Tiffany R’s Story – Recovering Beautifully.

My name is Tiffany, and I’ll be 26 next month by God’s grace.

Many years ago I found out through a prescription I had been given, that I liked pain pills. I didn’t think I would end up as I did throughout the years. I partied and was doing things at 13, that most people don’t do until they’re adults.  

In the midst of partying and rebelling against any rules, I started dating the man that would become, and still is my husband. We married when I was 16.

It wasn’t until the day my mother died, that my addiction really took off.  I was seventeen, and my husband and I had taken care of her while she was sick, up until the point of her going back to the hospital for the final time.

Her death killed a piece of me. I saw things that most people will never know.   The day of her funeral, I had taken a lot pain pills… and I hardly remember the service.

A few years later, my husband and I had a son, and my addiction was spiraling out of control.  I began robbing and stealing from people, cheating and overdosing—until eventually DHR was called, and my son was removed from us for four months.

I decided it was time to change and cleaned myself up. I fought like hell and received him back in December of 2012. I did well for awhile…Until I discovered a drug I never thought I’d use… Ice.

I used to call anyone who used that drug an idiot junkie. I thought I was better, that I would never stoop that low.. until I did.  I became the person I once looked down on..

I used meth/ice so much that it caused one of my lungs to collapse. My teeth started falling out and I lost 50 lbs. My behavior became erratic, I would do my hair and make-up for twelve hours straight, and hallucinating, insisting that I was seeing shadow people.

I struggled with the drug off and on for two years, until finally in June of 2015—it all came to a head.

 I knew I was dying.  I knew my husband would be in prison, and our son (3) at the time, would be an orphan; left to grow up like we did. I knew he would be involved with scary people and bad places.  I knew if I didn’t find a way out of where we were, it was all over—My marriage, our family, losing my son for good, and eventually our lives.

Thankfully I trusted God, and he opened up a path of escape from the hell I had been living. We moved to another state, got our own home, and I found a treatment plan with therapy—that actually worked.

I’ve been clean since June 23rd, 2015.

My son will be seven-years-old next month, and he is thriving.  My husband and I have been been together for eleven years, and our nine-year marriage is stronger than ever.

My son now has stability, and is being cared for by two God-fearing parents, who follow Christ as best as we can.

Everything is great now. Not perfect—but it’s a process. We are progressing everyday, and we owe everything to God.

My teeth still look awful, and I plan to have dentures by March of next year.  I am beyond thankful that I’m not in jail or dead, and had I not given up that old life and trusted God, I wouldn’t be typing this.

There’s Hope. I’m a recovering addict with an 8th grade education. I had many praying for us and I’m thankful for everyone who didn’t give up on us. I no longer look down on anyone and gained empathy and compassion for all addicts.  My mother raised me better, and I understand that everything I did in the past, was my own doing.  I now understand that you cannot say what you would, or wouldn’t do, unless you’re in that position.

I’m saved by God’s grace, I owe Him my life and give him all the glory.

Thanks for letting me share.

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Sylvia Rose’ Story – Recovering Beautifully

Hiyah, I am Sylvia Rose LeBeau.

I grew up as a PK (Preacher’s kid) in the south. My future was already planned for me, I would be the wife of a missionary, and travel the world spreading the gospel. Whoops!
I began experimenting with alcohol at the age of 12, it was Smirnoff (yeck). At thirteen, menthol cigarettes and a fat blunt sure beat going to church. At fourteen I lost my virginity (yikes!)
. Fast-forward to sweet seventeen. I was brutally raped. I was drugged, then I was raped. I was lost… I was completely undone.
I escaped my reality as much as possible, by doing more drugs and harder drugs—acid to be exact. The first time I took acid, someone pointed out that they had never seen me smile so much, so I assumed that was where my happiness was.

Drugs, were all that I had. 

