06 Jun My Journey
I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, and a successful woman. I am also a recovering drug addict. This is my story.
Four years ago, my family told me to get some help, because they were done helping me. I had lost my child, my freedom, my home, and my family during 12 years of drug addiction. I was at rock bottom and couldn’t imagine how my life would ever get any better. I wanted to die. Or maybe it was that I didn’t care if I lived. Whatever the feeling was, it led me to try something different. For the first time in my life, I had to face something on my own and completely sober. I was terrified that it wouldn’t work, that I would not succeed.
In order to understand how I became the woman I am today, you would have to understand who I was before. I was no one’s friend or loved one. I could not look at myself in the mirror due to all the things I was ashamed of. Drugs had stolen any semblance of humanity that I had once possessed.
Drugs had stopped being fun for me a long time before I was able to quit. The first time I overdosed, my daughter was 8 years old. I had been using IV drugs for 2 years, but that morning I immediately knew something wasn’t right. I was able to walk about 10 steps out of the bathroom and to the bottom of the stairs. That was where my 8 year old found me and called 911. After I was brought back and starting to recover from the ordeal, I was arrested. From that day on, I “wanted” to quit but could never quite do it. It took losing everything, overdosing several times, and being in and out of jail and treatment for another 10 years before that happened.
I was a total of 100 pounds that day I went to treatment. I was afraid to be homeless, especially in the dead of winter. My family would not take me in anymore, heck most of them wouldn’t even speak to me. So I chose to go where I thought they wanted me to go. January 3, 2013 I entered my final treatment center. I had no hope and I was completely defeated. I wanted to die. I was just plain scared to try it again, knowing I was going to fail. There I was, with 90 strangers and a bunch of therapists who couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through. Not because they were dumb, but because my situation was special and no one had ever experienced such terrible things. Turns out, I was wrong. Every addict had the same story, with different details, that all ended the same as mine. Nothing I told the therapists was something they hadn’t heard before. I began to realize that I had to stop blaming all my problems on the world and look to the real cause of the issues in my life. ME. That was the hardest thing for me to do.
I worked on every piece of me during the next year. I wanted to be able to love myself. I found qualities that I admired in others and worked on incorporating them into my life. I began to forgive myself for the harm and pain I had caused others. As I began to forgive and love myself, others did as well. One by one, with the help of family therapy, each person I loved came back to me. It was a long, hard road to forgiveness. Even my daughter, who I had damaged the most, finally gave me her forgiveness.
Today, after 4 years and 6 months of sobriety, I have an amazing life. I have the most amazing job where I get to share my experience and passion for helping others who struggle with drug addiction. I surround myself with positive people every day. I no longer have to live in fear and doubt. I live every day to the fullest, and above all I AM GRATEFUL. My recovery will forever remain the forefront of my life. I can never forget where I came from, for fear of returning.
I can honestly say that it is possible to recover. It is possible to change. It is possible for you to save your own life. It is possible to receive forgiveness. It is possible to live again! All you need is a glimmer of hope.
Today, I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, and a successful woman.
By: Crystal Gagon