My addiction, My Story

Rachel from Cleveland, Ohio

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I’m an alcoholic and an addict. Today,  I have 11 months of sobriety, and life has gotten so much better since I got sober! But before that happened…
My partying began in middle school, when I started to feel awkward, out of place, and extremely nervous.
It wouldn’t be until years later that I found out that the nervousness was actually panic attacks. I remember having a few friends over for a sleep over and sneaking beer and wine coolers out of my parents’ basement fridge out for us to pass around and enjoy. I don’t consider this as my “first drunk.”
My first drunk was the summer before high school started. I had been dating a boy, who lived about 45 minutes away from my house, but my mom would drive me out there, and he would take me home sometimes. He was older than me, and I thought I was “in love.” When he broke up with me, I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do to get rid of the feelings I was feeling, to stop the tears from rushing out of my eyes. So, I decided to get drunk. I chugged down about 5-6 beers and wine coolers, plus some cooking sherry (here’s a recommendation: don’t try that at home, or ever) within maybe an hour, an hour and a half, and I was hammered. I thought I had learned a valuable lesson though, alcohol fixed my problems; it was my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, and would carry me through my rough patches
I became addicted to multiple substances; clinically I was diagnosed as being addicted to cocaine and heroin, but I know that alcohol is what started it all, and I am definitely an alcoholic. I
knew I had a problem with drinking when I had to lie to parents about what I was doing and where I was going. Also, when I had to sneak out to go get wasted. Also, when I had several blackouts and didn’t remember anything that happened the night before. Also, when I would drink until I passed out. Also, I would do things that I regretted the next day and was embarrassed about. I could go on and on, but those are some reasons why I know I’m an alcoholic.
I know I’m addicted to cocaine, because I did things to get it that I never thought I would do. Also, my nose would bleed day after day, but I would blow my nose, and continue to snort it, not caring about what I was doing to my body. Also, I weighed 90 lbs. Also, I flunked out of college because I was doing too much blow. Again, I could go on and on, but I know I’m addicted to cocaine.
I know I’m addicted to heroin, because again, I did things to get it that I never thought I would do, and I hung out with people that I never thought I would. Also, I started shooting up. Also, I went through all of my money in my bank account to get it. Also, because I constantly lied to my parents about where I was going, and what I was doing when I was going to go get it; and also I lied to them about what I was doing with my money. Also, I got really sick when I didn’t have it. Also, I put myself in dangerous situations to get it. There are more reasons, but I know I’m a heroin addict.
Addiction gave me those constant mental obsessions when I didn’t have those substances in my body and those cravings when I did have them in my body. Either way, I was irritable, restless, and discontent. I was constantly wanting more of whatever substance I was doing at the time-sometimes 2 at a time, sometimes all 3! When I was in throes of addiction, I felt like God had abandoned me, like it was His entire fault for everything that went wrong in my life. I said the “Oh Shit Prayers” quite often, too, but none of them seemed to work (“Oh Shit Prayers” are when you’re in a bind and you pray that God will help you out just this once, or you bargain that if God helps you out this time, you won’t do drugs/alcohol again, stuff like that), which just made me even more pissed off at God, because I didn’t think he even listened or gave a shit about me. I also wasn’t there for my family and my real good friends. I hurt them. Addiction did these things to me, but so much more -- I could go on for hours…
I funded my addiction through various ways. Often times, I hung out with people who had certain substances, because they would share them with me. So I basically used them. That was usually when I ran out of my own drugs/alcohol. Since I got sober before I was old enough to legally drink, and because it seems like older people have better connections to drugs, I usually hung out with people who were older than myself; again I was basically using them for their connections. 
Last summer, 2009, I had become resigned to the fact that I was going to die. Because I kept passing out when I shot up, I became used to the idea that I would shoot up one time soon and just pass out and never wake up again. But then one day, I just looked at my mom and saw the look of concern and love on her face and really noticed it for the first time in a long time, and for some reason it broke through the shell of icy, hard, unloving, uncaring, cruelness the drugs and alcohol had created around me. I wanted to live. After that, we called UH in Cleveland. I signed up for rehab. It wasn’t long until I was in rehab and in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Treatment was hard. They took me off of my anxiety meds and that withdrawal, on top of the heroin withdrawal and everything else, was really hard. It took me a long time until I started feeling good. But I did everything they asked of me. Treatment wasn’t fun, but I completed it successfully.
Now that I’m in recovery, life has blossomed for me, into something so beautiful that I could have never seen it coming. Not only am I healthy and content in life and sobriety, but I’m also helping other young girls. It’s such an amazing feeling to be able to give back to another drunk/druggie like me. My relationships with my family have gotten better. I even made the Dean’s List in school last semester. I’m involved in some different young peoples’ A.A. groups which are a lot of fun! They are called YPAA. The one in Ohio is called OYPAA. Now that I have found a group of young people in A.A., I feel like I belong. It’s like having a second family. I have a sense of inner peace and a relationship with a Higher Power, One that I call God. It’s an honor to be asked to be of service in any possible way, such as being asked to write my story, and I thank you for this opportunity, and I thank you for taking the time to read my story.