I was raised in a small town in Greene County, Pennsylvania with my mother and stepfather. He was a very angry alcoholic — he was physically abusive to his biological children and verbally abusive to everyone else in the household. This is the man who taught me how to be an alcoholic and gave me my first beer at a very young age.
During my teen years I was very insecure, I never felt pretty enough, thin enough, I was too shy, and not popular enough. So, I started drinking and it helped me with these insecurities. The problem was I never drink socially, I drank to get drunk.
After graduating high school in 1988 I found my biological father, I was 19 years old. I went to Baltimore to meet him and my family this is when I was introduced to cocaine for the first time.
After returning back to Pennsylvania a friend of mine and myself decided to move to Maryland permanently, I was 20 years old. After arriving I got my first job, after celebrating my 21st birthday I started to drink daily and I became a fixture at the local bar, this went on until I was 23 years old.
At 23 I started dating and it became serious so I quit drinking for a few years. We got engaged and I started planning my dream wedding, but something was missing. Forty-five days before the big wedding I called the whole thing off and 350 guest needed to be notified. It was very stressful so I drank.
At 29 years old I met someone and finally married, I cut back on the drinking from 29 years old to 33 years old, but yet again something was missing and after five years of marriage I asked for a divorce. During this time I got braces because I always hated my teeth, during one of several appointments I had a tooth pulled and the dentist prescribed me Percocet, this started a serious love affair with prescription drugs.
I divorced in 2005, I was depressed and very stressed so I made a doctor’s appointment, we talked about several options for depression, I brought to his attention that there was something that works for me, I told him it was Percocet 5/325. He said if it works then he was fine with that never explaining the danger of addiction. So he started prescribing me 45 a month and towards the end it was 200 a month, they did help with the stress of my job and the divorce, so I thought.
Nine years in I told my doctor that I thought I had a problem with the pills, he became defensive and threatened to kick me out of the practice. I was devastated, so I acted like I quit taking the pills, but I actually was getting them off the street and from friends.
During one of my pill searches I texted a dealer he said he was out of pills but informed me he had bags, I did not know what that was but I was persuaded to buy some, it was heroin and for the next seven years I was in a living hell.
From the age of 33 to 49 I was always involved in some sort of drugs and alcohol. I would use anything that was given to me. I have used Suboxone, heroin, cocaine and prescription medications.
In 2019 I was in my 16th year of serious addiction, I had lost everything I had ever worked for and hit rock bottom. It was May 2019 and I checked myself into an intake rehab center. It was a wonderful experience and they truly saved my life. I am now proud to say I am 120 days clean, I am working the program, I have a home group and sponsor. If I can do it you can do it. I am so grateful to everyone who stood by me. Thank you, God, for granting me the serenity.