After 10 years of active drug addiction, I was at a place where drugs and alcohol no longer brought any relief, but I couldn’t imagine moving forward without them. I was paralyzed. At particular moments, I felt suicidal and my thoughts and moods were all over the place. I didn’t know how to live without the substances, and I didn’t know how to relate to people without them. I was a complete disaster. I felt completely overwhelmed. I had self-destructive urges to get rid of all the pain. I began to address the deep wounds from the past, my terrible choices, and all the ways I’d damaged myself and my loved ones.
I chose to reach out to my family, friends, and members of my 12-Step meeting who I felt could help me emotionally and spiritually. In the past, I would have never reached out and asked for help because I was too afraid of being judged and shamed. But I reached a point where I realized that I couldn’t do it on my own anymore. I needed guidance and support. The people I thought would reject me greeted me with open arms. I felt a sense of acceptance and belonging that I’d never experienced before.
Today, I have over 12 years sober. I have a wonderful husband and an incredible 13-month old daughter who are my world. I can honestly say I never thought my life would be this good. When I think about who I used to be and the horrible experiences I went through, I realize that if I hadn’t surrendered to my addiction and asked for help, I wouldn’t be here today to enjoy the beautiful life I have. The message I want to tell others who are struggling is “Reach out and ask for help because it can’t be worse than the pain you’re feeling now. You may feel powerless over your suffering, but you have the power to make a change.” I am so grateful to all the people in my life who have empowered me and made me feel good about who I am. I wouldn’t be here without them. I also know that wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t found the strength inside myself to reach out and ask for help I needed.