I never thought the day would come where I’d have to admit to myself I had an addiction. The hardest part was to except the fact I was an addict of painkillers and admitting it to my family so that I could get the help and support needed to get clean. The road leading to my addiction started with the factors of my childhood, always trying to fit in and not being supported emotionally from my parents. Having a child at the age of sixteen was the second factor, which made me grow up faster than a normal child at my age would have had to.
Living the life of an addict was a struggle everyday but, getting help was the hardest part of it all. I’ll live with this disease for the rest of my life because recovery is a lifelong path. This is the story of my addiction, the path that lead to my recovery and how to prevent a similar situation for teens today. At the age of sixteen I became a mother of a beautiful little girl named Gemini. I never had a mother and father that were together who made me feel loved unconditionally.
Life as a young adolescent was a struggle for me because my mother never worked and my father wasn’t involved till later in my life. I didn’t grow up with material things because my mother was unemployed after I was born and I had to share with my three older brothers. Having my own child allowed me to give her the love and life I had always longed for. Unfortunately, I was living a fantasy of what I wished my childhood was like and didn’t realize what it really took to care for a baby. Having a baby gave me the mind that I could do as if I was a full grown adult and party it up on weekends.
Running the streets and smoking marijuana was the start of my path, until eventually that got old and I moved on to the harder drugs with my friends. When I was eighteen years old my teeth started to bother me so I went to the dentist where they had pulled out my wisdom teeth. The dentist assumed there was going to be pain present after the oral surgery and wrote me a script for oxycodone. Pain persisted weeks after my surgery because I had a condition called dry socket caused from smoking after the surgery. The problems continued for a month after surgery and so did the prescription of oxycodone for the pain.
By the time the pain was gone I was fully addicted to the painkillers the dentist had prescribed. I knew what addiction was because I witnessed my older brother go through it for three years. Watching him suffer should have opened my eyes, however the dentist had written the prescriptions and at that point I wasn’t thinking of the addiction that could follow. After the scripts ended I continued buying them off the street. This led to a path of destruction for five years, dragging not only me but my children and family down that path along side of me.
At first I didn’t want to believe I had an addiction. My whole family would lecture me about addiction and I would reply that I had it under control and that I was stable with my kids, having a fulltime job, and wasn’t behind with any bills. If I was an addict there would be no way I was put together and stable like I was. The first few years went by with me ignoring the fact there was a problem; it just wasn’t possible for me to be addicted to anything because I was strong enough for that not to happen to me.
It was not until I met my daughter’s father timothy, that signs of addiction started appearing. I would just shrug them off as if nothing was wrong and ignore the thoughts. About six months into my new relationship, we started falling behind financially. My paychecks stopped going towards bills and started going towards us going out on the weekends to get drunk or to family fun. Tim didn’t use painkillers when we first got together which was a good support for me. When he tried talking to me about having a problem, denial would be the first thing out of my mouth.
Eventually we lost our apartment for not paying the rent and we moved into a new place. The move was a good thing in a way because I was hoping to stop using painkillers and start fresh. Unfortunately, that situation didn’t go as planned and living further away from my job with no car caused me to lose my job. Losing my job put an extreme amount of stress on my family, due to not having money to pay the bills or to support my pill habit. At this point in time I knew I had a problem with narcotics and needed help.
I put it off when Tim got a job thinking that I could support my habit again. Things got better for a while until Tim started using painkillers with me. Tim had gone so long trying to encourage me to stop, that he started using them with me. It was fun using together for a few months; until I found out we were going to have a baby. Now, we were both addicted to narcotics, had no vehicle, struggling just to get by financially, with a seven year old girl and a two year old girl. I knew something had to change because we were both too weak to help each other get clean.
Due to this, we decided it was best to move in with my father. When I made the call to my father to confess my addiction, tears started running down my face. Admitting to my dad my struggle with narcotics was hard because I didn’t want to be a disappointment to him however, I needed to get help and the first step was to be honest and admit I had a problem. After I moved in with my father and got settled, I went over what my options were to get clean while being five months pregnant.
My dad had brought me to Athol Memorial Hospital, which is where I went to speak with the doctor about my options on how to get help. Before anything was done, I thought it was best for me to check in with my midwife and let her know that I was intending to go to detox, where they wanted to wean me off oxycodone by using methadone. The midwife disagreed to that way of going about the addiction I was struggling with and wanted to consult with the on call OBGYN to see what the best option was at this point in my pregnancy.
When the midwife met with me the next day she had told me that at five months pregnant it was to dangerous to switch from oxycodone to methadone then transition to nothing because the transition could cause stress to the unborn child. There was no way in telling how much stress was on the child so she thought it was best just to continue with monitored prescriptions of oxycodone until the child was born. I followed through with the arrangements made until Miya was born September 23, 2010. On this day I was told I had 2 months to set-up detox or in the methadone clinic, which is exactly what I did.
January of 2011 I was officially clean of all drugs and attending groups along with drug counseling weekly. In August of that year, I moved back out into my own apartment with my three girls. Tim and I didn’t work out because he couldn’t stop using and having it around, made it harder for me to succeed in the program. September of 2011 I started attending classes at Mount Wachusett Community College where I intend to further my education in Nursing. It’s currently October of 2012 and I’m officially two years clean, still attending classes, and living on my own with my three beautiful girls.
Life is too short to lose everything over an addiction. People die every day from overdoses and having three little girls along with dreams I still need to concur, leaves no room to live my life on the edge. I have a lot to learn throughout life and need to be a good role model for my children. The road to recovery is forever and I’ll struggle for the rest of my life with my recovery from addiction. I am willing to live the struggle every day to remain clean and sober for myself and the sake of my family.