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My Road to Addiction Recovery
By: Madison S.

So let me guess, you are between the ages fourteen and eighteen. You hate your life, yourself, and most of all you hate your parents. Oh, and you are fine. There is no problem with yourself and your actions, and you are not an addict. Right?

My name is Madison. I am seventeen years old. Long story short, I began smoking methamphetamine at age fifteen, then to find myself with a cocaine problem around sixteen, and currently, barely eighteen, I sit in treatment with cunning, baffling heroin addiction. Which is an addiction like no other. Today is my 40th day, and I get discharged on my 45th. I am 40 days clean, which is the hardest accomplishment I have ever conquered.

I overdosed on a Sunday night. The heroin was holding my body and my mind hostage for over eight months; it was on that Sunday night that it finally tried to kill me. Believe me, for a few brief moments I thought it had succeeded. The following morning I woke up, lifeless. My entire being felt like a corpse. My skin was green, and cold.

This was the end of my four year run with drugs. I arose that morning with a sense of surrenderance. I underwent a change of heart through this last near death experience. I was sick and tired, of being sick and tired. For me, one was too many and a thousand never enough. I wanted my life back. I was nothing; I was hurt, damaged, broken, and miserable. As I had been for years, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.

I called my parents and went home. For the first time in 2 years, I went home. Over the course of my time being voluntarily homeless, I was living anywhere I could get high and stay high. But now, this time, I wanted to be nowhere but home. I wanted so bad to be sober and to feel okay sober. But, my body begged to differ. The shakes, the sweats, and the pain overcame me by 10 pm that first night at my parent’s house.

I began to realize how much my life and my addiction was out of control. For the first time I realized how powerless I was. The drugs were bigger than me. I withdrew until I couldn’t take it anymore. Not the pain, I could have lived through the pain, but the lifestyle. The constant need for substance. I couldn’t do it anymore. I let go.

I came clean to my mother that I was sick, and I couldn’t fix myself this time, and unfortunately they couldn’t fix me either. I checked into detox on January 26th and soon found myself on my way to Fort Lauderdale Florida, to my first treatment center, 16 hours from home. I checked into rehab on January 29th, at 1:30 pm. I felt so out of control by then. I felt like I had no control over what happened next, I was simply going with whatever happened next.

I was exhausted, scared, vulnerable, and lost in my own depression. The anxiety was the worst. My father drove me here. He told me the entire time “this is a good thing” and “I’m so proud of you”. But, the resentment I had towards myself and the anger I had in my heart that I was 17 and a drug addict, was outweighing my optimism. I was lost, terrified, and furious at myself.

The intake process was long, confusing, and in a strong sense; degrading. I thought that I could at least go on walks alone, have my phone to call my family, and get a cigarette break when needed. But oh was I wrong. The seven day black out period was startling, that’s for sure. All I could have was myself and the clothes on my back, which soon were taken to get searched with a fine tooth comb, and washed.

Madison addiction recovery story

Madison on her first day of treatment at our National School Week kickball game!

There I sat in black scrubs 2 sizes too big, and a drug test in my hand waiting to drop my 3rd cup of urine already in just one day. I had so many assessments about my mental state of mind that I was almost convinced I was clinically insane by the end of them all. I am a drug addict, but I am not crazy. Meeting the girls was more stressful than a job interview. They asked so many questions, I was shocked they didn’t want to know my blood type. I envied their sense of sisterhood, and acceptance.

As my first day came to an end I was taken to the residence. (Where we sleep). I was shown to my room, and the first thing I noticed was the many non motivational quotes on the walls, all the tally marks and cuss words on the walls, and the emptiness. I hit the floor and cried. I cried so hard I threw up. For the next three days I remained in denial. I was fine, I didn’t need help, nor did I want it.

I didn’t want therapists, groups, or anybodies advice. All that ran through my head was an escape route. And drugs; drugs were on my mind nonstop. I soon came to senses after my first Narcotics Anonymous meeting. I left that meeting with a feeling of hope, integrity and my pessimistic state of mind was replaced with optimism. All at once I remembered my God, my dreams, and my talents. I had a spiritual awakening, and it was a turning point in my life.

I spent my weeks from there on out writing, praying, and studying myself, and my 12 steps. I began to understand them thoroughly. I began to understand God again. I understood my disease; that I indeed was an addict. I focused on nothing but myself and my recovery. After weeks of soul searching and learning about my problem and finding myself, I began to see how beautiful life is. Drugs turned me into a monster; they morphed me into something I wasn’t. I was self destructive and selfish. I found that recovery is an excellent thing, therapists are ready to lend a hand, sobriety is amazing, and most of all addiction is widespread.

So many people suffer from this wretched disease; it is nothing to be embarrassed about. If you are in rehab you obviously made some poor decisions and you definitely earned that seat in treatment. People don’t just end up here by accident. But be proud you are here in this position, and not in active addiction. Rehabilitation is productive, and if you allow it and your program to work within you, you will walk out these doors a brand new person. It takes commitment, determination and willpower. But it is possible.

I stand here, with 5 days left. My stretch of treatment is coming to an end, but my recovery is only beginning. But leaving here will be bittersweet. The staff here have touched my heart and witnessed my change and growth. The girls here have become sisters to me in a way.

Each and every one of them are so beautiful and smart. They are capable of great things. I am anxious to go home and so thankful and excited. I am also aware that going home is the hardest part of my recovery. From my duration here I have gained the knowledge and wisdom to overcome it. I believe in myself and most of all I love myself again, and that is so astonishing.

Words of advice? Remember this is temporary, not permanent. This is proven to work, so let it. The grass is greenest where you water it. Always know your worth, love yourself, and never give up. Permit yourself to change for the better, and prosper.

Lastly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you Inspirations, for restoring my dreams and saving my life. I am forever grateful for this incredible opportunity and journey to self discovery.

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