A high was all I searched for. I just assumed fixing my broken pieces would be impossible, so it was better for me to just forget. At the time, I never really saw that I was sliding down into a hole, but when my ass hit the bottom—there was no denying. Suddenly, my problems hit me all at once.
My family had exhausted all efforts of helping me. Stopped searching for me, and I presume they were just waiting for the news stations to report my arrest… or my death. I had no one—unless you count my controlling and abusive boyfriend. A guy who rigged our third floor apartment door to be bolt-locked from the outside.
It was a feeling of numbness, mixed with unbearable pain.  You can’t understand that feeling, unless you’ve been there. Rock bottom was fast approaching—and like most things—I didn’t see it coming.
Silly story. My drug dealer and best friend at the time were making fun of me for the “dreads” I had started growing naturally. I was doing acid almost everyday at this point. 5’9″ and 100lbs. I looked a mess, why not have some dreads?
He sent me a video of the song “Runaway Train” as a joke, saying I looked just like the lead singer. I took this as a description of my life. That was it. I ate the rest of my acid paper and went to the bathtub—clothes and all. I was determined to kill myself with a hairdryer in the tub, (yeah, drugs make you dumb). I had my hand on the “on” switch when suddenly – my phone pinged.
A text from my ex-boyfriend, (now husband), asking how I was doing. I hadn’t spoken to this man for a year, but somehow, that message changed everything.  That was all it took. Someone wanted to know how I was doing. Someone cared.
I moved to Kentucky with him a couple of months later, but had to go back home because of a warrant for failure to pay DUI fines. I spent five hours in jail. Those five hours was all it took. The feeling of hopelessness and emptiness I experienced in that short time, made me want to change, and stop using. No more hippy days for me.
Eight years later, I am clean and sober, and married to my savior. We have three—count ’em—three boys.
It has taken me all of these years to right my wrongs and gain the trust of my family back. That’s the hardest part, gaining the trust back. Since I live in my hometown, my past is everywhere and it continuously bites me in the ass. Old “friends” pop up, old places with bad memories. It will never be gone.
I am currently studying to become a Substance Abuse Counselor. I am an avid blogger. I am an overcomer.
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Andi’s Story – Recovering Beautifully.

*Trigger Warning* (Names of drugs.)

Hi! I’m Andi, and I’m an addict.

My clean date is March 23rd, 2016, so I just celebrated 20 months of freedom from heroin (and crack and meth when I was trying to stop the heroin). The following is my journey thus far…

The first time I acknowledged that I was losing control of my opiate use was in the locker room at the hospital that I worked for. I was a surgical technician, and responsible for assisting during surgery—which included various delicate procedures such as suturing donated corneas to patients who had received transplants.

I was slipping into the bathroom stall in between cases… to snort Oxycontin.

In the beginning, the pills made me feel more effective and productive. My typically quiet, watchful self was replaced with a bubbly, energetic chatterbox that could think and move faster than anyone else in the O.R. suite.

One day, I knew that I had lost control. I had nodded off during an exceptionally long case, and punctured my own glove with a tiny blade.

I told no one, and when break time came I watched my hand bleed on the dollar bill as I rolled it up to take that line.

I knew that I had f***ed up in a major way, but I was eager as hell for the drugs to hit me, because it was the only tried and true solution I had to cope with the guilt and fear that I was beginning to grow accustomed to. And… because the consequences were not enough to stop me.

I rocked on for a few years, working the same position but in various hospitals. I had become adept at sensing when people were copping to my tendencies and behavior. Most mornings I was scrubbing cases while in withdrawals (the dope man doesn’t get up at 5am like I did and for the life of me, I could never save a shot to have in the morning...)

I would start perking up the closer it got to lunch, knowing it was almost time for me to haul ass out of there and get my fix. I was always late coming back, but by God I was ready to work!

I would get repeated warnings, and I always managed to slip out just before they fired me.

To my knowledge, I never injured a patient. That was God’s hand.

At the time, I was engaged to a successful man who also used drugs. The day we found out I was pregnant, we were sitting in his Jeep in a grocery store parking lot on the scary side of town with a half gram of heroin between us…

I had gone into the store and taken a pregnancy test, then brought it back out for us to read together.

Two lines appeared and after we so solemnly swore that this was the last time… and we celebrated with that half gram.

“No human power..” could stop me.

I went to the doctor once during my pregnancy, and lied about having taken an old prescription of Lortabs for a urinary tract infection, to cover for my positive drug urinalysis.

I was late to my own baby shower because my car had run out of gas at the dope man’s house. He was kind enough to give me a lift though..

When the contractions came a month early, I walked around my apartment for two entire days, writhing in a pain so severe that not even the heroin could cover it up. I didn’t want to go to the hospital. I knew what was going to happen. EVERYONE WOULD KNOW, and my baby would not be leaving that hospital with me or his father.

My son was born in full blown withdrawals. It took me 18 hours of watching him shaking and crying before God moved my feet to the nurses station, and God opened my mouth to speak the truth to the hospital staff…

My son was prescribed methadone for 11 days before weaning off of it like a champ. He was healthy— considering what i had put him through. Again, God – not me. He was placed in my grandparents care and left the hospital with them. I loved him so much… but I went to buy dope.

