“When I was 31, I was enthralled in a serious SECRET addiction, suffering from poor body image, depression and alcohol dependency, until a miracle saved my life. My addiction started in high school without me even knowing it, when I was introduced to diet pills. Back then it was ‘Ripped Fuel’ from GNC that had ephedrine (equivalent to strong prescription amphetamines we see today) but I had no clue the door this was opening – the door to incredibly addictive behavior I didn’t even know I had.
Let’s fast forward to the adult version of myself, still very obsessed with diet pills, a poor self-image, and an eating disorder. I was 30 years old with two biological children, who both began exhibiting signs of Asperger’s, a diagnosis on the Autism spectrum. My daughter is from a previous marriage and I had already been through the experience of watching my daughter, at 2 years old, my ‘angel baby,’ be taken over by this ‘STRANGER’ (of Autism). Now here I am years later with my son, who was meeting all his milestones, and right before he turned one, I began to see this ‘STRANGER’ steal ANOTHER one of my ANGEL baby’s personality and characteristics. WELL, this DEVASTATED me! I grew up babysitting and watching my cousins, I had always looked forward to motherhood… BUT THIS?! What was this?! Why my babies?! I was broken and didn’t have a healer. Any crisis was reason to send me deeper into unhealthy coping mechanisms.
My husband noticed how depressed I was and suggested I seek help. He hadn’t seen me so depressed and it was concerning him. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist who put me on Vyvanse, a stimulant which treats ADHD and binge-eating disorder. This only added insult to injury as I began abusing not just Vyvanse, but anything and almost everything. No one knew I was abusing these pills and then I began stealing other’s pills, eating them and sniffing them. I became an alcoholic. I was putting alcohol in my coffee and would have to go buy a new bottle of vodka to replace the now empty bottle so my husband wouldn’t notice it. I was smoking pot and cigarettes, even drank cough syrup on a few occasions – and NO ONE KNEW.
I was hiding all this while looking like a barbie doll with a makeup line about to be out. I was an esthetician/makeup artist for 10 years and decided to launch my own line, thinking this was going to take my mind off the depression. I felt like I was at the ‘prime of my life.’ Women were contacting me left and right about my makeup line and I had my first makeup party booked for July 26. This was going to be the answer to my depression, I just needed an identity, right? I started abusing even HEAVIER—the pressure was too much. The mask wasn’t working! In fact, it was falling off.
This is where we lead up to 2 years later, heavy in my secret addiction. It was Mother’s Day, 2015. I admitted to a complete stranger, a taxi driver, that I was an addict. I went home, cried my eyes out all night, opened my Bible and screamed with tears rolling down my face, ‘JESUS, IF YOU’RE REAL, C’MON! SHOW UP!’ And BOOM. This amazing love and light filled my entire being. I haven’t been the same ever since. This is the best Mother’s Day gift God could’ve ever given me.
Part of my road to healing began when I surrendered my life that day, when I was 31.
You may think, ‘Oh, so things must have started looking up after this point, right?’ This was just the beginning of the storms that began to hit my life.
This is where everything began to fall apart. I was admitted into a mental home, diagnosed with major bipolar disorder. Upon coming out of the mental home, the Lord began to deliver me from addiction. It was over a period of a few months and as my mind began to become sober, I began to get severe headaches.
This is when the suppressed memories began to surface. Flashbacks from my childhood. Memories of me being molested I had completely blocked out. I said, ‘Lord, why are You showing me this? It hurts! I don’t want to remember this.’ I remember Him ever so sweetly telling me He had to show me in order to heal me.
This was a ‘blindspot.’ The definition of blindspot is an area where a person’s view is obstructed. Obstructed means to be blocked up or shut off. I literally blocked out the fact I was molested from the ages of 3 to 8 years of age. I was so traumatized and suppressed the memory of it ever even happening.
