erika's Story

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  I didn’t wake up one day and decide I wanted to be a drug addict. I've struggled with serious mental health and self-esteem issues since about the age of 13. Tried so many medications that didn’t work it seemed hopeless. In high school I started drinking and smoking pot, by the time I graduated I had started experimenting with other drugs that had been introduced to me. I liked the numb and when I was high, I didn’t have such a heavy weight on my shoulders. I was more outgoing and had more courage. Around the age of 19 I started using methamphetamine and heroin. I thought I had a grip on it, and since I didn’t feel hooked then that must make me some exception to addiction or so I thought. Eventually things started to unravel. Lost jobs, cars, friends and even family started to notice I was changing. I lived at home with my dad but I was never there. I would stay out as long as I could and go back as little as possible so they wouldn’t see me high. I was out of control. I was cooking methamphetamine and selling it. Hanging out at sketchy places. Eventually I got myself into legal trouble when a place we were about to cook at was raided. I got probation being it was my first offense and someone else took most the wrap for everything. The probation was too easy. Report once a month and never drop. I was using less just in case they ever did drop me, but I was still getting high.

  Then I met Matt. Matt and I couldn’t have been worse for each other. We were so toxic and we helped each other bring out the worst in us. My addiction grew full blown when we got together. I even graduated to using needles. About a year into our relationship, we found out I was pregnant. I had no problem kicking the methamphetamine, but the heroin wasn’t happening on my own. I was too scared to get help. Afraid of what everyone would think. At this time, I had not ever admitted to my family I was using drugs and I certainly wasn’t going to admit to anyone now that I was also pregnant. So, I took methadone without a prescription to avoid using hard drugs while pregnant. Had my baby by emergency c section a day before my induction date. My placenta had ruptured and she was dying. She was rushed to separate hospital from me and due to many complications, I didn’t meet my daughter for a week. When I finally got to meet her CPS was there to greet me. Turns out you can't take methadone without a prescription. When my daughter was released from the hospital she went into my mother's care. Matt and I tried to get her back but every time things started to look up something would happen and we would relapse. Eventually we had to sign over our rights to her and my mom adopted. This only spiraled my addiction farther. Suicide attempts and several overdoses. One of them I almost didn’t come back from. I flat out lost myself.

  Matt became violent and narcissistic. He also would put things in my drugs to make me sick so he could go out and do whatever. He made me believe that no one but him could ever love me. I tried to leave many times and every time I went back. He promised he would change every single time and in reality, each time only got worse. Then I became pregnant again. Even after everything I went through with my daughter, I still couldn’t bring myself to ask for help. I kept wanting to do better for my baby but it just didn’t happen. By the time my son was born I had already accepted the fact that I wouldn’t be bringing him home. I tried to get him back as well but it just seemed hopeless. I signed him over as well and eventually my mother adopted him. Out of the all treatments, detoxes and rehabs I had been to, nothing had worked. Even when I thought I had wanted it to. I kept going right back to the same people, place and things. The biggest parts to overcome when fresh out of treatment.

  Eventually I got so bad that I was basically homeless because unless I was clean, I couldn’t come home. I was stealing from the only people that cared about me and doing everything I said I would never do just to not be sick every day. I sold drugs just to get something for myself.  Which eventually led to the felonies and jail time and almost prison time if I didn’t do something. I did get clean for a good 6 months during this time. The day after my 6 months clean, I was high. That night my dad found me overdosed in my bedroom at his house. I came back to my brother and my dad crying and telling me that I had overdosed but I was going to be okay. Thinking back on that day still hurts. I hurt everyone around me. My mother didn’t sleep very much because she was always worried about if I was alive or if she would get the one call in the middle of the night. I would have to call her every couple of days just to let her know I was alive.

  One night I decided I was going to finally leave Matt for good. I had a friend pick me up that knew the situation and she took me to stay with her. She helped me not give in to the million phone calls and texts asking me to come home. I had finally left the abuse after 9 years. Even after all of this, I was still using. I tried again to get clean and did it for a while and then the next relapse was the worst. I overdosed again and this time I almost didn’t make it. I stayed clean awhile after that as well and then I let the drugs win again. I was sick of being sick every day, sick of letting everyone down, sick of letting the drugs win.

  I finally met my now husband, James, and we moved 18 hours away from Michigan, where I was born and raised. We relocated to Oklahoma in attempt to get clean and start life over. It's been 2 years in August since we have touched a drug. We have a beautiful 1 year old boy that we have custody of. We have a place to call home and we both have jobs. We also just purchased a new vehicle. I have a relationship with two kids that are with my mother in Michigan and relationships with my family members again. I can't even imagine another day like the last 15 years of my life. I'm living proof that you can get sober. It’s a long hard battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting. I’m proud of the person I am today and I will keep fighting to be her.

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