***Trigger Warning: Graphic Language of Drug Use***
It starts out as the same old story, right? I started experimenting with pills while in nursing school. I was 21, my then-boyfriend (now husband) & I had just bought a house. We got a roommate from our work to help us pay the mortgage.
I was always a go-getter.
I moved from the Midwest to Phoenix and attended ASU all by myself. I was super independent and nothing was stopping me or my goals. I remember when I wanted to change my major to nursing & the academic advisor said, “Are you sure? Nursing school is really hard. It’s harder than pre-med you know.” That just pushed me even more.
While in nursing school the money ran low. I remember my boyfriend coming to me & saying, “We don’t have enough for any blues but we can get a g of black??”
“Fine,” I answered, “but just this once, never again.”
The next thing I knew I was shooting up, my boyfriend left me & I let the house foreclose because of my addiction.
It wasn’t long until I was kicked out of nursing school for cheating, in my very last rotation of critical care. Feeling defeated & in total denial, I was removed from my foreclosed home and moved into a dingy 2-bedroom apartment that I shared with a 40-year-old strange man. I sunk deeper into depression & drugs.
My boyfriend came back shortly after that. His father had just died & these were the only 2 ways he knew how to cope: me & heroin. We continued to use while I still worked full time to support both our habits & pay the bills.
Years went by and my boss asked me if I wanted to be promoted to having & managing my very own store. See, he knew the “Old Becca.” The Becca who was loyal. A move maker, a no-bullshit taker, would call anyone out for being wrong. He had no idea. I took the promotion. I had to. But I knew I didn’t have it in me.
The promotion led to 12+ hour days, being on call 24/7 & loads of stress.
To manage this stress & just plain old get better after work (I never used at work) I needed to get a shot fast, so I started going into my left lower leg. By this point I wasn’t even hitting veins, I had created a massive open wound and was just shooting right into it.
I did NOT hide it well at work. The wound would collect puss throughout the day & smell so bad that I had to wrap it in dozens of “surgical pads” and wrap my leg in plastic wrap over & over & over again. The puss would seep through my socks & shoes and drip onto the floor. I couldn’t sit or stand in 1 place for too long because I would leave a puddle of puss where I was. My boss commented to me about someone saying I had an “odor” & others said it to me as well. It was so devastating.
My boyfriend had moved out of the bedroom because of the smell & the puss that would soil the bed every night. The feeling of always thinking someone can smell your rotting leg & have to worry about it dripping still wasn’t enough, I still kept using.
I worked until I couldn’t walk anymore.
I had been shooting up into my leg for years now & pieces of bone would fall off sometimes. I could no longer walk or even stand on my left foot. For three months I sat in my bedroom and lived off money from my dad & unemployment. I NEVER left my bedroom. I peed in cups & pooped in bags because I just didn’t have the energy to even walk 4 steps to the bathroom.
When the money ran out I had no other choice. My boyfriend, who was still using but begging me to get help, took me to the hospital. I was so scared & beyond ashamed of what I’d done to myself.
When I entered the emergency room I was so anemic, dehydrated, and depleted of vitamins that the doctors couldn’t understand how I was even still alive.
Just a few hours after being admitted the on-call orthopedic surgeon burst into my room and said, “We’ve gotta amputate. There’s no other option.”
I sobbed, “No! No!”
He replied condescendingly, “Well what did you expect? You shot up into your bone for two years.”
That night the nurse gave me a 30mg Percocet for pain.
I was jonesing so badly I took it into the bathroom with one of the metal spoons from dinner & a needle left in my purse.
Crushing the pill frantically & mixing it with water I drew it up into one of the saline flushes I found in the trash. Filler & all, I didn’t care, it went right into my central line.
Moments later I remember convulsing and attempting to scream, “Help! Help!”
The whole next day is a blur. I transferred rooms, my phone & belongings were gone, & I could no longer read or write. I remember trying to call my fiance on the hospital phone but I couldn’t get my fingers to push the buttons.
The next memory I have is of me at home with a needle in my hand. Apparently, I had left ama & the hospital provided transportation home. I have no memory of this.
I begged my fiancé, “Just one more, please.”
