“All I wanted was to close my eyes. Everyone around me kept telling me to keep them open. I don’t remember much from that night, but I do remember some. I remember being taken to the ambulance that was waiting in the driveway.
When I got to the ambulance still all I wanted to do was close my eyes. Through blurry vision, the people in uniform told me all the way to the hospital to stay awake. I kept thinking, why do I NEED to stay awake? Everyone kept telling me, ‘Stay with us.
The next many moments were a blur.
As I lay there in the hospital bed, I peered through my heavy eyelids to see my mom, and my older brother walking in through the door. I remember seeing my mom cover her mouth and run out of the room with tears in her eyes as my brother sat next to me.
I was dying.
At 16 years old I was dying because of my own choices.
That night I drank a whole bottle of vodka. I had already taken multiple prescription pills. Because I had so much in my system already, I kept forgetting how many pills I had already taken. I took 30 more pills slowly, not realizing what was happening.
This overdose put me in ICU for 1 week, and in the hospital for 2 weeks. I partially lost my eyesight, and I had uncontrollable tremors in my hands. These tremors caused me to be unable to write, and barely able to feed myself.
This was the worst overdose I had, but it was not the only one. When I look back on this day, I see God all over the situation.
I should have died, and I almost did.
If you have ever been addicted to anything then you get it, and I’m sure you have stories too.
I was addicted to being high, and I was addicted to drinking.
At 15 years old I watched my mom struggle with heroin addiction. I spent years trying to figure out how to help ‘fix’ her. I saw what heroin did to her, and I knew that she hated her addiction. The endless cycle of withdrawals and then going back to it again, then withdrawals, and then back again.
She wanted out.
Being only a young teenager at the time, I thought ‘I’ could save her. When you love someone, you want to do anything to help them. For years I studied heroin, and its side effects. For years I studied her.
In the midst of my wanting to save her, I fell to my own addictions as I mentioned above. There are many things in this world one can be addicted to, but no addiction can quite compare to that of heroin.
Heroin is a silent killer.
Its high is more gripping than that of any other drug. Its withdrawals are stronger than that of any other drug. Many love the high so much, and hate the withdrawals so much, that they stay.
No one who shoots heroin in their veins, knows when it will be the one that kills them.
That’s quite a risk. Once someone becomes addicted to something (especially heroin) the body thinks it needs that drug in order to create endorphins (the happy hormone). When the drug isn’t present, withdrawals take place because the body thinks it is missing a vital part.
It’s very hard to overcome a physical pain. Let alone all of the mental torment, and anguish that comes even after they have gotten over the withdrawals. This usually is where many people fall back to their addictions.
The reality of what they have done throughout all their years of using, and hustling to get their fix, have hit them full force. They may never say it to you, but the guilt is strong and very real.
The thought of ‘starting over’ is enough to stay in their addiction because they don’t believe in themselves.
They have messed up every time they tried, only letting people down all of the time, and the thought of letting people down after trying and failing AGAIN, is enough to keep them in their addiction.
I have a passion for people who are addicted because I have experienced it first-hand.
As much as I wish it wasn’t, it IS a part of my story. My mom passed away two years ago from a heroin overdose, my brother was a heroin addict, and I was a drug addict and an alcoholic.
Here in this section of the blog we’re going to look at all aspects of addiction. The viewpoint of the loved one who is affected by it, the person who IS addicted right now and wants out, and also those that counsel people who struggle with addiction.
I do not claim to be an expert, but I do claim my experiences.
This section is here because I want to bring light to the dark thought that addicts are just… addicts, and they will never be clean. To show that people who struggle with addictions are just like you and me. They have people that they love, and people who love them dearly. It’s just somewhere along the way, they fell.
It’s up to you and me to believe that God CAN change their life.
We need to love them to Christ, and sometimes we need to love them back to Christ.
I got my eyesight back to normal, and my tremors went away in time. I got clean when I got saved years later.
At the time though, I was living on the streets, staying with whoever, I could.
One day I remember being hungry because it had been a few days since I had eaten anything, and I was SO tired of being hungry.
I had recently run into my grandparents somewhere and as I was hungry, I kept thinking about them. With one phone call my grandpa came and picked me up. All I wanted was something to eat. He took me to McDonalds, and I got a meal, it was the best chicken sandwich I had ever eaten!
My grandparents let me stay with them for a few days, and they told me I could stay with them to finish high school. Upon staying with them, they always invited me to go to church. I always said no because as a teenager, I thought that church was boring.
After watching them leave the house week after week, I felt bad that I didn’t go with them. They were kind enough to let me stay with them, the least I could do was go to church with them.
I went and I continued to go with them.
One Sunday on Mother’s Day, something clicked with me. I had heard the plan of Salvation before, but this time was different. As I went back to my grandparents’ house, I went into the room I was staying in and I sat on the bed.
I prayed that day and asked Jesus to come into my heart. Little did I know that my whole life was about to change, but it did.
Two months after getting saved I went to Bible College. I had to learn how to overcome everything that my drug and alcohol use was numbing, but the Lord met with me, and He helped me every step of the way.
Every struggle I had, I prayed through.
He saved me, and now I have every promise in the Bible to a child of God. At Bible college I met my husband. We got married right after we both graduated with our bachelor’s degree. We have had two kids, and we’ve been in the ministry ever since. Right now, my husband is a pastor in FL, and I couldn’t be happier to have the beautiful life Christ gave me.
When I reflect on the past, it brings me to my knees with tears in my eyes. I am so thankful that drugs didn’t take over the precious life that awaited me. I’m forever grateful to have such a wonderful, Godly husband, and two very sweet children. I can’t imagine my life any other way, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. There is victory ahead!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hannah Butler. You can follow her journey her website here and Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more inspiring stories of people overcoming their addictions:
‘He accused me of the baby not being his. Didn’t want anything to do with us. I’d be dead if I hadn’t gotten pregnant.’: Single mom says daughter saved her life from heroin addiction, ‘I thank God every single day for her’
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