I shouldn’t be alive today, and that’s the truth. My addiction began with alcohol at age 11, and quickly progressed. I suffered severe childhood abuse and trauma, and never knew what true happiness felt like until I began using. I felt that the only time I could bear my life was when I was using opiates and I was hooked immediately. I, like so many others, rode the train of addiction all the way to the bottom – homelessness, banned from my family, in and out of treatment and incarceration. I prayed for death on a daily basis and pushed the limits of it constantly. I gave my devastating addiction 22 years of my life, but today I can tell my story of redemption. After a nine-month relapse four years ago, my perspective finally shifted from looking into the eyes of death to striving to find the purpose that I was created for.
It hasn’t been easy, true change rarely is, but it has been the most amazing journey of my life. I often tell people that if I can do it, anyone can! I have learned to accept and forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made, and above all, have learned to love myself. Recovery gives me freedom and peace, things I’ve never known before. Now, I use the past that weighed me down as my platform to success. There is nothing that can stop you once you grasp that you are unstoppable. From barely hanging on, to recovery strong.