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My story

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My story

Looking at my picture you would never think that I am an addict. In fact when I share my story or pieces of it people look at me in disbelief and often say they would have never guessed. But to their disbelief I really am an addict, I have been in recovery now for three years.

My name is Emily, and I am a recovering meth addict.

I am going to try very hard not to make this too long because I want someone to actually read it. Maybe it will make a difference but even if it doesn't it is always releasing for me to say it.

My story starts in Milwaukee, WI. I was born in April of 1993 and I am told that from the day I was born I was always a great child. My childhood was good with the exception of having no father and not having a home. My mother did the best she could and often we stayed with family. During the ages of 3-7 I was molested. Nobody knew and I didn't tell because I thought it was my fault...I was disgusted and ashamed and very confused. I knew more about things I shouldn't than most kids and it depressed me. On the outside I was fine, a good student and a happy kid but every night I cried with guilt like I had done something wrong. I think due to that and the abandonment from my father I was very insecure. Constantly wondering how I should act and what people thought about me (what can I do to make these people like me).

At 8 my mother married, had my brother and we moved. My step father was in the military so for the next 6 years we moved 4 times. Changing schools was hard especially already being insecure, but my grades stayed good and I managed to always make friends. I was a normal kid.

At 14 we moved to Seattle. By this time I was in high school and when we moved I had a hard time fitting in. This affected my grades greatly and that totally made me feel like a failure. I never had failing it sucked. Eventually I gravitated slowly but surely to the kids that were also failing, and most of them were part of the "bad crowd". They helped me in my first out of character decision, skipping school. Why go to school if I'm gonna fail? At least I thought that at the time. I realized quickly that these kids had so many problems of their own they didnt care about the things that were wrong with me. I felt total acceptance. Something I had never experienced.

I started smoking cigarettes. I told myself this isn't a big deal but I was NOT going to do anything else. The skipping school got worse. I ended up meeting a guy a little older than me and really started liking him. It escaleded into me skipping whole days of school to see him and even sneaking out to see him. I craved his attention and now looking back I realize I would have done anything for it. And I did. Shortly after turning 15 I smoked weed for my very first time. I remember it so vividly...I was surrounded by people cheering me on saying "go, go go!" it was awesome. I remember not liking it...thinking that I had a loss of control because I was high. But when I came down and the next day did it again I felt a sense of closeness to these people. This drug united us and I finally had a group I belonged to. So I smoked everyday.

Normally when I tell my story I talk about my family. All I am going to say on that topic is that I was on a destuctive path and everyone could see it. My parents already fought but I gave them something new to argue about. And my poor brother...when I was out "partying" he had to sit at home and listen to my parents fighting.

Back to my story. One day instead of going to school I sat in front of a store. I was trying to get someone to buy me cigarettes...I must of been out there for hours. Finally I met a guy...he bought me cigarettes and invited me to a party. So that night I called a friend and we went. I got this time in my life I had done this a couple times but not like this. I was WASTED. So when the 40 year old man told me to go into the bathroom with him it somehow sounded like a good idea. So here I am in a bathroom with a grown man 25 years older than me and all I can think is I am so drunk. He pulls out some strange yellow powder. He tells me its adderol and that you snort it. I was hesitant at first...he could be giving me anything but of course I eventually came around. I don't remember the rest of that night. I hope everything ended okay.

Now at this point in my experimenting I wanted to try EVERYTHING. After that night with the drugs I realized something that played a key part in my addiction. My friends could get weed and alcohol but what I really wanted was drugs. Older, they had jobs and money and been in the game for much longer, THEY could get what I wanted. So I targeted them. For the next year I did everything..shrooms, extasy, coke, meth. My home life sucked. It got to the point where I would say I was leaving and not come back for months. My mother slept in my bed crying and my father just had enough. My brother being 6 years younger than me cried for his sister every night I was gone. When I would show up...I was worn out and had to be taken care of by my mother. I would sleep for a week and be gone for a month. Many police reports were filed, many missing persons reports and finally as a result actual court orders stating I must follow rules.

This angered me..I left home again. Met a man: he was 24, I was 16 and he had a new drug. Oxycontin. I needed to try this I told him. I wouldn't stop until I did. And even though ha at first said I was too young to drink and too young to do drugs I apparently wasn't too young to sleep with. He ended up sharing and even though the first time I did it I threw up everywhere, I was in love. It took away my pain. What a lot of people did not understand was that I did drugs because I did drugs. Only addicts will get that. My mother cried cuz I was killing myself and I did drugs because she cried.

