"If I get nothing else, I’m grateful for the desire to live."

Since I could remember, I wanted to escape; I wanted to be anyone other than myself. My addiction started long before the drugs came. I started myself cutting when I was 13, and I was abusing psychiatric medication by 15. For the next 12 years, my life was a cycle in out and of psychiatric hospitals and suicide attempts.

As time went on my addiction got worse, and I just spiraled further and further down. By 26, I overdosed again. I had nothing left; I lost my home, my job, and all of my material possessions. My family was ready to give up on me, they didn’t know what else to do. In December of 2012, I made the decision for the millionth time to find recovery. There wasn’t some traumatic event that happened or some grand spiritual awakening; I woke up, and I was just done. I couldn’t live my life like that anymore. I was sick and tired; I had nowhere to go.

This is why I am sharing my story. I was raised with morals and values just like other addicts I know; at the end of the day none of that mattered. Addiction doesn’t care who you are, who your family is, or how much they love you. Unlike the hundreds who are dying every day, I got another chance at recovery and life. For that I am forever grateful; recovery has given me the ability to stand tall and build a life beyond my wildest dreams. I can look in the mirror and truly love the person I see. I look at the scars on my arms and I am so sorry for the pain I caused myself; my parents can now sleep at night knowing I’m safe, and my siblings have their sister back. I get to be a role model for my nieces, instead of them knowing me through pictures. It wasn’t that long ago that I cried every morning I woke up because I wanted to. If I get nothing else, I’m grateful for the desire to live.

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