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My Story of How I Got My Life Back!!

Created by Shari Hartung

My Story of How I Got My Life Back!!

Hi my name is Shari. I have had a rough life mostly caused by my own addiction. I was abused as a child and then my father died at 13. That is when I began using drugs and alcohol.
At 17 I had my 1st child Sam. I went on the straight and narrow for a year then his dad started beating the hell out of me all the time. I finally left him and started using again. I just didn't know how to handle a baby and his dad stalking me.
I ended up getting cancer at 21 had surgery and then had my daughter Kaitlyn at 23. Right after I had her, I found out my cancer was back and was prescribed pain medication. Well it was all down hill from there.
I started going to pill mills in Florida and risking my life behind bars on some really dumb shit.  In 2010 I had gotten cancer the final time and had a hysterectomy and lost my job, lost my house and lost my son.
I started using heroin -- oh my life really went to shit then. Starting hurting everyone around me stealing, lying, manipulating everyone and anyone I could. By 2012 my addiction was so bad I was homeless with my daughter. My family wouldn't speak to me. I had no one but my friend from high school who I lived with but she had the same addiction as me so we used together, stole together, did everything together.
I met my now husband online and I wasn't looking for anything serious but it happened. He came to town to pick me up for the weekend and we had my daughter and his 3 oldest with us and had stopped to eat at McDonald's. I sent them to get the food and ran into the bathroom so I could use. That was the last thing I remember.  I woke up with paramedics around me asking me stupid questions and they told me that I had overdosed and if there wasn't a doctor eating there that I would have been dead because they wouldn't have gotten to me in time.  I was so  my now husband had no idea I was a junkie.  I ended up going to the hospital with my daughter. He was no where to be found. I thought he was gone.
At the hospital, child services took my daughter. So forever 01/29/2013 will be burned into my mind of me officially losing everything -- my kids, my life, my car, my house, my job. Two days later my now husband called me. I was shocked.  He had a lot of questions and I lied and said I had quit.  He asked me to marry him but I had to leave where I was living or stay there and rot.  I had wanted to quit for some time but didn't know how.  He found me a rehab to go to and I jumped on the chance to get clean. I went into rehab 2/27/2013 and haven't looked back.
We got married only 3 days after I had gotten sober and we are still together. Happy I got my kids back and a great job which I just got a raise yesterday and a promotion.  Life is so much better. I go to meetings and have met some awesome people. I have 18 months and 3 days. I feel awesome and I love that I can be the mother, wife and daughter that all the people in my life deserve.  I used to be a hopeless dope fiend now I'm a dopeless hope fiend.

This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

Guest Book


1. Rob
What a sham. I was only use as a source to get off of drugs through my insurance. Almost as bad as a drug dealer providing for the user. Without the insurance for the medication that's just as bad to get off of she would still be using or worse! I guess we will see in another month when open enrollment comes in June. Never loved, Only used The husband
2. Julie
"Dopeless hope fiend" -- I love it. Congrats, Shari, on two years today. And thank you for sharing your amazing story with us.