Fighting for My Life One Day at a Time

“Happy Thanksgiving Dad, sorry I turned into a complete junkie-whore who associates with and might get killed by one of the worst gangs.”

drug-addictI always wanted my life to be exciting and always tried to be “different,” but I never thought the story of my life would turn out like this.

Growing up I was your average “all-American” little white girl who came from a great family, Catholic background, nice neighborhood, and had unlimited opportunities to succeed in many areas. I was always an A student. I rode and owned horses and played soccer, and the trophies on the shelves kept stacking up. I always needed to be the “best” and was driven to be “perfect.” I hated soccer, but was “too good to quit” and my talent was my ticket to any Division 1 college in the country.

Eventually, I was being forced to play soccer (as I wanted to quit for many years and ride horses, which was my true passion). Once my horses were sold and soccer became a JOB—I felt I had lost control of my life. I became severely anorexic and started looking for ways out. Since I had already been drinking, smoking pot, and doctor shopping for Xanax, Adderall, Soma, and other anti-depression medications, I also started to purposely injure myself and get surgeries that I did not need. At the age of 18, after high school, I finally quit soccer and did not realize that I had found another passion—drugs. Throughout high school I was social, fun, but still maintained great grades and my All-State soccer title. But I was addicted to cocaine by age 17, snorted Adderall alone in the bathroom for lunch, popped Xanax bars throughout every soccer game, and drank Sprite Remix and Codeine every day in school my sophomore year.

While everyone at parties was drinking, I was in the closet, alone, snorting or eating pills. I loved my double-life at this point. After high school, I moved to Florida and attended the University of Tampa. I didn’t realize what I was in for. I went from living a life with routine to having nothing to do but go to class. So I turned to more and more drugs: acid, ecstasy, lots of marijuana, shrooms, pills, crack, cocaine, you name it—I was doing it. But it was all for fun, right? I thought so, but my life was about to take a serious turn.

After my first year at Tampa— I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and a lot of other mental disorders caused from drug use and trauma—I went home and checked into the psych ward for dual-diagnosis treatment. My boyfriend of three years and best friend for many more years broke up with me (for being crazy). At the time, I could not see that he did the right thing. Instead, my downward spiral continued.

My revenge was to blackout on opiates (and every other pill I could get my hands on). I thought he would want to save me, but how stupid could I be? After getting addicted to Roxys, Oxys, Opana, and more in a very short time at the age of 19, and then again at 20, I decided to go back to Tampa to prove to them that they should have never tried to kick me out. I was really trying to run from who I was becoming and didn’t want my family to see who that was. At this point, I was stealing from them and others, getting into hit and runs, lying about everything, and was out of control. I also couldn’t afford pills all the time, so of course I started snorting heroin (the future love of my life).

In order to get heroin, because I was a rebel and risk-taker, I would drive to Camden, NJ—because not knowing if you’re going to get shot, kidnapped, or arrested was a rush in itself. I eventually transferred back to Tampa in the fall of 2011. I had my own apartment in a nice area and was taking a full load of credits, but I immediately found a connect for Roxys and Dilaudid, and also a crooked Suboxone doctor who gave me all the narcotics I ever wanted. After about two weeks of snorting my pills while they shot them and agreeing to disagree on how we got high, they opened my eyes to the fact that I was wasting money. I could not afford to snort pills anymore—I mean I wasn’t even getting high, I was just able to not feel sick. So, I asked them to hit me.

I had found what I thought I was always looking for, and two days later I was buying needles, hitting my vein myself, doing horrible things for money, and no longer going to class. The cops eventually called my dad and told him to “come get your daughter before we call you to tell you that she’s dead.” My dad and sister flew down, I ran, went missing for the first time and eventually was found and driven up to my first real rehab in Pennsylvania. I withdrew the whole way up the East Coast and did not know what I was about to get myself into. “Happy Thanksgiving Dad, sorry I turned into a complete junkie-whore who associates with and might get killed by one of the worst gangs.”

I spent that Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and my 21st birthday all in rehabs, psych wards, or hospitals. Court-ordered psych ward stays were a familiar thing. In the spring of 2012, I started to mentally and physically heal from the past few months and was off all medications. My psychosis broke, but my addiction didn’t. I was SO ADDICTED to the needle that I started shooting heroin again, and had my first overdose which just so happened to be at the end of my driveway and in the middle of the street. A neighbor drove by and saved my life. I wouldn’t allow my parents to see me because I was so embarrassed.

I spent the next few years in-and-out of treatment, wishing I wanted to get sober, but knowing that I didn’t. I wanted to die a heroin addict and I genuinely thought that I would very soon. Eventually, heroin wasn’t enough. I needed more and I met people who shot crack with their dope, SPEEDBALLS. I had been shooting Suboxone prior to this (I thought that since it wasn’t heroin I was considered “CLEAN”) but the withdrawal coming off Subs was too much, so I used heroin and crack to help. I immediately fell in love. Since crack is not water soluble, I was shooting vinegar and lemon juice into my veins. Healthy, right?

I missed another Christmas that year. I got beat up again. I had abscesses all over my body. I missed another trip. I lost another job. I thought I deserved all of these things. So I kept getting high. The vinegar and lemon juice killed my veins, so I couldn’t hit anymore and I was wasting money—I couldn’t get high and I couldn’t die the way I would want to go out. So after leaving another treatment facility AWOL, becoming a missing person again, having a half dozen run-ins with cops, completing another IOP program while I shot drugs in their bathrooms, OVERDOSES GALORE, and letting everyone around me down—telling them that I loved heroin more than them and that I might not be home later because I’m going to die with a needle in my arm, I decided I needed help.  Read more “the fix”…


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