I was the woman who seemed to have it all. I had an amazing career, four wonderful children and an incredible husband. In 2013 I found my personal life in shambles due to a series of events that happened all at once. All of which caused my life to unravel.
I went to my local doctor and was prescribed Zoloft for my anxiety. My family and I had just moved to a small suburban town outside of Champaign Illinois. I was quickly introduced to a group of women, all mothers, their kids friends with my kids. These woman knew I was struggling personally and knew I was having a difficult time. They introduced me to opiates and benzo’s and told me the hydrocodone would help me sleep at night and that the Xanax would relieve stress.
I began taking the medications and within weeks found myself hooked on them. From that point on I found myself belonging to a “pill gang of mothers.” We were all popping, swapping and doctor shopping together. This went on for two years and was our dirty secret. Our husbands were unaware and no one in town knew that we were a “pill gang.” We would be at our kids sporting events all going into the restroom trading pills to get our fix. Looking back it seems unreal.
In 2015 my life was still spiraling out of control and I was a full blown drug addict. The mothers I was running around with (my pill gang) saw that my addiction was getting out of hand and they were scared their secret was going to be exposed. They knew I was on the brink of hitting rock bottom so several of them decided to cut me out of the group. This in turn cut my drug supply off and by this point my addiction had taken over my life. One of the mothers who continued to stay in contact with me then introduced me to Heroin. Since I no longer had access to the pills as easily as I once did and being able to get my hands on Heroin for much cheaper I did not object. At this point it was all about not being “dope sick.”
I began snorting heroin and within a month began shooting it. I ended up quitting my dream job and throwing my career down the drain. I left my family abandoning my four children and my husband. I left my suburban home and ran off to Chicago. For seven months I was living a dangerous life and doing anything I could to feed my addiction.
I ended up meeting a man who I quickly developed a relationship with. This man shared my love for drugs and helped satisfy my habit. I was shooting heroin, shooting cocaine, snorting cocaine and still popping pills daily. I no longer recognized the girl in the mirror. One night this man decided to beat me to a pulp, I suffered from two black eyes, a swollen face and bruises throughout my entire body. That still didn’t wake me up enough to realize I had a problem.
Shortly after I was beaten my husband finally convinced me to return home. Upon returning home I was full of shame and guilt and still very high and only worried about how and where I was going to get my next fix. The next morning I decided to send my husband and children off to work and school and take my own life. I gave myself an intentional overdose that morning. By the grace of god I survived. From that point I went into inpatient rehab and have been clean since. (Today I am 13 months clean)
Inpatient rehab is where I learned about my disease of addiction and was provided the tools I needed to keep my disease in remission. I will always have a Demon living my head who goes by the name Addiction. He will always live in my mind and there are still days when he tries to get me to come out and play, to go one more round one more time. Today it’s my job to keep this Demon at bay and not allow him to control my life again. In order to do this I must continue to stay active, dedicated and focused on my recovery. This is the only way I can keep my disease in remission.
Today I am speaking out sharing my story to show that addiction does not discriminate. My addiction started in the suburban living rooms with a bunch of mothers, they just don’t talk about it. This epidemic is happening everywhere and my goal is to show others that they are not alone and that recovery is possible. I tried to take my own life because I was to scared, humiliated and felt to alone to reach out for help. I never want anyone else to feel that way. There is hope and if I can recover anyone can.