The Webster Dictionary’s definition for addiction says “Compulsive need for and use of a habit forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal.” All I think of when I hear the word addiction is – I can’t stop. By the grace of God and the twelve steps of AA, this isn’t the case anymore.
My name is Nicole and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. Yes, I said recovering. I say recovering because I no longer suffer from a hopeless state of mind and body today. Although, I once did and it controlled my life.
I was born in Miami, Florida in March of 1989 and I am a born and raised Floridian. I had two very loving parents who did the best they could for me. Due to my alcohol and drug use and a few traumatic events, my younger years are a blur and my memories of them aren’t that great. The only thing I know for sure is that I received a lot of love.
My father was also an alcoholic and addict who struggled with addiction. I remember him coming home drunk and him and my mother would fight and throw things. Needless to say, my childhood was basically chaos. That all came to an abrupt end on September 12, 2004. I was awaken from a sleep over at my friend’s house to a call from my mother saying she was picking me up. Within one minute of getting into the car with her she broke down and told me my father passed away from an accidental drug overdose. I remember going to sleep that night knowing that my life would never be the same.
Quickly after that day, things did change. I would like to make it clear that certain events may have pushed me to start using alcohol and drugs but they are not the reason I am an alcoholic and addict. I suffer from a disease that causes me to have a phenomenon of craving, a mental obsession and a spiritual malady.
I was fifteen when my dad died and took a liking to prescription drugs and a few other substances. I had an attitude of “if you went through what I went through and felt what I felt, you would be doing this, too.” Which of course is completely incorrect, people go through tough things every day and don’t become alcoholics and addicts.
I don’t want to go too much into my war stories; there was always a guy and it didn’t matter who because they were all the same person. A guy to get loaded with and to take me out of myself. I went to treatment two times and it never worked because I never gave it a chance. By the end of my addiction I was 22 years old and about 100 lbs., living in an apartment in Pompano infested with bed bugs and only getting out of bed to drink or get high. Drugs and alcohol literally became all I lived for. I reached a point of desperation and couldn’t do it anymore. I was either going to get help or continue in my addiction and die.
Thankfully, my family got me into a great treatment center and I met people who attracted me to Alcoholics Anonymous. They looked happy and that was something I hadn’t felt in a long time. I got a sponsor, attended meetings and worked the 12 steps. I didn’t do everything perfectly or exactly how I was supposed to but I always tried my best and was honest.
I will be 2 years sober in less than a month and couldn’t be more grateful for the life I have today. My life isn’t perfect but I am happy in a way I can’t describe. I am at peace with myself and love the person I am today. I was just recently hired to work as an Internet Marketer at Palm Partners and couldn’t be more excited and blessed to have this opportunity. My life has become such a beautiful journey and I could have never done that without AA and a god of my own understanding.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.