You Can’t Spell Challenge Without Change: I Failed Every Pop Quiz Until My Sobriety Was Put To The Test

I was feeling even better than before. Today wasn’t that bad. Well, emphasis on that. It seems as if the days go by slow but the weeks, fast AF. A few things had happened in the last 24 hours though. I didn't think I could handle the cards I was dealt at the time. Except, I was about to find out I certainly could. I'd also learn, firsthand, the definition of integrity —what you do when no one is looking. But let's back up a second.

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Because There’s a Season for Everything & I Was Still On a Mission: What 24 Hours Looks Like At An 8-Month Rehab

It's been a month. I feel good. I feel better, not perfect but getting there. I'm on my way to sanity. Except, for some reason, I'm still feeling left out. What were my druggie buddies up too? I couldn't help but think back. It wasn't all bad though. As the days went by, I started opening up more. I gave myself over to the process. I followed all of the rules and did my best to be my best. Eventually, I started to heal. When that happened, I realized that healing doesn't mean the damage never existed. I mean, the damage had been done. But that's irrelevant. Healing actually means the damage I caused no longer had to control my life. And when I figured that out, well, shit just made sense. Here's what a day at the mission looked like for me.

On a Mission: I Was Stuck Somewhere Between Try Harder & Why Bother Until This Jew Ended Up At A Christian Rehab

My family had finally figured out what to do with me. They weren't about to throw more money at the problem; so they found a free long-term treatment facility in Savannah, Georgia and prayed I’d find my way back again. Destination —Mission Teens. I liked how they treated each person as family. Everything was self-sustaining. If there was a problem, we didn't call the maintenance guy down the street. We'd fix it. And so, as I moved up in the program, I got more responsibilities. It was there that I realized sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, is where you find yourself. And so, on May 16, 2012, my dad and I drive from Orlando, Florida to Savannah in hopes this place would save my life.

Sometimes, The Hardest Thing & The Right Thing Are The Same: The Day I Said Goodbye to Opioids For Good

Dear Mr. Painkiller. Goodbye to you. I thought I’d never get your poison off my skin. I thought your toxins would grip me in and take me down, but today I am taking you and saying my goodbyes. It all started with a blue circular pill. A pill smaller than a fucking pea. So how could one tiny chemical combustion actually combust me? I don't know, but it happened. I had to have all of you and somewhere along the way, you took all of me.

Childhood, Cherry Hill, Control: Where it All Began & Why I Am The Way I Am

I remember love. I remember laughter. But I also recall resentment and tears. I will say that growing up, I never went without. In fact, I always had too much. And I think that's how my addiction ultimately began. My family was loving. My mom, selfless. My dad, the provider. And, my sister, my role model. We were small but close-knit. I'd like to say fierce. They always had my back. They were (and still are) a bit overprotective but you'll never hear me say they didn't care. So if you're wondering why I am the way I am today, read this.

Because One is Too Many and a Thousand is Never Enough: Here’s What My First Day in Rehab Looked Like

Home —what was that? I hadn’t had one in what felt like forever. The only thing I had was fear. Except, today, I was an official resident at my very first drug treatment center. I made it through the intervention, the detox —both which I never thought would happen, and now this. I remember arriving in the druggy buggy (our way of saying a white van) directly from the county ran detox that I didn't want to admit, saved my life. I remember them searching me. For once, I had nothing to hide. I remember them finishing up the in-take process and taking me to my new home away from home. I was ready.

You Are Who You Hang Out With: What I Learned From Getting Love Wrong and How I Finally Got it Right

You know that moment between sleep and wakefulness —when you're just getting up and reality is a little warped and everything seems OK? Well, that moment ended. Everything comes flooding back when I realize, it wasn’t a dream. What the fuck was I going to do now? I was in love with yet another addict and I would later learn that my bad taste in drug dealing boyfriends only escalated the inevitable. But eventually, I learned that when you refuse to settle for less than the best —the best tends to track you down. I was actually being treated right. I wasn't lied to. I wasn't being deceived. Because of that, I wasn't lying or deceiving either. And after that, well, things just started working out.

