I have been dreaming about sharing my story for quite some time now. There have been internal battles on whether or not to share it with the world. I had fear of being judged, ridiculed, laughed at, etc. There is such a stigma placed on addicts, alcoholics, and criminals, and with good reason too. My goal in starting this blog is to lift that stigma. I know that I cannot do that with everyone in the world. But if I can allow just one person to see recovering addicts, alcoholics, and criminals in a different light then my job is done.
When I was in active addiction, I could not be trusted. I would take your last dollar to find my next high. I have begged, borrowed, and stolen from complete strangers and the people that I love.
Addiction has always been a topic of controversy. It is something that affects not only the addict, but everyone who comes in contact with them directly or indirectly. Some say that addiction is a disease. Others fight against that opinion and say that it is not a disease, it's a choice.
Addiction: Disease or Choice?
The best way that I can explain the answer to that question is that it's both. It starts out as a choice, and then another choice, and another choice. Then it gets to the point where you physically and mentally crave it and if you don't feed the craving you become violently ill. I have experienced this several times. Getting high or dying felt like my only option. So, naturally, I chose to get high.
Sexually transmitted diseases are no doubt diseases. What makes STD's any different than addiction? There are ways to prevent them. Safe sex or abstaining from sex prevents contracting them. A person makes a choice to have unprotected sex knowing the possible consequences. Not everyone who has unprotected sex gets an STD, and not everyone who drinks or takes drugs becomes an addict.
We Do Recover
It is possible.
There was a time in my life when I was homeless. I slept anywhere from the streets to hospital waiting rooms. There was a time when I hopped from friend's couch to friend's couch. Then there was an even darker time when I didn't even sleep. I wandered the streets, shoplifted for fun and out of necessity. I was always running from something. Most of the time it was the law. But I also ran from my responsibilities as a mother. I lost my first son when I went to jail. He just turned a year old. He went to live with his father. Losing him was the reason I continued self sabotaging, when I should have seen it as the opportunity to get my life together. I felt sorry for myself and expected the world to too. I was in and out of jail and prison. My ex refused to let me be in his life. I have a lot of resentments towards him for that. Although, I have come to realize that it was for the best. But it doesn't change how pissed off I was. I had another son. I lost him to child services immediately after his birth. He never came home to me. And there isn't a day that goes by that I don't regret my choices. But again, it was probably for the best. No child should have to suffer waiting for their parents to figure themselves out.
It was a long, long, bumpy road. But I finally made it to where I needed to be. I have come a very long way, in a short amount of time. And I am still working on myself daily. I believe that in order for anyone to recover they must truly want it. What works for me might not work for you. But one thing I do know, you must remove yourself from toxic people, places, and things. I had to move 4 hours away from my hometown in order to succeed. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. And the best one as well. I have been free from addiction since 2013. I have mended broken relationships with people that I have wronged. Cops don't know my name. I have my oldest son with me and have a new addition to my family. I have an amazing husband, we own our own home, I am a full-time college student pursuing my bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice (how ironic is that?).
If you take anything from my ramblings, please take this: Don't give up!
If you or someone you love is struggling with any kind of issue, whether it be addiction, alcoholism, crime, depression, etc., JUST DON'T GIVE UP!!
I strongly believe that anyone struggling with an addiction or living a life of crime can change. And everyone deserves a chance. No amount of treatment or incarceration can cure them, although, plenty of time to think and a strong support system does help. They can only recover when they're ready.