When I was a young girl and someone would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up I told them I wanted to be a veterinarian. At 18 years old I imagined myself graduating from high school, heading off to college, with the world at my fingertips, and starting the next chapter of my life.
I never once imagined that at just 20 years old I would find myself in my fourth rehab trying desperately to recover from an addiction that wanted to take my life.
It was hard for me to come to terms with the fact that I might be an addict. When I first started to really struggle, I was only a freshman in high school. My parents saw the signs long before I did. I was doing the same thing that all of my friends were doing- drinking on the weekends and smoking weed here and there. Life truly was a party.
But as time went on and my addiction began to progress, the negative impact of my choices became more evident. I started skipping school to go out and get high, the types of drugs I was using increased, the frequency of my use increased, and the amount increased. By 18 years old I was a high school dropout and I had lost just about everything that meant something to me.
By 19 years old I found myself trapped inside of full blown meth addiction. The drugs and alcohol quickly took over and became something I used to escape the emotional warfare that was constantly going on inside of me. I was stuck inside of a nightmare that I had created. My addiction wanted me dead but settled for me suffering.
I went from being a free-spirited girl who always had a smile on her face to someone who spent days locked inside her bedroom with the blinds closed and the doors locked, completely enslaved.
I’m not sure why my addiction progressed the way that it did, or as quickly as it did. All I know is that everything happened the way it did for a reason and I wouldn’t go back and change a single thing about it.
The struggles that I have faced have brought me to this place of peace and resilience and I truly live a life today that is beyond my wildest dreams. It’s sometimes still hard for me to wrap my mind around this miracle that has transformed inside of me.
I am a daughter today. I am a sister. I am a girlfriend. I am a woman of integrity. I am somebody who shows up for herself and for others. I am somebody who embraces life; the good and the bad, in its purest form. And today I get to use my experience to help others.
All of those things have become absolutely priceless to me. I look forward to my future as someone young in sobriety. I look forward to being an example for my generation and the generations to come. I look forward to continuous growth within myself and all of the miracles that life has to offer me. I used to have this crippling fear that if I put the drugs down my life would be over, the party would be over.
Little did I know it was only beginning.