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[ Personal Narratives ]

Heroin (Nearly) Stole My Life and My Kids

At the age of 22 I was facing a huge problem..I found out that I was pregnant with my second child. Most people would be excited and happy, but I was addicted to pain killers. 

When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t know what to do. I had tried many times before to quit using, but the withdrawals were horrible. I was afraid of what would happen to my baby either way, I stop and we both go through horrible withdrawals or I continue to use. I had been abusing painkillers for 4 years at this point and there was no stopping me, not even a baby in my belly. About halfway into my pregnancy I was introduced to heroin and fentynal patches. The heroin was much cheaper and offered a better high. Of course I would try it. Second to worse day of my life. I began using heroin everyday and whenever I could get my hands on patches I was using them too. 

I remember the night I went into labor. It was 2 o’clock in the morning and I woke up with horrible stomach cramps. I thought it was because I was coming down so I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep. After an hour and a half of them not going away and getting stronger I realized I was in labor. Panic set in. “I am about to have a baby, what if they drugs test us? What am I going to do!?” Melanney was born weighing 6 lbs 7 oz healthy as could be. No withdrawals whatsoever while at the hospital and we leave with her after 2 days.

Fast forward a year. I am pregnant with my 3rd child, and still using as much as I possibly could. Thought to myself, Melanney was fine I can still use. By this time my addiction had already taken everything from me. I had lost my apartment and everything in it. A month before my son was born I had my mom take my girls because I was sleeping in my car.

You probably already can guess, but I was high when I delivered my son. They had drug tested me when I came in and drug tested Jace. At that point I knew the county was going to take custody of him. I stayed with him Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday night they moved him to the NICU because he was withdrawaling. On Monday morning social services we at my bedside asking me 100s of questions. Asking who would be able to take all three of my kids. I couldn’t talk. I didn’t know they were going to take my girls too. 

When the county takes custody of your kids, you have 6 months to get your act together or they will terminate your parental rights. July 6th 2015, one week before my pretrial to lose my rights I started inpatient treatment. I had continued to use during that whole 6 months and wouldn’t go to treatment. By the grace of god I was granted an extension by the judge. 

I did everything that was recommended to me during treatment. Graduated inpatient on August 24th 2016 and moved into a halfway house. On September 23rd my son got to move in with me, an on October 1st my girls moved in also! By December I had regained custody of my 3 children!!

I graduated from the halfway house on April 5th 2016 and moved into a transitional housing building with my kids.

On May 18th my child protection case was closed! I started going to Adult Basic Education to study to get my GED. On June 1st 2016 I graduated from ABE with my GED! I have also paid off many fines and tickets that I had in collections, to rebuild my credit.

Today I am 351 days clean, two weeks shy of 1 year! When I was using I thought my life was over, that I could never quit and I would never amount to anything. I thought my children were better off without me. Recovery has given me my life back. I have found myself. I wake up in the morning with the birds chirping and sun shining and I can’t wait to start the day with my beautiful children. 

I have started volunteering at the local food shelf to give back to the community. I have also registered to start college in the fall. 

Recovery only works if you work it. I have a sponsor that I talk to, I am working the 12 steps, and I attend meetings. It may seem like too much to handle, but think about all the time you spent chasing that high..

It is possible for people to stop using and live a better life. They just have to want it and work for it.