True Stories of Addiction: Ashley
Growing up Ashley knew something wasn’t right. She felt she was different than all the other kids when she was only 8 years old. Ashley would look around at the other kids and feel so out of place- there was something they learned that she didn’t. She felt the missing piece to her puzzle was Heroin.
She Needed an Escape
Ashley had this friend who she idolized. This friend was developed, popular, and Ashley wanted to be her- she wanted to be anyone but herself. They met around the time the movie “Mean Girls” came out and they were pretending to be Mean Girls.
“I felt bad about myself so I started to bully people,” Ashley said.
They made a list of things they could and couldn’t wear, were bullying people, telling others they couldn’t sit with them because they felt as if they were too good for everyone else to be around. They would treat people so poor because they didn’t feel okay on the inside themselves.
Because she was not okay on the inside, she needed an escape. She was always afraid of Marijuana and Alcohol but when she was offered Cocaine she did not hesitate to give it a try. Time went by and her experience with Cocaine was not enough anymore. She craved something to help her escape and found that escape in Heroin.
Heroin became the love of her life at just 15 years old. She was acting out, wasn’t listening to her mom, and was dating an older boy. A few years down the line when she was 17 her boyfriend’s house got raided. The cops called her mom and she picked her up and took her to detox.
In detox, she was on the phone with her mom and she was telling her how her sisters missed having her around. They were lonely without her and were worried about her safety.
“It hit home for me because I was living at home the entire time and so like that was the first time that like I was like maybe I am affecting people by what I am doing.”
Her little sister begging for Ashley back was not enough. She left detox and went back to doing what she knew to do best- get high. She was getting high for so long the drugs stopped working.
It was Never Enough
“This is not enough and there is never going to be enough but I can’t stop.”
She was scared without Heroin and would do anything to get more. One day, she was at Walmart and people were asking her if she was okay, if she needed food or water and it made her realize how unhealthy she looked, which brought her pain in her heart. She wanted to stop but there was something that possessed her and she couldn’t stop no matter what she did.
When people were asking her if she was okay Ashley would look at them with confusion. She didn’t understand how they were living without drugs and alcohol. She didn’t understand how people could be so normal. She got to the point where she wished she was dead.
Ashley’s life was a terrible- she was constantly miserable. Life got so bad she would be sleeping and have a nightmare and wake up to realize her life is worse than her horrific nightmares. She was done with Heroin but she didn’t know how to stop.
It was by the grace of God Ashley had a friend who would keep asking her about getting help for her addiction. He would bother her every day and she would say “tomorrow I’ll go,” but tomorrow never came.
“Until one day I was like ‘fine’ you know.”
She packed the one bag of clothing she had and moved to a treatment facility in Colorado. However, she was only there two weeks in and wanted to leave.
Her Addiction Recovery
“I was like I am going to leave, that’s what I am going to do, I’m going to relapse because that’s what I do.”
While contemplating getting high the owner of the treatment facility told her to come talk about the reasons why she wanted to leave. As soon as Ashley stood up to walk over to the owner she busted into tears. Ashley was so confused and wanted to stay sober. She told the owner she was now willing to do whatever it took to stay clean and sober.
“I got a sponsor, I started to work the steps and like slowly but surely like probably like a month and a half later I like didn’t want to die or get high.”
She felt a relieved, finally had the obsession to use and drink removed. Ashley stayed at the treatment facility for six months and moved into the alumni house where she could practice living life on life’s terms.
While she was living in the alumni house tragedy hit and her best friend died from a Heroin overdose. She was heartbroken but didn’t get high because she kept focused on doing the next right thing.
“I continue to go to meetings; I continue to pray and call my sponsor and do these things and like so even when it doesn’t feel like a success it is.”
Ashley keeps doing the next right thing and has been able to build friendships with people she was never able to before because the drugs came first. Now her recovery comes first and she wouldn’t give it away for the world.
“Even when it doesn’t feel like a success it is. I go to bed sober and I like really never thought that was possible.”