AA

‘I’m young. Doesn’t everyone drink?’ I chose to be homeless. On the streets, no one could hold me back.’ : Young woman gains back ‘self respect, dignity’ after overcoming alcoholism

“I traded a life of steady income and comfort for a life on the streets in order to support my addiction. I slept in homeless camps, under bridges, along railroad tracks, and in strangers’ houses. My sign, ‘Support my whiskey right for a frisky night,’ made more money than any other sign asking for help. I was living on the street, so no one cared. It came with the territory.”

‘Don’t go too far. You have work the next morning.’ My boyfriend jumped in to save me. I was so intoxicated I couldn’t swim back.’: 24-year-old overcomes ‘party girl’ alcoholic lifestyle to thrive in healthy, sober life, ‘I never thought this day would come’

“I was blacked out. I was apparently dancing on the bar and fell off, head-first. My poor roommate called the ambulance because she was scared to let me fall asleep with a concussion. I convinced myself I ‘deserved’ a night out. I woke up with a swollen face and bloody cuts. I got kicked out of my sorority. I was more than just a ‘party girl.’ I had issues. Really, this was just the beginning.”

‘You need help.’ I got her from preschool, pulled over ‘to rest,’ and woke with officers knocking on my window.’: Mom-of-4 finally gets sober after being institutionalized over 20 times, learns she is ‘not alone’

“This started long before ‘wine mom culture’. Earlier that morning, I was running errands alone. I pulled into a grocery store without thinking. That’s all it took. Horrified, my husband said, ‘You’ve got to stop. Emily, you need help.’ He breathalyzed me daily while taking away all access to money. I was greeted by judgmental preschool moms. These were the same women who cooked dinners every week for my husband and kids while I was gone.”

‘I picked out songs for your funeral,’ my sister told me. I feel nothing. I start shooting heroin into my IV.’: Young woman survives harrowing heroin addiction, says her son ‘hands down saved me’

“’How did I get here? I don’t want this life.’ I walked by the gun case and decided to take one rifle. My parents called the police. I downed an entire bottle of antidepressants and shot up the rest of my heroin. I sat on the edge of my hospital bed, sobbing. My doctor knew what I had been doing. She knew I had a syringe in the cabinet above my bed.”

‘I am meant to be a heroin addict forever.’ I truly believed it. ‘What happened to me?’ That damn needle.’: Woman overcomes opioid addiction, fulfills childhood dream of becoming pro wrestler, ‘I’m living my wildest dreams’

“Senior year of high school. I felt sick. It spiraled completely out of control. I’m sniffing heroin and smoking crack cocaine like it’s going to get me into Harvard or something. I looked at my father and told him, ‘I need help.’ My dad wanted nothing to do with me, he was done. That really hurt.”

‘A bartender who doesn’t drink? You can’t be good at this.’ These bottles nearly killed me.’: Confessions of a sober bartender after she almost lost her life to alcoholism

“Customers get offended when I politely decline a shot. I normally get an eye roll with a response like, ‘I don’t trust a bartender who doesn’t drink.’ Here is my answer. Alcohol nearly killed me. I was a ‘drink til I fall off my barstool’ type of drinker. Hell, I could be taking a tequila shower and I still wouldn’t change my mind.”

‘My dad begged, ‘PLEASE ASHLEY, do this for me.’ It broke me. I had to put an end to this.’: Young mom celebrates 2 years clean, meets husband in recovery, ‘I would’ve NEVER imagined this’

“Right after I turned 21, I got pregnant with my boyfriend of 2 months. We decided to keep the baby. I started abusing pills and continued breastfeeding while taking them. I told myself, ‘It can’t REALLY affect her through my breast milk.’ Her dad was smoking heroin. I’d pawn my daughter off on whoever would take her. Paying her dad to take her so I was free to do what I wanted. My daughter would wake up in the morning to find random strangers in the house. I thank God she was too little to remember any of that.”

‘I loved my older cousin. At 8, I learned the only way to be friends with him was to have sex with him.’: Daughter and mother in addiction recovery together after years of childhood trauma, ‘If that isn’t wonderful, I don’t know what is’

“I remember the bright red carpet in his closet. This ongoing ‘event’ became our secret, I held onto this secret for close to 15 years. I never got over what happened to me, I stuffed it so far down. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I finally surrendered. I had enough. I needed to give myself a chance to live.”

‘I was dating a guy. He ended it. He didn’t see a future because, ‘while he was partying, I’d just stand there.’: Woman recalls the perks of dating sober, says ‘you value yourself,’ learn this ‘awesome thing’ called ‘standards’

“I used to consider going to the bar and getting hammered a ‘date.’ It’s nice to learn about a person and actually remember it now, rather than waking up the next morning and thinking, ‘Wow, this guy drinks as much as me – so I know he won’t judge me. He’s a keeper.’”

‘She may never walk again,’ my doctor said. ‘Like hell,’ I thought. I was 17. I’d been in a car accident.’: Single mom overcomes crippling car accident, alcoholism, daughter’s autism diagnosis, says ‘don’t count yourself out’

“I was about to move out, but I found out I was pregnant. I was running on fumes. I felt like I’d made a huge mistake becoming a mom. I wasn’t good at this. I drank to cope. My marriage ended explosively. I finally decided enough was enough when my daughter started copying everything I do. She reached for my beer, and I remember deciding, it was time to be done. For good. That was 8 months ago.”

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