The first time I snorted a Percocet, I knew I had found what I had been looking for; something to fill the void in my soul.   Something to curb the depression and numb the anxiety. I had tried Vicodin before, but this was different. My body was warm, my smile was almost genuine, and for once I felt okay in my own skin. I had dropped out of college and was working minimum wage fast food and retail jobs to get by. Technically I was homeless, but my best friend’s mom was kind enough to let me stay there. She was also the only person (outside my small circle of friends) who could see through my bullshit. She knew I was using and I knew I couldn’t hide it from her. She was the only one who ever tried to help me, and when she died, I knew she was so angry at me as I cried, filling my nose with Percocet. That is how I dealt with everything. Time went by, but nothing ever changed. It was always the same cycle of work and finding pills and doing them. Nobody knew I was using, and I was damn good at keeping it a secret. Every rundown apartment and every lonely night was okay with me, because I had a fist full of pills that made everything better. When I met Jason*, his presence took away some of my pain; the rest was numbed with pills. We shared everything, and it wasn’t long before I realized he was my soul mate. We lived together, ate together, went on adventures together, and, above all, we used together. When we got our first apartment together, we were both thrilled. Peace and quiet, no roommates or parents to worry about; it was just us. As luck would have it, our property manager lived below us, and he just so happened to be a dealer, therefore we had an endless supply of my drug of choice. Each day was the same routine: wake up, get high, go to work, come home and go to bed. Wake up just to do it all over again. Until one day, our world flipped upside down. When the test showed positive, I couldn’t breathe. We both wanted kids—but we were both addicts. For nine long months I managed to stay sober. When my son arrived, we were both overcome with a love we had never felt before. As we settled into a routine, parenting became real and we did our best to get through each day. When our property manager came knocking, it became impossible to say no.  I was terrified, because now we had a baby to care for, but I couldn’t resist temptation and fell back into the cycle of using. When my son was five months old, I found out I was pregnant again. I was shocked, and a million times more afraid than I was when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I was an addict, with a five month old baby, and another on the way. The guilt of using while I was pregnant, and the fear of getting caught by the police or the doctors was overwhelming. Finally, Jason* and I talked, and we both knew what had to be done. That was my moment. I couldn’t do this anymore. My dad chose alcohol over me, and I could not allow myself to chose drugs over my babies. When I was eight months pregnant, I checked into an outpatient clinic, and one month later, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl and began medication assisted treatment. I know there is a lot of controversy regarding medication assisted treatment, but I made it where I am today because of it. I hear all the time that because I am still on MAT I am not "actually sober". This is part of the reason that most people still don't even know I am a recovering addict. The stigma around those who choose to participate in MAT is appalling. We are doing our best to get by and stay clean and it seems that no matter how hard we try or what methods we use, we are still called "junkies". If taking a medication daily—that some don't approve of— means I am able to take care of my children, hold a job and maintain a 4.0 GPA, I will gladly face their disapproval. Regardless of how someone decides to get/stay sober, I think it is absolutely crucial that we build each other up instead of tearing one another down. Today I am almost 3 years sober. I returned to college to finish my degree in Psychology with a concentration in addictions. I have only a few more months until I finally have my degree, with a shiny 4.0 GPA I have held since my admission. My goal is to help those struggling with addiction. Jason* and I got married, and our babies aren’t quite so little anymore. Someday, when they’re old enough to understand, I will tell them the story of how they saved my life (and their daddy’s too!). Until then, I take it day by day. I am currently in therapy, and my passion for helping others battle their addiction motivates me through even the hardest days. Not every addiction story has a bad ending, we do recover, beautifully. Untitled design (5)  

Each week I like to share stories of recovery, in hopes of inspiring those who are struggling and losing hope. There is no such thing as a lost cause, and the stories in this series are proof of that. Keep hope alive.

I have written a book about my own dark journey through addiction and out the other side. It's available on Amazon HERE. If you’d like to submit your own story, check out the guidelines for submission HERE.   WE FINALLY HAVE RECOVERING BEAUTIFULLY T-SHIRTS IN THE SHOP! Get yours here!


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15 replies to Emma’s Story – Recovering Beautifully.
  1. I want to say THANK YOU for sharing your story about MAT! I’m on MAT also (methadone), got on it when I got pregnant with my son and its given me an amazing life in recovery! So many people look down on it and it’s something I’m extremely passionate about as well. Again thank you for sharing your story! ?

      1. I also want to thank you for sharing your MAT journey! I left MAT before I was ready and ultimately relapsed. Thank my Higher Power for keeping me safe and getting me back into MAT! I have a lil over 3 yrs clean now and am so greatfull to hear others have made it to a good place with MAT also! I love to hear the good stories about MAT! People also talk about the bad and not the good :c Keep up the good work and I’ll say a prayer you keep your 4.0 over the next few month’s!

  2. That is an amazing story! I am so proud for you. My ex lives & works at a rehab facility in the mountains and he is becoming a councilor to help others who are coming into the program. Good luck in the next few months, your holding a 4.0, you got this!

  3. Regardless of how someone decides to get/stay sober, I think it is absolutely crucial that we build each other up instead of tearing one another down. I like THIS!

