My addiction to methamphetamine began sometime during my senior year in high school when I was 18 years old. I was going through a lot and didn't know how to deal with my problems or emotions. I had moved to South Dakota to live with my dad who at the time was struggling with his own addiction of alcoholism. During that time, I didn't really know what addiction was. My dad had broken his probation by drinking and was sentenced to three weeks in jail, leaving me with my dad's girlfriend who is also the mother to my two youngest siblings. I had grown quite close to her in that short time-frame. I didn't think of her as a mom but more as a friend instead. She would take me and the kids out on fun hikes and let me drink and smoke pot with her. After about a week of my dad's absence, my stepmom started taking me to her friend's house and eventually inviting them over to our apartment. I started feeling comfortable with these people because I thought they were so understanding of the stuff I was going through in my life at the time. They offered me to smoke meth with them, and I hesitated…but after a while I took that first hit. That took me into a dark place after years of using. Since then, I've learned that because I had already abused drugs and alcohol at a young age, I started my brain's growth. This led me to living an immature life. In other words, I wasn't making the right decisions. I was living my life like an irresponsible eighteen-year-old for many years.
Getting caught up with DCFS and being admitted into the drug court program in the year 2018 has made a significant impact on my life. At first, it felt like a cruel punishment, but when I look back on it now I see that it was an opportunity to learn and gain new tools so that I could live a healthier life for myself as well as the people around me and most importantly my sons. I am so grateful to be given this opportunity once again even though the reason for it being is something I wish I could take back. In this program I have learned basic life skills. It may not sound like much, but it has made me look at the world and myself in a different light. I've gained tools to help me manage and act on my actions appropriately. Obviously I still have more to learn.
I've gone through relapse a few times, and addiction from drug use is easy to get back into. I am learning the hard way. Of course, I deeply regret my relapse, both times, because it has caused so much pain and trauma to not just myself but most importantly my sons and close friends and family.
I believe that I can have a successful recovery because I can see and feel the difference from when I first got sober to now in my current sobriety. What helps me cope the most is going to meetings held in the USARA building. Going to meetings and getting a sponsor has made it clear to me that I will be fighting my addiction for the rest of my life, and that these meetings are here for a reason: to save my life and other people who suffer like me with depression and substance abuse history.
My relapse in November of 2021 made me think harder about my sobriety. I had to accept the consequences and see for myself what I'm truly putting on the line when I intox my body with harmful, mind-altering chemicals. This has made it so much easier for me to take my sobriety seriously. No one is to blame for past decisions and no one can control my future choices, but if I love myself before I love others, I can find happiness, and I can carry on the message to other addicts who still suffer. We do recover.