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[ Personal Narratives ]

From Heroin to Hope.

Okay my story. Where do I start. I guess my problems began when I was molested by my moms boyfriend when I was just 5 years old and put in foster care for two years. I believe thats where my issues started. Foster care was great, the family I lived with was amazing, But I remember the day of the hearing, and them putting me in a child’s playroom at the Greensburg courthouse, playing with the fake cardboard bricks. My mom coming in and telling me I wasn’t going home with them. Sitting on her lap and crying, the black velvet dress with gold bows and white tights I was wearing. We had supervised visits over the 2 years I was there, then eventually i was allowed to stay at my moms on weekends. 

When my foster mom would come to pick me up I’d hide under the bed, being a little kid I thought they’d never find me and I’d get to stay home with my mom. But they always found me and drug me out crying. Fast forward I finally got to go home and be with my parents. I never knew my real dad, luckily my mom married my stepdad (not the man who did that to me) and he took care of me as his own child. My childhood from then on was great, I grew up on a farm, my parents and my grandparents we all lived together. I was always around animals and I think thats where my love for them started. I always wanted to be a veterinarian, there was never a question or a thought of any other career. But once my grandparents died, my aunt and uncles (my dads sisters and brothers) sold the house out from underneath us. My childhood was ripped away. 

I’m 14 years old at this time & thats when my Bipolar disorder broke, I started trashing my room at least 3x a week. Getting angry and breaking things. Drinking smoking, finally my mom 302’d me when I tried to kill my sisters girlfriend. I got out of the psych ward, and just continued on how i was, drinking and smoking. Never getting a job. I spent my teenage years angry at the world, with a chip on my shoulder. Finally when I turned 18 my mom threw me out & told me get a job & I could come back. So I went and started stripping with my best friend. My best friend introduced me to pain pills. I still remember the first time I was pill sick, laying in a tanning bed shivering yet sweating. So what did I do? Go and get more pills. From then on it was no longer a choice, it was a disease. I continued stripping, eventually moving on to selling my body for money & shooting up heroin. Lying, stealing, manipulating. I don’t know how I never got criminal charges. I told my parents I was an addict, and went and tried suboxone, and it worked when I had my parents giving them to me, but i quickly convinced them to give me the bottle, thats when I started trading and selling them. Over the next 5-6 yrs I continued shooting dope, in out of rehab, on & off subs, chronically relapsing, my parents leaving me up in my room to get high. Only leaving the house to go meet a guy to have sex for money. My parents knew what I was doing, but there was no helping me. I had to do it on my own. I think my mom figured maybe under her roof I could be saved from an OD faster than on the street. 

My last Christmas using I was so dope sick, I actually shot up whiskey. It burned so bad, and didn’t help me at all. The same best friend who had introduced me to the drugs, introduced me to the methadone clinic, I figured I had tried everything else, I had nothing to lose. That January I started at the clinic. At first I kept on using, after 3 months at the clinic i finally got up to my stable dose, i felt normal but I went and got dope anyway, went home, guess what happened? I tried getting high, and fell out. Woke up with a killer headache, realizing what had happened, I shot up the rest of my dope (of course) and that was the LAST time I used. I quickly stopped talking to the best friend. I wanted more for myself, I wanted my life back and to do that i had to let her go. I started a garden outside, I needed to be busy, I worked the ground, planted everything, built a swing, It felt so good to accomplish something and see hard work pay off. That was the first positive thing I did after I got clean.

 Shortly after that is when I discovered my neighbors dog he had chained outside. At first I started taking her for walks, feeding her, gaining her trust, eventually convincing him to let me take her. I had her for 4 months before she went down hill, she wouldn’t walk, was sick.. She was such a good dog. She waited for me to leave for the clinic, I kissed her on the head like I had done the past week that she had been ill. And when I got home, I found her, she had passed. This was the first test, I couldn’t understand why. I just kept asking my Grandma (I believe my gram is my guardian angel, i dont believe in god) why? why do this to me? Why put me through this so close to my one year sober? We buried her, I went a couple weeks later and adopted Bear. & seeing all the dogs in the shelter, thats when I started my dog rescue. I didn’t realize until months later thats what Queenie’s purpose was. She was only with me for 6 months, but she was there to remind me of my love for animals. & to inspire me to start saving the ones that I can. To show me how to feel again & that even when things are terrible and sad, that I can get through it. & thats why I named my rescue after her. I have grown so much since then, I have learned that life is what you make it. Thinking negatively all the time is going to attract negative situations. Hell yeah I have problems, I struggle sometimes. But my dogs and the support system I have are always there for me in those times. I have a wonderful sponsor who lives in Minnesota. I have my own house that my significant other & I purchased 3 years ago.

 I would of NEVER thought this could be my life. & I still think I’m meant for so much more. I try so hard to “plant a seed” when I see someone struggling. To let them know it CAN get better, you may think you have tried everything but there is ALWAYS an option. Whether its cold turkey, rehab, subs, methadone or the vivitrol shot, there is always an option for treatment. I fully believe when you work a program, that we can and do recover. I used to fight recovery, now I embrace it. I used to be miserable, really i’d make myself miserable! I loved to wallow in my sadness, never getting help. Finally I realized life IS what you make it. And my bad attitude, and refusing treatment, was blocking a lot of good things in my life. It took some time to retrain my brain, and there are still things I’m working on even after nearly 5 years of being sober, but I take it one day at a time and I know I’m truly blessed to have found sobriety.