  4. When I saw the headline that this would potentially start controversy I knew automatically it was regarding MAT. I too am in a medication assisted treatment program, this isn’t my first time trying to get clean with it but the difference is I was ready this time! There is a huge stigma which is a shame and because of that I have not and will not disclose that to anyone in NA but my sponsor because of how I “won’t be considered clean” in their eyes. It’s sad but true for me currently. I love what you said about holding a job raising your kids right having a 4.0 gpa and not caring about anyone’s disapproval! Thank you for that. I too am a good mom today and going to school for the first time in 10 years, I’m active in service work and strive every day to be the best me I can be. I wouldn’t be able to do any of that without help from medication. People take all sorts of medication in recovery, pain pills, narcotic anxiety and sleep meds; ADHD medication etc etc as long as your taking it as prescribed it’s all good right? Well same for me and MY medication! I don’t abuse it and have a goal and already started the process of coming to lower mg. But that’s my business no one else’s and I am the kind of addict that will probably potentially have to be on some form on medication possibly for the rest of my life? Who knows I don’t future trip. But just for today I’m kicking ass at MY recovery. God bless and the best of luck to you!

  5. I wish i could get someone to help my son. He is 24 yrs old & he lives 15 mins east of pittsburgh..His girlfriend told me that him & her are snorting pills & cocaine & that she wanted to quit & that their relationship & lives are on the rocks horribly. When my husband & i made a trip to pa to talk with our son he went ballistic… he is in total denial.. my husband & i moved to Tennessee b4 i found tjis news out & now i feel like we abandoned him. He will not speak to my husband & i. He avoids our phone calls & if we do get in touch with him he curses us out horribly.. we keep telling him we love hi.m Very much & we will get him help the easy or hard way doesnt matter to me we are NOT giving upon him. He has been in legal trouble getting himself out. My son is not a terrible person as a matter of fact. He works very hard & long days to take care of his girlfriend & her daughter & he also pays for his own attorney for his legal problem that we think is getting thrown out.. my son blames me for alot of this bc i threw him & his girlfriend out of our house.. i have my reasons. Time to grow up im so sorry that he decided to go the wrong way so y is that our fault.. im not having that guilt on my shoulders. I cry & stress out enough. I just got out of the hospital bc of stress related angina… my son is my life.. i had a very hard time carrying & delivering him. He was the 1 & only child i could have & that i was not to have any children… please i am asking if there is anyway we could get some help somewhere for my son. Im very desperate. He is very depressed & im afraid of something happening to him… thank u for taking the time to read my story.

  6. Thank you for making me feel better about medication assisted treatment. I’ve heard that before that I’m not really sober because I’m on it but that’s not true. I no longer do illegal drugs. I no longer seek out pills or cocaine or anything to put up my nose. I almost lost my entire family and because of MAT I am a hardworking mom of 4 and a loving wife to my husband of 11 years. I’ve been clean for 4 1/2 years now and proud of it!

  7. Thank you for sharing your story and your experience with MAT! I too am on MAT (suboxine) and it has saved my life. I had tried so many times to get clean and ultimately relapsed. Thanks to my suboxine medication and NA I have been able to stay clean for 3.5 years. I completely agree with what you said about being able to maintain your life and raise your kids without using thanks to MAT.

  8. Thank you! From another MAT’er – thank you for shedding a light on the fact that this is a legitimate wY for us to maintain sobriety. I was turned away from NA groups when I told them of my treatment plan. In think just as society needs to change their view of addiction from a moral failing to a public health issue, I think the recovery community needs to become much more inclusive to people in all types of recovery. We are all in this to be happy, healthy, productive members of society and if that is the result, then it’s working. Congrats on your sobriety and thank you again for sharing!

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I am also on a methadone program. I have also had many people from NA tell me that I am technically still using drugs. I am not out their selling my body anymore or going to the nearest heroin and crack dealer anymore either. I am prescribed this medication. This program has changed my life so much. I am now a mother to my children and I am also an amazing grandmother to two beautiful little girls and I could not be happier.

  10. Yay!! Congratulations!
    m.a.t also helps me. Jesus saved me in more ways than one. I’m so sick of the stigma. The jokes,the disapproval. It’s all annoying. But I know that my life is not what it once was over three years ago.
    There’s not one way only. The other things didn’t work for me,I don’t down them bc they help others.
    We’re all different ans have a different recovery road.
    I’m so happy you’re living better. Thanks for sharing

  11. I felt like I was reading my own story.
    Thank you for fighting against the stigma of MAT. People need to realize it doesnt work for everyone, but the people that it does…are able to live almost perfectly normal lives (traveling is almost impossible…thats been the only thing to really tick me off) But the people who try to take away MAT or speak negatively about it either are NOT EDUCATED about it or they tried it themselves and were unsuccessful.
    I will tell u this. I don’t care what anybody thinks about my decision. It’s bcuz of it that I have 3 beautiful children that I get to be a mother to. And only what they think matters to me. I’m grateful for MAT (methadone). It helped save my life…and then I was able to save my family.
    5 years has past and I’m close to completing my taper. Its been a long journey, but so rewarding.

    The meds themselves alone will not save you.

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