I had a large, loving family and all my needs were met. I was blessed with the unconditional love of my parents, grandparents and everyone around me. I was never physically, sexually or emotionally abused. But I always felt different from everyone else. My first memories of “getting high” were spinning around in a circle and becoming so dizzy I would fall down. Even at a very young age, I wanted to change the way I felt.
I started stealing cigarettes and liquor from my folks when I was 11. Before drugs became available to me, I tried all the things I heard about – morning glory seeds, banana peels, sniffing glue. Once drugs did become available my junior year in high school, I was off to the races. I smoked pot, drank with reckless abandon, and tried hallucinogenics. I met my first of many “drug dealer boyfriends” in 1970. I tried uppers, downers, and anything and everything in between. I was having fun.
I continued the habit of “drug dealer boyfriends” my entire life and have used every drug imaginable. I smoked pot for 40 years and snorted, smoked or ran cocaine for equally as many years, those were my favorites. But that didn’t keep me from lying to doctors and dentists to obtain prescription pain killers. I liked drugs, all drugs, and was willing to go to any lengths to get them.
I was a functioning addict and managed to always have a good job and a good paycheck as an executive or legal assistant, even though I chose to forgo college for partying.
Eventually it stopped being fun and my life became unmanageable. I spent every penny I had ever earned, saved or been given on crack. I became estranged from my family and friends. I was fired from many jobs and became unemployable. I lived to use and used to live. After smoking crack for over 10 years, I lost all self-esteem, respect and moral value that I ever had. I continued to go to any lengths to obtain my drug of choice. I lied, stole, cheated, pawned and traded my body and soul for crack.
By the grace of God and my family, I was fortunate enough to end up at Focus-on-Recovery. This was after many tried and failed attempts at treatment and Narcotics Anonymous. And even though I was basically willing and tired of fighting my disease, I still found a structured, disciplined life to be a bit much for my ego and self will. I had to surrender again, not to my disease, but to a new way of life. A life full of love, faith, trust, hope, discipline, honesty and willingness. One day at a time.
Focus-on-Recovery gave me the structure and discipline I needed to be responsible, to work on spiritual principles, and put my recovery first. I was able to build a new life, a good life. Today I am loving and kind and have the love and respect of family and friends. I have a connection with God and practice a spiritual life. I have a wonderful job and all my needs are met. I have four years clean now and continue my recovery by staying active in my NA 12-step group and Focus by giving back what was so freely given to me. Today, the lying, thieving crack-addict is not who I am, it’s “just my story.” And I look back to see that this wonderful journey I am now on began September 11, 2009, on Little Valley Road in Hoover.