As promised, I am going to share my story of addiction. How it came about, the lows, the highs, and the end (my favorite part).
I share this to give insight, share hope, and allow my story to be told.
Let's start at the beginning. Nearly eight years ago, my world shattered when my brother-in-law Byron died unexpectedly. Being the "strong" person that I thought I was, I hid my grief from everyone. I believed that sadness, hurt, anger, etc were all "bad feelings" that didn't deserve a place in my life. I didn't allow myself to feel them. So instead, I felt numb. I was so sad/hurt/angry that I didn't know how to carry on. I didn't know how to live in a world with so much sadness. So I refocused and ignored my inner feelings.
I refocused over to soccer. This wasn't a bad thing- except that it allowed me to mask and numb all my feelings that I was feeling and pretend I was okay. It didn't force me to face my feelings- that I would have to face 8 years later.
There were very few people in my life that knew the extent of my suffering over this loss. I didn't tell anyone. Instead, I stayed strong all day and then I cried when I was alone every night for almost an entire year.
This carried on for almost my entire Junior year of High School. Then, I discovered a way to completely numb my feelings that seemed like a shadow everywhere I went- my prescription medications.
They were so easy to get. Obviously with the tragedy that just occurred, I could get anti depressants/anxiety meds and sleep aides to help sedate me and medicate the emotional pain as well. Along with those meds, it was also easy to get pain killers and other sedatives due to the injuries I got in soccer and my chronic headaches. By the time I reached my senior year of High School, I had an entire pharmacy...and so did my friends and their parents. We would have sleep overs and bring all of our medications and the meds in our parents' medicine cabinets.
The whole summer before my senior year of High School was a blur of "pharm parties".
At first it was just for fun. Then I discovered I could actually escape the emotional pain that had followed me around for almost an entire year. From that summer forward, I would struggle with an addiction to prescription medications.
To be continued...