I was unable to mix up a shot myself because my fine motor skills were gone. Sitting in our trash covered, bug & rat-infested apartment I sat slumped over in a chair attempting “just one more hit.” It never happened. I was unable to give myself any sort of shot anywhere. I tried to do the shot rectally & it spilled out all over the floor.
My fiancé refused to help me anymore. He said, “Babe just go to the hospital, they’ve got what you need there, you can get high there.” The next thing I remember was being picked up by EMT’s and riding in an ambulance.
The next day I met the man who would save my life: Dr. S.
At the time I had no idea who this man was, or how he was about to save me. He sat with me that evening for over 2 hours, talking to me about everything. From the amputation to other options, drugs, family, nursing school, work, and my fiancé.
From then on he visited me every single day. This all happened during the height of COVID which meant no visitors, NO EXCEPTIONS. Dr. S talked to my mother & father multiple times a week & my fiancé & his mother daily about my progress. We had to get my neurological condition to improve before I could have the amputation. It was a slow process, but after a few weeks, my brain swelling had decreased enough for me to have surgery.
After the surgery, I was in the hospital for another 3 weeks.
Still, every single day Dr. S visited me. He made sure I went to THE BEST inpatient rehab in the valley where I spent a month in intense physical rehabilitation. I spoke to my mother and father every single day.
On Friday, July 24th my mom called me multiple times. She had her own substance abuse issues with Xanax & alcohol.
I had received a text from my brother & dad saying, “Ignore mom, she’s drunk.” So I did! “One day won’t hurt,” I thought. “She’ll call tomorrow at 6 am like she does every single day.”
Saturday came and still no call from mom. At around 3 pm I got a text from my dad, “Hey Becca, call me it’s very importan.t” I called him right away. He said to me softly, “Becca, it’s your mom, she’s passed.”
I started howling “Nooooo Nooooo I didn’t talk to her yesterday! She called me 5 times left 3 voicemails & I never picked up!!!”
The next month was probably the most difficult of my life.
I finally realized where I was, what I had done, & how much pain I was in. I was also left homeless by the rehab facility & had to return home to my drug & bug-infested apartment.
My fiancé worked his damndest to get our apartment into living condition. It wasn’t perfect, but when I returned the drugs were gone, the floors were clean, & we had a new clean bed to sleep in together. Getting into that bed not having to climb over trash and needles, sleeping with the love of my life next to me instead of a pile of rotten food with maggots; that feeling right there, was better than any feeling any drug has given me.
Since then I’ve gotten two prosthetics. One for walking & my second for jogging & running! I’m working on my overall health so I can possibly retrieve my fertility and have a family.
I take every single day as a gift & am so thankful to be alive.
I still see Dr. S every 4 weeks. He checks in on me even though he no longer gets paid to see me. We both always cry when we see each other. He refers to me as his “poster child for recovery and prosthetics.” I thank him every day for saving my life and he always replies, “I just cut some bone, you saved your own life. & you’ll continue to every single day.”
And that is the biggest moral of this story. YOU SAVE YOUR OWN LIFE. Yes, you will have help along the way, but you do it! You follow through, you chose to stay sober every single day, no matter how hard it gets, the choice is yours. You control your own destiny, & if I can do it, you can too!
Your story has really inspired me. God Bless you.
So beautiful ❤️ your amazing keep it up you got this.
A real story of a real brave woman not giving up !!! Prayers for you !!!
Wow what a bravery to be so open about the worst things you had done in your life. It really takes tones of courage. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. Happy for you!
Sorry for your loss, but so happy you found your way out of that misery!🙏❤
My addiction started with pain pills and led me to heroin. Yes the withdrawal is bad. But a few days of hell is so worth the reward. Change takes time & its usually painful. As addicts we want instant gratification but anything worthwhile takes time. Have u tryed kratom? Its a partial opiate agonist. Meaning it works on some of the receptors in the brain that opiates such as heroin does. Its legal & helps withdrawal symptoms so amazing & its legal. Its not a narcotic & you can buy it online & most tobacco shops. There are 3 kinds, the red relaxes you the white gives you energy and the green is a combination of the 2. Ive been clean now for 2 yrs after 28yrs of self destruction
God bless you and your family this story really caught my attention. You in my thoughts and prayers definitely. Keep pushing forward you’ve got this!!
Asca mom if 3 who fought and fights to stay clean and sober everyday. Your story is inspiring. Hitting rock bottom is different for everyone and your here for a reason. Your strong, beautiful, and I was honored to read your story. We do recover.
This is where I am right now. This is my story. I feel so helpless.
I needed this!!! Thank you so much for sharing… I’m addicted to pain pills && I just don’t know how I’ll get through the withdrawals but I must save myself!!!!
You can do this, it seems impossible and the thought of not having them seem unthinkable but how you will feel after not being on them is amazing. I did it and it was a struggle I’m not going to lie but it was worth it.
Contact Richie Webber he can help you get in treatment
I had a horrible addiction to pain pills for 10 years.. I ended up going into liver failure and almost died because of it.. you CAN get through this! I know the withdrawals are horrible, but you can do this💚
Suboxone saved my life!! I have the best doctor I see once a month who prescribes it. It helps with cravings and blocks your opiate receptors so you can’t get high on a bad day. Find a provider! You can do it!!
I was in that same boat. Kratom saved me. Best wishes.
Oh my Jesus!!! Thank you for being so open and honest about your story. So many people will be able to see that they are not alone. Im so happy for Becca. Keep saving your life Becca!!! Much love
Thank you!! To you & everyone for all the support! I’m still in shock I had no idea what effect my story would have on people!!
Thank you for sharing and spreading hope to many of us who have loved ones that are still abusing. It’s so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now but as long as we keep showing love I hope they will have the power to love them self enough too to quit❤️
Rebecca, I look up to you in all that you have conquered; and hope with all my heart you continue to move forward with the children you are hoping to have.. I hope it’s soon. It’s amazing God’s Grace, he is always there to pick us up when we can’t do it ourselves. He gives us the strength, and then shows us how to respond to it. So it’s a brand new year, a brand new day, to take every moment and make it your own delicious moment all the time and every time. God loves you more than you could ever imagine. He just gives plenty of time to do it ourselves with the tools of strength and love he shows us daily. God’s blessings continue to knock at your door. amen.
So happy for you. I have seen too many people who did not make it as far as you did. So happy for you. This should me a testament to those that are fighting addiction. Keep up the good fight.
I forgot to add that I also lost my mother because of her addiction to prescription drugs such as Valium, sleeping pills, diet pills. She was had a living “Valley of the Dolls” life style going back in the sixties and the seventies. She was only 42 when she died from an “accidental over dose” at least that is what it said on the coroners report.
Thank u for shareing im 4 months in the subxone program from doing 20 pain pills a day.its very hard and i have no man no friends no sponser but ill keep trying god bless u
Lisa, I do not know what it feels like. What I do know is that you are worth the work and the effort. I applaud you and encourage you to do each hour as it comes. Every pain pill you don’t take today is a huge success. You go, girl❤️
Amazing story.. congratulations to your new life and choices..
Thank you for sharing..
Wow thank you for sharing ❤️❤️
You are alive to tell your story….others who read your story will look for the courage to save themselves.
God Bless your recovery!
Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration to others who may be going down that spiral. It is possible if you believe in yourself and surround yourself with the right people.
What an amazing story! So proud of you, Rebecca!
Congratulations on your progress! I know every day is a new challenge. So very sorry for the loss of your mom. Prayers and good luck with your continued recovery.
You are truly an inspiration & VERY very strong! I can only hope & wish my 28 year old granddaughter would do the same. She has a 7 yr old daughter who misses her so bad!
You should be a speaker at some of these rehab. God bless you & your husband💞
You are a miracle ❣️ Isa smoker but thank God never shot up. I would’ve liked it too much. 01/13/2021 will be 13 years clean from a 34 year addiction that included cocaine and anything else in arms reach. Keep telling your story. And I’m very sorry about your mother’s passing and the guilt I’m sure you have but just knowing your heart she loves you and doesn’t blame you one bit.
Wow! Get it, girl! Amazing story!
Good for you!!! Please keep up the good work, for yourself and your family. I’ve never been in your shoes with drugs, but I used to LOVE to smoke cigarettes. I’m sure drugs is worse, but addiction is addiction and I loved to smoke. I’ve been smoke free for over 3 years now and can’t imagine starting back, even though I LOVE them.
Remember all the hell that you went through all those years and where you are now. I’m sure you don’t want to go back through all of that again. I hope everything stays good for you!! 💜
This is so powerful! We do and can recover.
Congratulations on your sobriety!! I hope you have an awesome life. You’ve earned it.
Thankyou for sharing you story it has really open my eyes I’m not or been in your shoes but my partner is going throw this he been on drugs over 9 years and it has came to apoint enough us enough I don’t understand it or get it but I try to I want to help him and get him throw it it only the start of him trying to give up and I hope we can do it .his family just help him feed it to him then blame me for lieing and saying he on drugs even after they have said they know he doing it .I have it all in texted All saved as well and have him on video saying what he dose but they still don’t want to believe it…it going be a hard road a head but at the end it be all worth it if he gets throw this.. so again thankyou for your story it has really touched me and shown me it can be done ☺️
Very touching story…keep telling it.
Wow what a story! You have worked miracles and overcome so much. Keep going!
Wow what an amazing recovery story! I’m so proud of you!
You got this girl! Thank you for sharing such a raw piece of your life with us!
I pray that my addicted daughter never have to suffer what you’ve been through. I pray for her everyday. I never know when I’m going to get “that” call.
Stay strong. I’m proud of you.
Beautiful story! You are a true miracle!
God bless you! I am in long term recovery also and had a relapse last year, working full time as a counselor and working full time on my bachelors and being a single mom, I fell and was so ashamed I hid it from all but one dear friend at church for a year! I will never forget the wound on my leg bursting open and how the giant hole in my leg terrified her, and her helping me watch my daughter and kick telling everyone i loved I stayed the weekend with her because I hurt my back..as soon as I could walk I left and got more. Now I am back in MAT and thriving. Your story is so encouraging to me and I am so sorry your lost your leg but so grateful YOU are here ❤️❤️🙏🙏 anonymous comment please (work)
Omg I don’t know you but I’m so proud of you!! keep going God bless 🤗
Thank you for sharing ♥️♥️
Congratulations on your recovery, you’re truly an inspiration.
Keep up the amazing work!!
Thank you for sharing i too went to nursing school and graduated only to be an actual nurse for a few months till they caught me stealing narcotics!! Ur story is very relatable girl and ur a hopeshot 💖
So proud of you! You walked through hell and made it to the other side. That takes a hell of a lit of gumption and bravery. Hold your head high. You are strong, you are smart, and you are beautiful!
Congrats on your recovery! I can’t imagine the strength it took to get where you are today and to now share it to help others. Much love. ❤️
Thank you for telling your story. I know that wasn’t easy to write down, much less live through.
I don’t know you, but damn it man, I am proud of you!
Your story isnt over yet! God kept you alive to tell your story and make a difference. You didnt go through that for nothing, i cant wait to see what he is going to do in your life! CONGRATULATIONS
Wow u are amazing please keep up all your good work. I’ve been clean for almost eight years and I believe in you just like people believed in me. Be the person that you were before continue with your dreams Drugs bring us down and we loose everything I’m so happy you have that dr by your side cause your so worth every bit of attention to get you threw this. I can’t say how inspirational your story is. Keep being you and fight for what u believe in. And like the doctor said you are doing your recover yourself he just gave you a little boost to help you Lots of respect and love
This takes courage and you have plenty of it! This is proof that if you want it bad enough you can change and do what is right. It helps when you have people to help you see what maybe you couldn’t at first. I didn’t get to heroin but was pretty dakn close to transitioning over from heavy pill use. I was killing myself and my husband and children were watching but didn’t know the full extent of it. I almost lost it all. I woke up and said, “what the f**k am I doing?!?” I got help and have been clean and sober for 6 years come March. Best decision of my life. We all have a choice and it can be done. I’m proud of anyone that can admit they have a problem and they need help. That is the hardest first step. We can be there for each other to help fight addiction. It can be won! Congratulations on your sobriety!
