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The photo I chose is of me and my nephew. It shows the real me, not the one that was hidden behind drugs for about 5 years. Well, actually,if you count the first time I had a drink, it would be 18 years. But here's the story of my addiction and how I overcame it all.

The first time I had a sip of alcohol I was around 12 years old. I never became an alcoholic, although i would drink every now and then. When I was 18, I started hanging around the "rough" crowd. They introduced me to weed. So it started out just smoking weed and partying on the weekends. Then, it went to everyday, then it turned into laced weed ("woo"). I would smoke a woo and it wouldn't get me high enough. I smoked crack, but absolutely hated the way it made me feel. Especially the coming down part. I only smoked cracked 3 times. (Also during this time, i tried acid)

As I got older, I realized that weed just didn't do anything for me anymore. So, I quit. Cold turkey, I quit. I was diagnosed with fibroid tumors and I was in constant pain. At this point, i had been "clean" for about 2 yrs. The doctors would give me pain pills. ..vicodin, Percocet, etc. They really became my friends. I needed the pills. At this time, oxy wasn't popular, which is a good thing because I would have loved it.

So I became addicted to pills. Pills would give me energy, make me work better, faster. I would be the energetic friend that was down for whatever. Then, I was introduced to my new 2 best friends. Coke and ecstasy. Every day I needed coke. I couldn't function without it. I stole money, slept around. .. all for the drugs.

My rock bottom was the end of Oct early Nov 2008. I did numerous ecstasy pills (the last count was 7 pills) and I'm not even sure how much coke and I smoked weed. I was high for 3 days. I literally saw myself jumping off a bridge, killing myself.

I knew something had to change. I wasn't normal. I wasn't happy unless I was high. That was the last time I was high.

I met my husband online February 09 we married march 09 and I moved from VA to NJ to be with him. I quit cold turkey. It was rough not having any drugs. It was painful. It was sad. I was sad. I went from this drug addicted "whore" to a hopefully (soon-to-be) ministry leader for a domestic violence group at my church (I was abused a lot during my addiction.)

I am here today, because of God. He saved me from myself. I honestly should be dead today. So if you're a mess, addicted, ashamed, please don't give up, Keep pushing forward-seek help. Someone out there is praying for you.

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. Julie
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Shelly. Congratulations on your recovery!
2. Julie
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Shelly. Congratulations on your recovery!