Emily grew up in a normal, educated family. She had a mom, dad and two sisters. There was nothing out of the ordinary that caused Emily to become an addict, there was no drug or alcohol abuse in her home growing up and she had a very happy childhood. She didn’t feel like she didn’t fit in with her friends, she wasn’t abused and never had anything to worry about. However, she did like attention.
“It is not that I feel like I didn’t fit in, I defiantly acted out a lot to try and get attention but relatively happy,” Emily said.
Along with her thirst for attention, Emily dealt with anger issues in her earlier days. Most of her anger was taken out on her little sister because she wished she could be an only child.
“I did not want anything to do with my little sister.”
Emily wanted to be an only child so bad. She would convince her little sister to do things that would cause emotional harm to prove her point.
She would duct tape her little sister to plastic chairs. Her little sister would beg her to stop and Emily would promise her she would let her go, but never did. It got to the point where Emily’s mom had to tell her little sister to stop trusting her because she knew Emily would try and convince her to get into that chair again.
One day, Emily took a break from taunting her little sister and went to hang out with a friend.
“My friend came to me one time whose mom has gotten surgery and gave me a Vicodin.”
Her and her friend took the pill and nothing special happen. They both just got tired and went to sleep. Because Emily had already experienced a pill and didn’t get a desired effect, she thought trying marijuana would be a good idea.
“I kind of prided myself on staying, like, you know, I had stuff under control for a really long time.”
She barley remembers smoking the marijuana, she knows she did not get high from it though. The only thing she really does remember is they over paid for it and smoked it out of a soda pop can.
“In my mind it was not a problem because I was affording all of it.”
She didn’t have things under control. Her mind was playing tricks on he, the only way she could afford it was by stealing from her job. She ended up getting caught and fired. When she lost her job, things got really bad.
“It was kind of at that point where any real control went out the window. The cycle of getting new jobs and getting caught [stealing] and getting fired just over and over.”
Things would keep getting worse for her and she kept breaking promises to herself on staying clean and not stealing from her work place.
“Each time I got fired from a job I was like, ‘I am going to get clean I am not going to do this and I am not going to get high at work’.”
Emily took a break from working and went to rehab. She remembers her dad telling her that her little sister would come to him and cry. She wasn’t crying because Emily stole money from her, she was crying because she didn’t want her big sister to die.
Although her relationship with her sister was not the best, she was always very close to her dad. Emily and her mom are still working on their relationship. They used to not want to look at her.
Emily used to take advantage of her parents. She would drink and use in their house because she knew they wouldn’t kick her out. She didn’t care about their feelings because the only thing that mattered to her was the drugs and alcohol. Her love was very strong for drugs and alcohol but she believed she was stronger than the disease.
“I had friends who have went through the same thing and they went to rehab and would go to meetings and that kind of stuff but to me that just sounded so silly and I knew better and could do it a different way.”
Recovery Changed Her Life
Her thoughts took her to some dark places and she had a lot of lows. She tried many different ways to get clean and sober but nothing worked and she didn’t know why.
“All the other ideas of detoxes and Suboxone maintains and … just smoking weed and all the other things I tried to do didn’t work and it was kind of at that point I was just like I’m done. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to keep living this life.”
Emily’s parents found out that she stole money, she went to her first meeting and found treatment that night.
“By the time I got to treatment I was pretty much open to everything.”
In treatment she found the person she always wanted to be and attended meetings. Now, working a 12-step program is normal to her. She has friends that she can trust and wouldn’t trade them for any drug or alcohol.
“I have friends that show up for me and I show up for them. It is not just trying to get stuff out of each other.”
In order to keep her recovery, she follows in people’s footsteps that have done this before. It is not only her friends that help keep her sober, it’s her family too. She loves talking to her parents and wishes she could see them more often because they live across the country. Emily believes you have to let everyone have their own recovery experience and to just give a 12-step fellowship a chance. She believes in you.