Hi all, I'm a drug addict and suffered from addiction for 33 years.
My problems started when I was very young. I was always a problem child who never felt loved, never felt adequate and I was very bratty. My parents would beat me, then I would smash the home up constantly in fights. So at age 11 my parents kicked me out. I came home from school to find all my clothes scattered around the front garden with no bags or anything to carry my clothes, so I left in my school clothes. I didn't know what to do where to go so I went to a park about 10 mins from my house. I got myself comfortable on a park bench, and although I was scared of every noise and creak it was well lit. But at around midnight all the lights went out. I stayed there crying and laid awake all night. In the morning I saw a milk float so I waited for the guy to go into the block of flats and steal some milk, oj and bread. I couldn't go to school because I thought I was a bad person. Some nights friends would ask their parents if I could stay the night, but most nights I was on the street cold alone at 11 and scared. I would wait for my parents to go to bed and I'd hide under their porch till 6am then I'd go to the park. This went on for about a year.
One day something broke. I was cold and hungry and scared so I went and sat on some flat stairs where a lady called Jodie found me. She seemed very kind and asked me why I was crying so I told her. She said to me I could go home with her to live, and if I helped clean her house and babysit her children I could stay rent free. I would have accepted any help then I was desperate. I loved living with her. I loved her kids and felt like it was my own home keeping it tidy. I never really saw Jodie much. She would go out shoplifting in the day and be locked in her bedroom all night. One evening she came out with a mirror with white lines of powder on and said try this it will give you lots of energy to clean with so I tried it and it wasn't long till I was rushing around the house bathing the kids at Jodie's beck and call. But I loved the speed she was giving me. A few days later she came out of the bedroom with a big red bucket with a dirty bottle immersed in it. She said try this, it's a bucket. I asked her what it would do and she said it'd help me sleep off the speed. I smoked it, and coughed so much that I threw up, then I came up. I spent whole evening spinning and being sick, but I loved it.
This is how drugs were introduced into my world. I lived with Jodie for a few years and I took a shine to a dealer who sold Jodie drugs. We got on really well and it wasn't long till we were dating so then I had a constant supply of free drugs. I stared going to raves, eating 10 ecstasy pills, bombs of speed, acid trips, I loved the rave scene. I finally felt I was home, this is where I belonged. After about 2 years I fell pregnant and we had a little girl. I didn't use any drugs throughout my pregnancy and my daughter was born healthy. We got a council shared house to live in.
One day my boyfriend came home and he looked strange, his eyes were brilliant blue, he smelt fishy and he and his friends kept laughing and being sick. When I asked what he'd taken he said heroin and did I want some. I went mad, I'd seen the adverts about heroin but one of his friends said it wasn't addictive it came from the poppy fields so intrigued I snorted a line within minutes my whole face itched and I was throwing up. I went to bed vowing I'd never do it again, but next morning I wanted more and more. I said I'd never smoke it, but within a week I was smoking saying I'd never inject, but within two weeks I was mainlining the drug. I loved it. We went shoplifting Levi's and Ralphy shirts and we were good at it. He sold drugs still so we had constant supply. It wasn't long till I was offered a snowball. This is crack and heroin mixed together in a spoon and filtered into a syringe. I loved this as well, but I could take or leave the crack.
It was not long before we couldn't pick up one day, and I was so ill shaking, shitting myself, throwing up, cold but boiling sneezing like flu but 1000x worse. It was then I realised I had a problem. This went on for years till one day whilst staying in a hotel selling drugs, the drug squad raided our hotel room. I managed to pick up the bag of heroin and crack and pour a jug of juice over it whilst shaking the bags empty. I was very sick for 3 days and was in custody very sick. They had got forensics in to scrape the carpet. With the drugs and money found my boyfriend took the rap. He got 10 years in jail so I was left with a 2 year old child and raging habit.
One of my boyfriend’s friends came round and suggested that I smoke the crack instead of injecting and it would make my withdrawals easier. Well that's the day my drug use spun completely out of control. I smoked that pipe and felt better for 10 mins then sick again so we put our money together brought an 1/8th of crack. That was my drug and was for 29 years. I used everyday all day doing the most nastiness of crimes, robbing old ladies in Asda at first then we'd stalk to post office for old dears to rob. This drug had no boundaries. It took me to such dark places. I lost my daughter to my mother so you can imagine how much she didn't let me have contact with my child. I soon fell pregnant again and was able to stop the crack again, and for the first 3 years of her life I lived a normal family life that was until they moved a speed dealer into next door so I was off and running again, but I managed to proceed with a normal looking life. It wasn't long till I was on the crack again. My daughter is now 24 and I've pretty much used her whole life. She had no life growing up. Yes, I got her everything I thought she wanted, but it was love she needed. I could go on for hours about the awful things I've done to my kids: robbing holiday money, pawning their stuff, robbing birthday money, having dealers living with me renting out each room, basically a crack house the list is endless. They even shut my house down.
Luckily my daughter convinced the council to put me in a recovery house. I was there for 7 months, but still came out and relapsed in 10 days. In the end my daughter told me she was done with drugs affecting her life so she was going to destroy my use and make it impossible to use. I took it with a pinch of salt. Little did I realise she would be the main reason I stopped. I would get up and ring my dealer as soon as I left the house. My daughter would FaceTime me screaming where are you going, we'd argue and I'd turn my phone off. I would arrive home get my pipes set up, and she would burst into my room like a crazy woman kicking my score of drugs up in the air then she would video me screaming scavenging the floor. The next day she would come back and play videos to me. For the first time I saw how dreadful I looked; it was like the devil had taken over me. Needless to say I carried on using, but after about a month of my daughter tracking me every move I was done.
I'd been seven weeks clean but woke up with that screaming head on me. Before I knew it I'd text the dealer I got up to go and meet him and I just collapsed. It felt like someone had shattered my heart. I just lay on that floor praying to God to help me. I didn't want to use, but my head just wouldn't shut up. I was in one CA group on WhatsApp and I typed for help. Within minutes a guy rang me. Within minutes he told me that it is possible to stop if I really wanted to. We spoke for an hour and I realised he was just like me. I wasn't unique he said nearly every person in this fellowship uses like you, and couldn't stop. He told me he'd get me a sponsor to call me and within two mins a lady called Shannel rang me. She was really tough and abrupt she asked me how much I wanted this would I go to any lengths for recovery to which I replied definitely she then said call me at 11 tomorrow and get on my knees and pray. I felt I had nothing else to lose. I had nowhere left to turn. So I did exactly what she said. I called her at 11 the next day full of hope. We spoke for hours and were using the same, but different stories and we hit it off. She looked so happy I just told myself if I do everything she does I should get clean so every suggestion made I did without fail. She took me through steps my favourite steps are 1-5, loved these steps, but didn't like step 2-3 cause that's where I learned my using days were done. If I used anymore the psychosis would get worse and my health would deteriorate so I carried on the path God and Shannel were leading me down. I'm surprised Shannel didn't get rid of me. I cried for a whole month when I was in Richmond fellowship so I couldn't speak in meetings just listening to the solution. I am so grateful to Richmond cause without them I know I would have gone back out. After 6 months of sobriety, me and Shannel left Richmond.
I’m now 15 months clean. I’m the happiest I've ever been. I do service five days a week. I sponsor and I love it. I have realised I’m quite good at this addiction stuff and due to a great sponsor, Shannel I will work this program for the rest of my life. I've tried to put parts of it down, but the triangle collapsed quickly. Luckily, relapse hasn't been my story since being here so if you're new the best advice I can give you is get a Big Book, pin your ears back and listen to every suggestion made.