recovery

‘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.”

‘My mom wants you to hug me for her.’ I held him like my own son, for a long time.’: Stranger’s act of kindness for homeless addict pulls on heartstrings, ‘Tonight you hugged all of our struggling sons’

“‘How long has it been since you talked to your mom?’ He replied, ‘Oh, it’s been a long time.’ ‘Do me a favor. Call your mom to let her know you’re alive – will you do that for me?’ His face lit up. ‘Sure, I’ll call her right now if I can borrow your phone.’ I’ll admit, there was a nano second of hesitation that he might take off with it. She answered right away. My own son was that young man not long ago, on the street, begging for money, unsure if he was dead.”

‘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.”

‘Come out tonight! Drink!’ Next thing I remember was a police car coming my way. I hung my head.’: Woman overcomes alcoholism, ‘drinking will not help your depression, put the glass down’

“My husband and I were no longer together. I was drinking every day. A police man stepped out of his vehicle. I could hear his shoes crunching leaves as he walked over to me. He got down to my level and said, ‘Do you need me to take you to the hospital?’ I couldn’t find words. Shame washed over me. I nodded yes.”

‘The day I called my son a junkie. Twice. I’m not the same mom I was yesterday.’: Mother pleads with son to enter rehab for heroin addiction, ‘What is your plan? Prison? That’s next.’

“I start going through the bag he left at my house. I find everything. All his empty capsules, his spoons, his syringes. I realize he disposes the heroin capsules in cigarette boxes. There is so much. I feel like I can’t breathe. The tears fall as the images hit me in the face. My son. My son is a heroin addict. Knowing it and seeing it are completely different things. I’m not the same mom I was yesterday.”

‘Mom!’ At 3 a.m. I noticed an entire SWAT team creeping around my car. Tears flooded my eyes.’: Woman overcomes battle with addiction, ‘the strength I’ve gained from my pain is priceless’

“After a 6-day bender with literally no sleep, I took my last hit and swallowed a gram of molly. It ended up being bath salts. My poor mom didn’t hesitate to answer my call. Sobbing, I kept telling her to be quiet. I was homeless, starving, and had walked away from my children. The SWAT team was never there. It was all in my head. I have absolutely no idea who that girl was.”

‘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’

“The ‘love of my life’ went to prison. ‘Why?! Finally, I can get away from him! And now I’m carrying his child!?’ I was so scared. Once I had my daughter, I didn’t say a word. Until one night, she was 3 months old, he randomly shows up at my door at 9:00 p.m. When I opened it, my heart felt like it was in my throat. He just stood there and stared at her as I held her in my arms. She was his twin.”

‘I’ll shoot you up for the first time,’ the man I was sleeping with offered. I agreed. I lived a double life.’: 25-year-old overcomes prostitution to feed addiction, now manages sober living home for women

“She was a stripper, and she introduced me to the lifestyle. I was infatuated by it. Fast money, flashy life, and drugs galore. It wasn’t long before I started working as a dancer in the strip club, and my life took an even darker turn. I was in the bathroom doing lines of cocaine. She pulled out another bag of drugs that looked different. ‘It’s heroin. Do you want to try it?’ Biggest mistake of my life.”

‘Are you KIDDING? Don’t be a prude. Just take the drink!’ I shook my head no. I was weak. I took it.’: Woman loses father to alcohol poisoning, ‘it is my right not to drink, please respect it’

“At 11, they draped a pale, unfamiliar version of my dad in white. ‘Are you alone?’ I watched a flurry of red and blue police lights dance across my ceiling. Alcohol poisoning. He never returned. You knew my past. Yet, you judged me when I turned down your drink. Did you know, I saw my father in my nightmares that night? Did you know, I was smiling, but dying on the inside? My trauma is more important than your right to a fun time.”

‘Sweetheart, you were dead. Your lips were blue. CPR didn’t bring you back. Please don’t get high again.’: Woman battles heroin addiction alongside her mother, gets clean after surprise pregnancy in jail, ‘my son is a daily reminder to do the right thing’

“The nurse at the jail came in with a serious look on her face. ‘Hunny, when was the last time you had sex?!’ I nonchalantly answered, ‘this morning.’ She then asks me, ‘Well, have you been sexually active a lot lately?!’ My fiancé had just gotten home from jail a month ago. ‘Your pregnancy test is positive.’ I broke down in tears, called my fiancé. ‘This is good Brianna. This is your chance to get clean and do the right thing. I finally get to be a dad, please don’t cry.’”

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