Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate
Jenn grew up with an ideal childhood, but addiction still darkened her life all the same. Many people who develop addiction experience childhood trauma or have troubled upbringings, but addiction doesn’t discriminate.
There are a plethora of reasons why someone may turn to substance abuse. Jenn’s dad had a drinking problem and alcoholism has appeared multiple times on his side of the family. So, Jenn could possibly have some kind of genetic predisposition, but the truth is that addiction can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, religion, location, childhood experience, genes or any other kind of reason.
Drinking at a Young Age
When Jenn was a young teenager, she started to drink a lot. She would go on walks around the neighborhood and end up in bad situations. When she told the stories later on to people, describing how scared she was, their reactions of concern made her feel cared about. This attention only encouraged the risky behaviors she took.
Eventually, she was always trying to get a big reaction out of the people around her. She loved shocking them by the outrageous things she would do, like eating a whole eighth of shrooms by herself. The more dramatic the reaction, the better. Of course, many teenagers enjoy the shock value of certain behaviors, but Jenn’s way of achieving this was hurting her more than she knew.
Heroin Brings on a Downward Spiral
When Jenn started using Heroin, things escalated to a new level. She’d been lying to her parents all the time about things to keep up her using in secret. Right after turning eighteen, she got arrested and her parents called with a lot of questions.
The lying and sneaking around that often comes with addiction can be exhausting to keep up with. It can also really weigh on a family and a person’s self-worth. She couldn’t keep up with all the lies anymore so she just told them the truth: she was using Heroin.
The truth was that Jenn couldn’t stop, and even after getting off it and past the withdrawals, she was sneaking off to get high all the time. The police were still keeping track of her, though, and eventually called her into the station for a drug test.
Trying to Replace One Drug with Another
She got caught in her lies again and admitted that she couldn’t stop, but after someone suggested replacing her habit with Alcohol, she started drinking excessively instead. She would drink until she passed out and then start drinking again when she woke up.
Her parents became concerned and tried to get her into rehab multiple times, but Jenn thought they were overreacting and that she was fine. For many people their substance abuse has to get a lot worse before it gets better, before they realize that they need real help.
Jenn wondered many times during this period if she could ever be happy again without Heroin in her life. Still, she was in denial about needing treatment.
Finally, one Easter, Jenn drew the last straw. She went out to get drunk and was gone a lot longer than expected. Her family had no idea where she was and couldn’t get ahold of her. When she woke up, she had no recollection of what had happened. She came home, crying and confused.
Her parents suggested rehab again, and this time Jenn thought that maybe they were right.
A Full Turn Around in Rehab
Jenn did everything that was suggested to her, she went to meetings, got a sponsor, worked the steps, and got a service commitment. It was hard and strange at first, but eventually she made friends in the recovery community and she grew to look forward to those things.
Drugs and Alcohol had taken away Jenn’s happiness and even her hope for happiness. A lot of people suspect that recovery is boring or disappointing, but Jenn found that she could be silly and laugh and have fun again in sobriety. It gave her the opportunity to enjoy her life instead of dreading each day.
Not only did Jenn realize how many wonderful things there are to look forward in sobriety, but her familial relationships are much better now. She wants people out there who are suffering from substance abuse to know that there is a way out and that happiness is possible. Treatment didn’t just save Jenn’s life— it showed her joy that she hadn’t known before.