The Change an addiction can make

Jamie - Petoskey, Michigan
Entered on April 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The change an addiction can make

I believe that my addiction saved my life. When I was sixteen years old, I had a very low self esteem and was very easily influenced by others as most adolescents are. So when my 23 year old boyfriend Brian suggested that I try crystal meth, I didn’t refuse even though my conscience told me it was wrong. As my addiction grew, my interest in family, school and friends also diminished. However, I never realized that my decisions would eventually shape the rest of my life.

My daughter Nicole, was the first inspiration to change my life. On her first birthday my mother called to see whether or not I needed a ride to Nicole’s first birthday party. Instead of taking that ride as my mother encouraged me to do, I chose to stay home and get high. I wasn’t living at home with my parents at the time. Because, at seventeen, I felt as though I knew everything. However, without a job and money to care for my daughter, my mother stepped in and offered to take care of Nicole until I could get on my feet. Therefore, when I made the choice to not attend my daughter’s birthday, my mother started making arrangements with the court to gain sole custody of my daughter. For over three years, I have regretted the choices that I made.

A few months after Nicole’s birthday, I started noticing things in people that I had never seen before. Brian’s teeth were starting to fall out, he was so skinny you could see his bones, and he couldn’t do anything unless it involved doing meth. Then one day Brian stole a sack from his dealer, Mark. Mark retaliated by kidnapping Brian, holding him hostage, and beating him for three days. I knew when I started to see myself going down that same road doing the same things as Brian, I needed to make a change in my life.

From that moment on, I started turning my life around. I left Brian, and began my struggle to get clean. I was at a turning point in my life. I was a recovering addict and I had just left the only stability that I had ever known. I was lonely, depressed, and scared I felt like I wasn’t worthy to love or cherish. That was until I met Will.

He was sober, strong, worked full time and attended school. Will wanted more for me and he especially wanted me to get clean. While I struggled to stay clean, I kept finding myself relapsing. I found myself hurting Will every time I needed a fix. Will always seemed to be there for me when I needed help. No one had stood by me and I had lost everything, so why was Will still there?

Weeks went by until finally Will was fed up with my behavior. That was when I realized that he cared for me and I needed to fix things fast. One night, Will and I took a drive up to a place called “Gold Camp,” which was a cliff that overlooked the whole city of Colorado Springs. We spent all night together talking about everything under the moon. That was the night I made the decision to never do drugs again.

I have now been sober for 2 ½ years, and when I look back and think of where my life could be now if I hadn’t become sober, it scares me. I could be alone and homeless or ,even worse, dead. My life has taken me some pretty crazy places, but it was the path I had to take. Will and I are now married and have three beautiful children together. Addiction is scary, lonely, and hurtful; however, my addiction gave me the opportunity to become a better person and to truly make something of myself.