I grew up with a lot of abuse and trauma, also growing in poverty. My mom struggled with mental health, and she was very abusive in many different ways. I started pretty young in my addiction starting with weed and alcohol around age 12 and found pills around 13. I found myself in rehab against my wishes at age 14. I also was placed in foster care around this time. As my life progressed I delt with more trauma and abuse from my mom. I found myself spending more time in treatment than out of it. But every time I got out, I would seek out any type of way to be numb.
I left Minnesota around 18 after leaving a abusive relationship and moved to Kansas City. I thought getting away from the area would help me get clean, but I found even harder drugs, and found myself homeless because I got kicked out for the drugs I was doing. I delt with substance abuse and more abuse once I ended up homeless. I battled with overdoses and suicidal tendencies. I didn’t want to feel, and if I couldn’t use, I just wanted to end it all. Eventually, I moved back to Minnesota to go to rehab, but went back using the night I got out. At this point I was just using wat I could find so it was mostly weed and alcohol, but occasionally ice and when I found some, opiates.
I met my daughter’s father because he was a pot head and I got weed from him. Four months later I found out I was pregnant, and he showed his true colors in terms of how abusive he truly was. I stayed clean till my daughter was a year old, but the abuse really sent me over the edge. I started smoking, drinking and using opiates, as well as occasionally using ice. It finally came to a head when he hit me with his car. I got on a Greyhound with my two year old, alone and terrified, a few months later. I moved back to Kansas City and ended up in a DV shelter and still struggled with using. A couple months after I moved to KC in 2017, I lost my dad and 5 other family members. With these stresses I completely lost control. I was not sober if I did not absolutely have to be. I continued to struggle, doing anything I could get my hands on, but the ice and opiates became a huge problem. I left KC after multiple overdoses and other problems, but within 3 months I relapsed and continued to spiral. In December I met a guy who was a dealer and 2 weeks later he tried to kill me.
I went into detox in a rehab in Florida, but the rehab was not a good fit, so I left and found another. From there I graduated to a half-way house where my daughter could be there with me. I was struggling with self harm and social services took her from me. I flew back to KC and got my car, but as soon as I got there, I was back on everything and more, leading to an overdose in a trap house. To this day I don’t know how I walked away from that. I left KC and went back to South Carolina. I stayed clean for a week but was back out shortly thereafter and my daughter was placed again with my aunt. I almost died from a fentanyl overdose while visiting a friend back in Florida. I was shooting ice and heroin and also taking Xanax. I made my way back to South Carolina where my daughter was and got into the Salvation Army.
From there, I had a few more months using, but when social services got further involved, I finally got into an outpatient program and was clean. I got on Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) to help me stay clean. I fought to get a place, and it took a year, but I finally got my daughter back with me permanently. Since then things have gotten much better, they are not perfect, and I continue to go to meetings and work on my mental health, along with my relationship with my daughter. I am still on MAT but as on July 2023 I have 2 years clean and continue to work every day so that I never have to go back to that life. My daughter is the main reason I am here today, and I know that if I ever touch drugs again, I will end up dead. I am so grateful that I got as many chances that I did, and I continue to not take it for granted. Thanks for letting me share my story.