Today’s personal story is written by Delia Sparks.
I was only 12 years old when doctors first put me on narcotic pain medication. I had gotten into a car accident with my mother; a drunk driver hit us when we were on the way home from a ballet class I was in, and I was injured pretty badly. Addiction ran in my family. My father was a recovering alcoholic, and my mother had abused drugs all throughout her teens and twenties. In retrospect, I don’t think the doctors should have prescribed me painkillers, but there’s no sense in dwelling on that now.
I am now 32 years old, and I have been a drug addict for twenty years. There are times when I have been more active in my addiction than others. First it was just the pain pills, and then it was smoking pot here and there with my friends and getting drunk when I got. In my twenties, it became more serious until three years ago when I hit my bottom. I had just lost my job as a waitress, my boyfriend of three years had just dumped me, no one in my family wanted to talk to me, and I didn’t have any friends. When my landlord told me he was evicting me, I felt truly lost. I happened to wander into a church service near my apartment. I had nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to.
I was so moved by the minister’s service that I stayed afterwards to speak with him. I wasn’t sure what inspired me to do it, but I opened up to him and told him all about my story. He told me about a fund the church had started to help people in my situation and that I might be a good candidate for one of their scholarships to a rehabilitation program near by. I was overjoyed.
The morning I walked into that rehab program was three years ago. It was the first day of my long-term recovery. In that rehabilitation, I learned to face my fears and get to the core of my addiction. I stood up to my demons. I made some new supportive and encouraging friends. I slowly but surely got my life back together, but the first step in that process for me was getting sober.
If you are struggling with addiction of any kind, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many organizations out there who are there to help. Reach out to your community. If you want to get help, I guarantee you there will be a way for you to get help. Success stories are out there. I am a living testament. I overcame my addiction, and you can, too.
If you want to get help with your addiction, please explore some of the following websites. These organizations and groups will be able to help you to make the next step.
American Society of Addiction Medicine
National Institute on Drug Abuse