to become and stay sober while employed doing what i love to do. My health is improving... my kidney and liver function has improved significantly...I get rest and I am starting to like how I look again. My bills are starting to get paid, I bought a car, I gave my children a nice Christmas. Most of all, I have learned to love myself... finally realizing that looking for love and acceptance from other people(especially a man) was not what I needed all along like I thought .... All i needed all along I already had.
It is possible to change but we have to want it. It is a constant battle. One day at a time but actually more like one minute at a time. Some days I dont think I am going to make it. Those days I pray and I look to God for help. I want to live.. and I want to be here for my children. Where would my children be without their mother? I can't do that to them... I can't live such a risky life and take the chance of dying from an overdose... what a selfish decision that would be.... I wasted so many years thinking I needed a relationship or husband to be worthy. When I couldn't get the love I deserved then I abused myself and did drugs to feel better, to take my pain away. But now I know...I love myself. And that was all i ever needed.
To anyone who reads this, please don't give up. You may not succeed the first time you try to quit, but keep trying.. don't give up. There is so much out there in the world for you. You are worthy. You are important. You are loved.