Nikki’s mom introduced her to weed, and her dad introduced her to speed—what followed was inevitable: a crash course collision with addiction. As with many people who fall into addiction, there was a traumatic history that catalyzed her abuse.
After Nikki was born, her mom became a heroin addict. When she was 2 years old, her mom’s boyfriend tried drowning her and Nikki was saved by her grandmother who took custody of her. For a couple years, her childhood was a fairytale with her grandmother. However, at the age of 6, Nikki’s grandmother took her to live on a weed farm in Portland with her mom, who had stopped using heroin by that time.
From the age of 6 to 11, Nikki smoked weed every day. She met her dad around that time and she told him, without hesitation, “I don’t know who the fuck you think you are?” She didn’t see him again till she was 19. He drove a Porsche, bought her $3,000 worth of clothes, sending her off to the University of Arizona.
The Downward Spiral of Drug Abuse
Between the ages of 18 and 26, she was beaten, molested and raped while trying to earn love by doing what everybody else around her did. During this period, she had a child with a guy she met through the drug scene. She was buying weed; he was buying LSD.
“I thought I was a good mom because he had name brands. He had name brand shoes; he had toys; he had everything he could have monetarily but he just really didn’t have me.”
At one point Nikki was held up at gunpoint in a room full of people for her weed. Instead of handing the person over her stash, she and her child fled the scene with the weed, leaving the rest of the people with the gunman.
“I ran out of the house and left the five people in the house with the guy. That’s the kind of addict I was,” Nikki said.
One night, the father of Nikki’s child, her ex-husband, asked if they could meet up and get dinner to potentially restart their friendship. However, he got her blackout drunk in the middle of Youngtown, AZ. He called the cops on her and they found her in just a bikini with weed in her possession.
She was arrested and charged with two felonies and some misdemeanors. At the time, she was a teacher, and the cop told her that he wouldn’t want her teaching his kids.
“That killed me because I have taught many, many kids. Right there, I made a decision [to stop using] right there.”
Beckoning the Universe’s Call: Sobriety
After her jail time, Nikki had to start over again. She worked in the food industry, which she hated. But she started attending 12-step meetings and sought out 12-step programs.
At one point, she was working at a gas station across the street from the high school where she once taught. Her former students would come in and order burgers from her. Though it might have felt humiliating, Nikki didn’t stay down long. She kept working the program and believed she would end up back in the classroom.
One month of sorrow really helped turn her around. In April, her son left for the Air Force, and both her mom and ex-mother-in-law died.
She woke up April 27 and became, as she puts it, “conscious.” She didn’t want to drink or get stoned anymore.
In her sobriety, she has to have something to believe in. “In order for me not to get loaded, I have to believe I’m not God,” Nikki said.
As she became conscious, a lot of her old ways dissipated and were replaced with peace and connectivity to the universe. Determined to make it back in school, she decided to call for substitute teacher positions.
The same day she called in for the position, her boss yelled at her, hurling accusations that she was a bad line cook. She decided that day she would quit. She felt peace when she did. And the next morning she got a call asking if she could substitute. Since that morning, she’s taught in the same classrooms as she used to.
“My journey is amazing. I have a lot of women in my life today and I trust them,” Nikki said.
“I don’t have anger. Everything in my life today just happened. There’s nothing so significant that I have to numb my feelings. Today I pause.”
When Nikki was at her lowest, she was taking from people and herself. She was not giving. She was not connected to the universe. Now, she is the reverse of all those.
“My greatest gift in recovery is working with others and helping people,” said Nikki. She now blesses, rather than takes. Every day she overcomes addiction; every day she gives her life to the universe; every day she believes in herself.