“Oooof. This was six years ago. I was about 50 pounds slimmer than I am now. My hair was long and curly. I wore lotssss of makeup. And for Halloween that year, I dressed up as a ‘basic chic’—yoga pants, sparkly shirt, big hair, full makeup, and Starbucks. I thought I was hot stuff. Yuck. You see, the girl in these pictures had managed to pull together roughly 3-5 days sober. I was headed to a 12-step meeting that night with some recovery friends. I even went out to dinner afterward to fellowship.
But here’s the dark and heavy part you don’t see in these old FB memories…I wasn’t ready to be done using yet. That night, I went straight from the dinner to my dealer. My drug of choice had started causing major panic attacks at this point in my relapse, so obviously, the answer was to switch substances, right? (Hint: it’s not.) I ended up getting drunk and popping a few pills instead. I remember waking up the next morning being mad and ashamed for not just going home.
That was 10/31/14…and I didn’t get and STAY honestly clean until 12/13/14. It took me many attempts during a 2-month period. It took my family asking me to get help. It took my friends begging me to come back. It took my sister telling me she was pregnant. It took another friend in recovery dying. It took me having two scares of my own. It took me not being able to get ‘high enough’ anymore. It took me detoxing alone in my bathroom. It took my friends dragging me back to Seattle. It took so many prayers to have the obsession lifted. But if no one had kept asking, I never would have had the chance to say yes and accept the help.
Then I did. I woke up the morning of the 13th and I was out of everything—nothing left. I panicked. But I finally had the gift of desperation. And I finally realized no amount of drugs or alcohol was going to fix the problem. And I was the problem. The only thing which had to change was me. I was full of guilt and shame and hung my head low for a very long time. I had been clean for years, and coming back after this relapse was humbling.
The girl in the pictures, she thought she could beat the system. She thought she knew how to use responsibly and could manage it without consequence. She thought she was smart enough to make it work. She thought no one would ever know. That girl is gone now. I’m 50 pounds heavier today, but my heart, mind, and spirit are lighter than ever. I’m not a secret today. I don’t use—no matter what!
Through all of life’s challenges and heartache, there’s no substance which will make any situation better. I can do hard things and stay clean. I don’t have to use, even if I want to, and neither do you! Recovery is possible. I’m so grateful for recovery, God, and friends and family who gave me the unconditional love I needed to get here.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jackie Martinez. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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