This is also known as PTSD. Kids who have been traumatized and abused, whether sexually, physically, emotionally or mentally, can shut off and shut down. I had deep-seeded roots of rejection from the fact that ‘my molester’ didn’t want anything to do with me after all that time. The little 8-year-old girl didn’t understand this rejection. I thought something was wrong with me. I didn’t feel the love I was so desperately looking for from a certain figure in my life, so I was filling that void every time he snuck me away. The fear of being rejected haunted me. Rejection is like a poison – it lead me into an eating disorder, into making decisions in my life that left me with deep regret.
However, there I was, finally admitting I had a problem and wanting healing, but feeling so misunderstood. Everything around me began to fall apart.
Almost 4 years ago this August, I lost custody of my firstborn, my baby girl.
The locust of addiction had literally eaten everything I once held so dear. I felt as though, all at once my life began to crumble all around me. I had lost custody of my daughter, I had loved ones, and people closest to me betray me. I wasn’t sure what was going to become of my marriage (my husband felt betrayed by my addiction that he knew nothing of), I lost friends, and quite honestly, this was one of the loneliest and darkest seasons of my life. I had one of the toughest judges on my case in court. I fought ‘blood, sweat and tears’ for 2 years! For almost exactly 2 years, I tried to prove to a judge that I was sober and stable and just wanted to be the best mom I could be for my daughter. I went to drug court, did random drug testing, went to counseling , had psychiatric evaluations. You name it, I was doing it to get my daughter back.
And after all that, the judge looked at me and said in so many words, with stipulations, ‘I’m sorry Ms. Quave, but you will never be able to have unsupervised visits with your daughter, and if you keep pushing this, you may lose the right to see her all together.’
My heart in that moment was as crushed as the day I was served papers! That moment shocked me. I surely thought God was going to come through and show me favor. I was walking in integrity, ministering to all who would listen and going after God with all my heart. This is where I began to know God on a level I had yet to know. I began to learn how to praise Him despite the outcome. I could’ve fallen right back into addiction, with a ‘what’s the use!’ mentality. I thought I surrendered before, but this was a different kind of surrender. It was letting go. I said, ‘It is well with my soul! I trust You Lord.’
There was a moment during those 2 years I came home feeling very defeated from court, the accusations were coming at me left and right. Every time I returned to court, my past was being brought up. The opposing attorney fighting against me was so vicious she looked at me one day with the coldest stare and said, ‘I wouldn’t even let you watch my dog!’ I came home and began sobbing to the point I couldn’t see clearly.
I just opened my Bible, wiped the tears from eyes to see… and WOW. Did He ever speak! My Bible opened to Lamentations 3:58 ‘Lord, You are my lawyer! You plead my case! For You have redeemed my life.’ I remember reading this and sobbing even harder as He was speaking so sweetly to me – He is my defender. I was going to go through a lot more disappointments and setbacks and this verse was always with me. I began to say, “What does this verse mean?! It doesn’t feel like You are defending me!’ As I sit here writing this, I am getting emotional. I hear my daughter playing in the background, coloring pictures for me. He did indeed defend me.
It wasn’t until a little over a year later after the judge closed my case that I received a text asking if I wanted to get my daughter for the day. WAIT! No supervisor?! I remember being dumbfounded—On September 1, 2018, my daughter came over and spent the entire day with us. The verse quickly sprung to mind, ‘I AM YOUR LAWYER!’ But it gets better. A month later, October 5, 2018, my daughter didn’t just spend a day, she spent the entire weekend, and has been coming over on planned weekends ever since. Whoever you are, whatever you are going through, God does indeed work all things together for good. Stay the course. Stay faithful and live with integrity.
Because of my broken road, I have been set free from addiction. I have learned the beautiful art of forgiveness and letting go. I have also learned to give the same grace to others that Jesus has given me. My marriage is better than ever, my relationship with my daughter is restored, we are seeing healing in our son and most importantly, I AM FREE. Not just free from physical addictions, but freed in my mind and my old way of thinking. I am indeed a new creation. I now have a ministry to help others, the same way God has helped me. I pray my story encourages you and gives you hope. I have learned to not blame anyone, but instead own ‘my broken road.’ I’ve learned to own my truth. It is the truth that sets us free.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tiffany Quave of South Louisiana. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
Read more empowering stories of overcoming addiction:
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