Addiction From a Sheltered Home
As is often the case for sheltered children, Michelle’s super strict upbringing caused her to act out and sometimes this acting out can lead to addiction. Her mother was an educator and Michelle was often forbidden from doing many of the things that normal children do. Growing up in such a strict and sheltered home, she often felt isolated and frustrated, having to put her violin and piano lessons before other activities.
Michelle’s first experience with marijuana was in her teens. Smoking it made her forget all the troublesome things in her life at that time. For a time, she was able to hide it from her mother, but being a teacher, her mother was no fool. She noticed the change in behavior, grades, and even the friends she hung out with.
Once she got to middle school, Michelle started selling joints to her classmates and it was at this time the change really started to hit hard. Her grades suffered as she lost interest in everything she once had interest in, particularly the books she loved.
She tried to hide her addiction from her mother, but that didn’t last long. She knew that her behavior angered her mother, but Michelle was okay with that, as she saw it as a way to get back at her, which is a feeling many children who grow up in a strict household experience.
Michelle wasn’t allowed to date until she was 17 years old. This didn’t stop her, of course, but that was the rule laid down by her mother. Her mother also did not approve of her friends, as Michelle went from hanging out with her friends in honors classes to hanging out with the kids in remedial classes.
A Slippery Slope Slides Swiftly
Cocaine was the first “hard” drug that Michelle tried and she instantly fell in love with it. She loved the high it gave her and so she did a lot of cocaine, already having an addictive personality from her marijuana use, and so her addiction came head-on very quickly.
At the age of 16, Michelle was already running drugs with her boyfriend, going to Compton, California. She had run away from home and would take Listerine bottles to Compton, fill them with PCP, and bring them back to be sold. Going through customs, carrying guns, even witnessing horrible violence was never enough to make her stop, however. Despite everything, she would do whatever she had to do in order to get her biggest trigger: money.
Michelle was being watched by federal agents, however, who were wise to her drug trafficking. They caught her in Gallop, New Mexico and Michelle went to prison for a month after swallowing 17 hits of acid to avoid being caught with it. Needless to say, she suffered during her incarceration, and did a lot of soul searching, even prayer.
Once she got out of prison, she became pregnant with her first daughter, but this didn’t stop her use of alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs. She went back to school during this time, doing every extra class she could in order to graduate with her class.
Getting her Associate’s Degree, she later moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and resolved to finish her education now that she had a three-year-old daughter to take care of. By this time, however, she was doing cocaine again. She started using more and more, now with two children to take care of, and her addiction continued to spiral out of control.
When Michelle tried meth, however, it was a done deal. She finally found her drug of choice and everything else fell to the wayside.
From there on, it’s been insanity from when I picked up meth. I became my boyfriend, it became my lover, it became the mother to my children.
How Did She Turn Around?
She did her best to hide her drug use from her children and she thought she had done a good job. In reality, however, her children knew all too well what she was doing. Today, Michelle’s daughters refuse to drink, ever, because they’ve seen what it did to their mother while they were growing up.
When Michelle’s mother took her children, Michelle took to living on the streets, even hitchhiked all the way out of New Mexico. She did get clean for about a year, worked good jobs, but out there alone, she became very lonely and ended up drinking heavily again. For Michelle, drinking led to drugs every single time, so it wasn’t long before she was using again.
Hungry, homeless, and wandering the streets of Seattle, Michelle realized it was time to kick her addiction for good. Fortunately, she had a lot of support in that she had a lot of people who wanted to help her beat this.
It’s there if you really want it. It’s how bad you want it.
Today, Michelle is rebuilding a healthy relationship with her mother and her children. It’s a difficult process, especially with her daughters who have come to expect relapse after relapse, but Michelle is aware that it’s a process and their relationship is strengthening. Now in active recovery, Michelle is healthy and clean, working, and building healthy relationships with family and friends.