It would never happen to me
Growing up my life was just like everyone elses' , I lived with my mom, my dad and my younger brother. My brother and I spent our days playing together outside with the various toys our mom and dad bought for us. We would spend alot of our time with our Grandpa and Grandma as well, as my parents worked to support our family. We would spend days outside in the garden with Grandma or afternoon's in the garage building things with our Grandpa. Grandpa would also often take us for walks at the graveyard, he loved to go there. He also took us on road trips just outside of town, just because. Our life was pretty simple. As I started to get older I started to notice that the other kids didn't accept me like they did everyone else because I didn't conform to what they wanted me to be. They wouldn't include me in there friendship circles, they would make fun of me, they would call me ugly. I felt alone. As I entered highschool my mom only made this reality worse. She told me girls in highschool were to wear makeup to be accepted, and dress a certain way to be accepted. I believed her. As I entered highschool I conformed but I still wasn't accepted and had very limited friends and often found it hard to even fit in with them. I felt alone, even more alone then ever. I pushed through my days. When I was in eleventh grade my dad suffered a work related injury at work. He slipped a disk in his back and was in pain 24 hours a day. The family started to feel the effects of his suffering. He was often moody and irritable. My mom and dad started to fight alot as a result. My mom would most often end up in tears it was painful to see her struggle. I tried running away but she always tried her best to make things better for me but all she cared about was making him happy so he wouldn't yell and be emotionally abusive towards us and towards her. I continued to push through the pain I felt inside. I found a release in cutting myself, it felt like the pain could escape through my wounds. I started to notice that almost every time we had a family gathering Alcohol was present. Everyone almost always had a can of beer or a cooler in there hand. But I was to caught up in being a teenager to even notice it was a problem. I was introduced to Alcohol at the age of 14 when I was told it was okay to drink small amounts during holidays. I started to drink casually at parties. And occasionally come home intoxicated. My dad ended up having surgery on his back injury. The pain progressed he started taking opiates, oxycotin and morphine to manage the pain and became dependent on them. I watched him go down hill. I saw him passing out, throwing up, cold sweats, he was moody, irritable, and unmanageable. We started to struggle as a family. He often had psychotic melt downs where he would threaten us, threaten his own life but my mom would do everything and anything to make him happy and try and prevent this but most times it was unpreventable. He threatened suicide. It was so hard to handle for me. I wanted to take my own life. I went to the hospital they dismissed my pain and sent me home. I pushed through again. Smoking weed to cope. My dad was also smoking weed, as a form of self medication. He went off the opiates. I started to feel immense pain inside. I was depressed. Anxious. And often would have panic attacks. I smoked more and more. Eventually I realized I had a problem. I checked myself into a local detox but left 3 days later because I noticed unbearable abdominal pain. I had to have emergency gallbladder surgery. I was sober for 2 months, and started smoking again. I started a new position at work. My new manager didn't help me adjust to my new surroundings, equipment or job. I struggled. I smoked more and more. My manager told me she was moving away. I was left to run a store I barely knew anything about. I worked long hours and was sent a new employee to train despite being barely trained myself. My regional manager called me, he promised to come help me soon. But before long, I recieved a phone call that he was fired. I was alone. I felt alone. I had breakdowns at work. Panic attacks. I was depressed. I wanted to end my life. I was losing my mind. I couldn't sleep. I was constantly sick to my stomach. I smoked more and more. I went to the hosptial again. They admitted me to the psychiatric ward. I was accessed for 30-days. I got proper medication for my depression. I was diagnosed as bi-polar. I saw an addictions worker. I was given a date for residential treatment. I completed 30-days. I attend regular AA and NA meetings in my communitiy.
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.