My whole life I felt something inside me was missing and I thought I had found it in oxys. I felt that when I was high I felt like how everyone else did everyday. I ended up living with this man. He took me to whore houses and to cash bad checks. He took me to steal and to rob. Until one day I overdosed my first time. He wouldn't take me to the hospital. I layed there on his couch after seizing a couple times and I was unable to move for 3 days. I puked on that couch and pissed on that couch. He finally threw me out..I was becoming a liability. I rode the bus home even though I could barely walk. I was rushed to the hospital when I got home. I looked my mother in the eyes crying...she said to me something I will never forget "I never thought...looking at my beautiful baby girl that you would be where you are today" we cried and I told her a promise that I ended up saying a lot and that was that I would change and be better.

But I had become not only mentally dependent on oxys but physically as well. So I found a heroin dealer and started doing that. I was 16, no job and no source of income. I did whatever I could to feel not finally I started selling my body. At first it was great and easy money but I grew to hate myself. Now i really didnt feel human...I was a product. I can remember sleeping on my floor because I wasn't worthy of my bed. How sickening is that. By that time I knew the "party" was over. I went to rehab.

I came out and I was overconfident...I didnt even make it 90 days. I became miserable again and hopeless. Now at 17 I was angry...angry at god, at myself and at the world. I did meth again after a couple years...somehow that drug made my anger more intense. It felt good to finally be angry and not depressed. Now instead of selling myself I robbed people. Instead of crying I hit people. I changed and instead of saying I had a problem I was saying I don't give a shit anymore.

We moved to texas. I spent 2 weeks looking for meth, I needed it and I found it. It's funny to me how people can do drugs differently in different places. I smoked meth, but down here they shoot it. And hey I always wanted to fit in and smoking just wasn't cutting it anymore. So I shot up. My life became waking up and spending my whole day chasing what I thought was happiness and then when I got it I tried to figure out how I would do it again. I was 93 lbs at my lowest weight (I am 5'3) and I had a messed up liver and very messed up kidneys. I was attending psych wards to detox and getting out and doing the same thing.

One day I came home high of course. There was a police officer outside my mother was sitting there crying. He told me that they had informants spying on me and detectives looking for me. I was a missing person again that's why. He told me the place they saw me get my meth people had died from it. I cried and freaked out...and he told me to stop and he looked me square in the eye and said, what the fuck you are better than this. I think I was just tired at that point of playing the game I was playing. I was tired of living to get high, being a slave to meth and other drugs, tired of jail, tired of my mom crying and my dad screaming. Tired of stealing from someone like my little brother...he is so innocent in all of this and I am afraid to this day I can never make up for what I did to him and my family.

I looked at my mother in that moment and I said you need to get me in rehab NOW because I was scared for when I changed my mind. I couldn't trust myself...that's so scary. I could say I wanted a new life and was gonna try and then the minute that craving hit my whole mindset would change. I wasn't gonna let that happen this time.

The next day with the help of some amazing people I was on my way to a facility in florida.

It has been 3 years now since I got off that plane in florida...and these memories stay vivid in my head. Maybe its ptsd or maybe I dont wanna forget.

I am currently 20 years old. I am in college and I have a great job. My family loves me and is so happy to have me back. I feel like people are proud of me again...and most importantly I am proud of myself.

How did I do it? I had to be done first off. I am so lucky that I hit rock bottom so early. I also went to AA and worked the steps. I owe so much to that program. But mainly I never gave up. Addiction is not easy to recover're not just gonna sober up and say okay I'm done! And if you can then more power to you. But for me it took work and it took figuring out what made me feel the way I did.

So this is longer than I thought it would one will probably read this but honestly I think I needed to do it for myself. i have been to hell and back and I know those feelings of hopelessness and desperation. There is hope..I am proof of it. So many people recover...asking for help is hard to do but when It's life or death it's the only option.

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. Glenda Chavers
its a miracle you made it out so young. i started around 11 and im 45 now with 10 years clean may 8th. Im thankfull to be clean, but i have so many wasted years my life will never be any where close to what it could have been
2. Cheryle
Thank you for sharing your story! I needed to read this tonight & will continue to have hope for my son. He has tried many drugs. He has been in & out of rehabs. In mental hospitals with phsycosis from too much adderal & ritalin. He moved to Texas last August. Two days ago he commited himself in mental health hospital (hearing voices) only to discharge himself today. I found out today he is doing Meth. My heart is broken. Thank you again for your encouraging story of hope! God Bless!
3. Rachel LeBansky
Emily, congratulations, you are a beautiful person. Stay strong!
4. Cindy Flores
Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on making it out. I have a 16 yr old son who is a good kid, but smokes a lot. Every day in fact. I don't know what to do to help him. I hope it won't escalate into something worse one day. Prayers go out to you for continued success in your journey.
5. Allison
Emily~ thank you for sharing your story ~ and the hope that is there for all of us ??