It wasn’t the plan, to be a drug addict. When I was a little girl who would be over the moon excited to go get her hair done, I wanted to be a cosmetologist.

It wasn’t the plan, to be a drug addict. When I played softball for 10 years, followed by four years of high school volleyball. It wasn’t the plan, to be a drug addict. When I wanted to be in early education, maybe a teacher. I worked at a daycare center at the hospital. I spent most nights up til 2-3 a.m. getting high, having to wake up at 5 a.m. to head into the daycare.

It wasn’t the plan, to be a drug addict. When I had the opportunity to work in the pharmacy, later going to school to be a certified pharmacy tech. It wasn’t the plan, to be a drug addict. Running off into the bathroom during every break to sniff another pill. Having a classmate look over and say she used pills too. It wasn’t my plan, to be a drug addict. I’m sure it wasn’t hers either.

It’s no one’s plan, to be a drug addict. It just happens. Somewhere along the way we get lost. Through traumatic situations, dealing with the loss of loved ones and dealing with life in general. Somewhere along the way we went from the little girls and boys with big dreams and hope — to the junkie on the street. It wasn’t the plan.

It wasn’t my plan to spend my 21st birthday in jail. It wasn’t even my actions that landed me in jail, but my addiction that led me to that place. It wasn’t my plan to check into rehab three days after my 22nd birthday. However somewhere along the way I lost my way. I lost my sense of self. I lost my integrity and my respect for myself and others. It wasn’t my plan to stand over the coffin of my best friend who lost her fight against addiction. I’m sure it wasn’t her plan either.

Addiction affects almost everyone. If you stand in a room with at least one other person there’s a great chance one of the two of you has been affected by addiction. Someone in your family, a classmate from school, the little girl who use to sing in the church choir, or the popular athlete. Somewhere along the way, we fell off the wagon everyone else was on. And instead of a helping hand, we were judged and talked down on.

It wasn’t the plan, to be a drug addict.

Has your life been affected by substance use disorder? Are you willing to share your experience? Please email us: talbotgoespurple@gmail.com.

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