Family court sent me to treatment and the county jail three times. The longest I made it in rehab was 7 days, before leaving on foot. There was no hope for me. I had done the unthinkable and there was no forgiveness and no coming back. So to cope with the pain and shame—I did more dope.

It took another four years of chasing that high, to break me down to the point that I decided to seek help. I began to miss not having a say-so in my life… and I got angry.

I couldn’t keep up with the game anymore and someone else was raising MY boy. I called a treatment center and I asked my grandmother for a ride there.

This time I stayed.

The withdrawals were pure Hell. Somehow, though, in the rare lucid moments that I encountered, I heard hope and this crazy talk of promises in the voices of our guest speakers. By the time I was able to sit straight in a chair again –  I had set a goal. I wanted to be in THAT chair one day, the one the speaker was currently occupying.

I got a phone number of a woman willing to sponsor and I met her the same night that I completed treatment. That was also the day that I saw my son for the first time with sober eyes.

He was 4 years old and what a magnificent little creature he was. My sponsor gave me a copy of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and I threw every ounce of myself into my step work. I struggled greatly with the “God” concept, but willingness works wonders.

I called my sponsor every single day, and I never cancelled a meeting with her. I found a home group, and I replaced my dope runs with meetings.

I went back to work and purchased a car. I got my own apartment and after I completed my steps—I began sponsoring other women and participating in H&I (hospitals and institutions). I went back to Family Court after I picked up my 1 year chip, and petitioned for visitation with my son.

This past May, I was granted full custody.

Today… He is all mine.

Growing up I had always wanted to work in law enforcement. Tomorrow I am going to my final interview with the Sheriffs Office to try to become a deputy. If all goes well, I will be working in the exact same jail that the family court judge sentenced me to detox in.

My hope is that I can speak to inmates in that language that only another addict would understand. Maybe I can spread hope in an otherwise dark place.

They say that my honesty about my addiction is what has opened this door for me. I tell them that being honest is the only way that I can stay free.

Today, I have forgiven myself for the harm that I caused; and I am constantly seeking to grow closer to my Higher Power.

Today I am grateful for the darkness because it has brought me into a light that I never dreamed possible.

Today, I practice the principles and help others. I am fulfilled with inspiration to do what is right.

Today I am at peace. I move out of Gods way and follow his lead, and in doing so, I get those beautiful promises.

Thanks for letting me share. 😙

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ATTENTION! Recovering Addicts Everywhere: SUBMISSIONS.

cropped-adobestock_209011981.jpegI will be starting a new blog series on Wednesdays! It is going to be titled “Recovering Beautifully”.

*Here’s the catch*

It won’t be about ME. It’s going to be about YOU.

Each week I am going to be posting an inspirational story from someone who has battled, and overcome their addiction.

Types of addictions will include, but are not limited to:

Drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling and hoarding.

The stories will be 2,000 words or less, and will be written by the people who lived them.

When my friend Jenny Bear suggested this idea, I decided to get started immediately. You all were so moved by MY story,  so imagine what a VILLAGE of us sharing our truths can do!

But I’m going to take it a step further…

I am going to pick my favorite stories and compile them into a book. I would then price the book at $4.99 and publish it on Amazon. I will donate 100% of the proceeds toward paying for beds in rehabilitation centers, for those who need rehab, but can’t afford it. Ahhhhh!

If you would like to be a part of this amazing new endeavor and have your story considered, see submission guidelines below:

 

1) Tell me your story of overcoming an addiction. I want to know: a) What was life like in active addiction, what were the feelings and emotions associated with your using. b) What happened with your rock bottom? Why did you decide to change? c) How did you change, was it rehab? Jail? Your own detox? Tell me about that experience. And d) what is your life like now? What amazing things have happened since? What is your clean time?

2) Please keep it to 2,000 words or less. I will be editing for grammar and punctuation, but please try your best to make the submission as neat as possible because I am not great at either of those myself.

3) Keep in mind the story will be online and in book form for anyone and everyone to read. If you do not feel comfortable putting your face and story out there, then please do not submit a story.

4) Attach a picture from when you were in active addiction, and a present day photo. (No children.)

5) Please use fake names if you are referring to others.

6) Somewhere in the email, please state: ” I _______, give Tiffany permission to use my story and photos on her blog series “Recovering Beautifully”, as well as her book.”

7) I have no idea when and if your story will be chosen to be published, so please refrain from emailing me asking once you’ve submitted. I will email you if it is chosen, and then give you a heads up when it will be live on the site.

*Submit your stories via email to recoveringbeautifully@yahoo.com*

I will be taking submissions until 1/26/2018

 

I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED!