***Trigger Warning: Self-Harm***

Growing up I always thought people chose to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. No one really drank in my immediate family and there was definitely no drug use.

I grew up showing horses and was raised with good morals and values. My parents didn’t talk to me about drugs because they assumed out of sight out of mind I guess. They never dreamed I would end up where I did.

Fast forward to my teen years when I always felt like I never really “fit” anywhere I went. I always felt empty and was never happy or content with myself. It was like something was missing and I couldn’t ever fill that void.

I started self-harming around the age of 13.

It was a release for me. I always put so much pressure on myself to be perfect but I felt I could never really measure up. Self-harm quieted the thoughts inside my head telling me I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, etc.

Until high school when I started hanging out with people who used drugs. I tried just about everything until I found heroin and meth. Those were the two that I couldn’t get away from.

In the next ten years, I would overdose and end up in the hospital twice, be in and out of 10 drug rehab centers, have numerous psych ward visits, and amazingly only get arrested twice. (Getting arrested was the biggest blessing I would eventually come to find out.)

I was homeless, in an extremely abusive relationship, and absolutely broken. My family loved me still but had to cut ties with me because of the damage I had done. They helped me over and over again until they finally had enough.

On June 6th, 2018 I was arrested for a felony 5 warrant and spent two weeks in jail.

Photo Credit: Kendra

I was offered an amazing opportunity to complete a very intense drug court program and enter a sober living home where I would stay for a year. I had no idea that would be the start of an amazing new life for me.

I was so tired of living the way I was living I was willing to do whatever was suggested of me. I just needed accountability and a big push to get me there. I put my head down and immersed myself in recovery. I met some amazing lifelong friends in that house and I am forever grateful for them. I learned how to handle my emotions even the not-so-fun ones and use other coping skills besides drugs.

I learned to be accountable, responsible, and show up when I say I’m going to.

I haven’t felt the need to use since the day I was arrested. That makes me 2 years and 10 months clean.

Today I have an 8-month-old daughter who is my world. My family can count on me again and my relationship with my parents is better than ever. I still struggle and have rough days, but I know how to handle them without numbing my emotions and feelings.

Photo Credit: Kendra

I was at the lowest of lows, and I’m proof that recovery is possible. One day at a time. My life is so much better than I ever dreamed. If anyone is struggling please reach out it’s never too late and you’re never too far down to get back up.

***DISCLAIMER: This website, jugglingthejenkins.com, is not affiliated with any specific recovery program. Different avenues work for different people.***