I’m so glad I read that. There is a piece of your story in all of us. I’m so sorry for your pain but so so excited for your success. Grateful for these words today!
I dont know you yet I’m so very proud of you! Your story has really touched my heart.
It takes an incredibly strong person to share the terrible details of that story, of any story.
You ARE a posterchild with a wealth of inspiration to dole out! Please keep your head up and straight forward because your story, your presence, your sobriety can and WILL change people’s lives!!
Thank you for sharing, thank you for the inspiration to start my day.
You will be in my heart and mind today, and you will be my strength to push through…. If she can press on, so can I.
Love and prosperity to you! ❤️
It’s a struggle everyday I’m a double amputee myself.. it’s been 5 going on 6 years in April..it’s been hard n still have hard days..Wish I had or could meet a dr.s
You are an amazing woman! Stay strong and keep up the good work!
Thank you for shareing your story you are amazing!!!💞💞💞
My little sister overdosed just before Thanksgiving, and died. She was only 35. She was a single mom to a 13 year old (died right before her daughter’s 14th birthday). My family and I really wish she hadn’t gotten help & wanted to save her own life…
What a blessing you are to so many! A beacon of hope for those who are still lost..and a strong reminder to those of us who still continue to fight the fight that we do recover and there is more to be grateful for then to run from. Life is good! Thanks for sharing!
WOW, just wow! Thank you so much for sharing this story with me (& the world). What strength you show in your words! I am so proud of what you have overcome and accomplished!! You are such a rockstar and deserve all the positive, sparkles and happiness that will come your way! Keep your head up and know that you are worth being alive and that the world needs you in it! ❤️
So proud of you for saving you♡
Yes!! Your reply is the most important aspect of our journey!! Choices we make are the only and direct ways to being healthy and happy… not to mention, the choice to stay clean, daily, is the only, I mean only!, option to live a life of integrity…. the consequences of this effort and dedication will surpass our dreams….
There’s confidence we feel knowing we are honest with ourselves and we are actively responsible for our happiness….
Wow Ima honored to have heard your story.. as a recovering addict my self I know how hard it is to to be open about those parts of your life im so happy your health and doing good im so sorry for the loss of your mother and leg.. may God continue to guide and bless you and remember no matter what happens in life tomorrow is a new day..
this was beyond profound
blessings and prayers to you (AND your amazing guy) ((and Dr. S))
I’m going to save this and reread and share with someone who will welcome reading this
you are very strong and brave
you are important! and your life is important! thank you
Thank you for getting sober. My son who was only 22, died last year from an OD. My life will never be the same, I will never be the same. Because I lost my baby to addiction. Keep fighting the good fight!
I lost my little brother to an overdose, he was also 22. My mother will never ever be the same, you are absolutely right with that Amanda. When I read what you wrote, my heart hurt for you and I don’t even know you. Take care of yourself, and remember how sad it would make him to see you so sad❤️
Please don’t stop fighting for yourself. You are worth every ounce of fight that you have in you. ❤️
G-d bless you… #hero
Rebecca. thank you for sharing your story. I know that it was not easy and I’m sure life is still not. Thank you for being alive in this world and shining a light for those who are still lost.
I absolutely love this!! What an inspiration!! Thank you for telling your story
Keep up the hard work! You have great dreams!
You have a great story and can save lives! I once was a slave to opiates, but never shot up! I used pills! But I remember how hard it was to get and stay clean! I went through getting clean and sober several times in my life and it isn’t a pretty picture! Thanks for sharing your story….I’m sure it can and will save someone’s life! Stay positive! I also give a lot of credit to Narcotics Anonymous! It’s a wonderful program, you should give it a try! It really does work!
I celebrated 2 years clean from meth and heroin back in November 2020. Your story is so inspiring as is every one else in recovery we all have unique stories to tell! So proud of you and yes YOU SAVE YOUR OWN LIFE!! Recovery is always possible!!
Your awesome 👏🏻. Great job for choosing life! Thanks for sharing your story. Keep on keeping on