Because It Really is a Family Disease: How My Addiction Affected The People I Love Most

As my addiction grew stronger, so did my efforts to remain high. Eventually, I had to do things I never wanted to do. I knew they were wrong even then but that didn't stop me. It hurts like hell to think what chaos I caused —especially to the ones I love the most. These are the people who loved me when I couldn't even love myself. But when it's all said and done, it really does start and end with family. Here's how addiction affected mine.

Freaked Out, Fucked Up & Alone: My Experience in a Del Ray Beach Detox

In my latest blog post, I discussed how my life basically exploded as my lies went up in flames. Everything I was running from was staring at me straight in the face. I was attending an intervention I never thought would be for me. But there I was. My sister, Michaela, and Dr. Eddy finally made me crack. But in a good way —the best. I finally broke down. I finally wanted the help I desperately needed —help that happened to be right in front of me. And so, to detox, I went. I was freaked out, fucked up and alone. I had never been to anything like this before so I didn't know what to expect. And wouldn't you say, fear of the unknown is the worst kind? Because I would. Here goes nothing.

Welcome to My Intervention: I Wasn’t Ready For Things to Blow Up in My Face But Deep Down I Knew it Was Over

I arrive home and to my surprise, I beat my sister there. I was so depressed just thinking about what was to come. I had a feeling this was the end. And so, I tried to drown my anxiety by taking more pills. I snort three in one line. I instantly felt better. As the powder hit my bloodstream, I could breathe. It would later be revealed that all of this was leading up to my intervention, which ultimately drove me to detox and rehab for the very first time. This is what you need to know.

Drug Dealing Just to Get High: Unfortunately, My College Career Wasn’t Just About Good Grades & It Was About to Show

Shit was about to get real. According to Ted Bramer, a local county prosecutor, the wiretap obtained in the police's narcotic investigation was the first state-issued warrant in 23 years. The DEA was closing in. A task force had been investigating a particular drug ring since 2011 —after a postmaster informed them the suspects were receiving suspicious packages. Officials estimated those packages contained about 500 oxycontin pills every month. And guess which dealers they were referring to? My freaking hook up.

Ambien & Counting Sheep: Why I Don’t Feel Bad About Sleeping In Anymore and 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Either

Even before I was an addict, I battled with sleep —not so much staying asleep but I couldn't slow my mind down long enough to go to bed at a decent hour. Some nights, I'd toss and torn while others, I was sick of pretending I was comfortable. So I'd get up at whatever time it was, usually 2:00 a.m. and start my morning routine. But once I found what worked for me, I actually felt better during the day. I want you to say the same. I want you to sleep in and not feel bad about it either. So here are four reasons you should stay in bed and snooze.

Drug Addiction & Ignorance: What I Wish I Knew About Opioid Withdrawl Before I Picked Up

It was the summer of 2010. I was supposed to take a few classes over break but when my financial aid was denied, it initiated a chain of events that forever changed my life. Before I knew it, I was addicted. I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into before it was too late. I was sick if I didn't have them, yet, I didn’t understand what I was doing —that's the problem with painkillers. Sometimes you don't realize how bad it really is until you run out of pills.

Social Media & Depression: Why We Need to Stop Comparing Our Behind-The-Scenes With Everyone’s Highlight Reel

I scroll and scroll. I feel dull and left out. When I look at people’s lives through these virtual filters, it feels like one big party that I wasn't invited too. How can my real life possibly compare? I sometimes get caught up in this comparison game. Do you? I mean, yes, these platforms have some advantages, but more times than not, you end up getting sucked into this black hole of notifications and newsfeeds. We live in an era where you can cyberstalk anyone and everything, yet, you’re at home in your striped pajamas feeling like shit because everyone is having more fun than you. So let's talk about social media and mental health.

It’s Still Not Cool to Judge a Book By Its Cover: What I Wish People Knew About My Mental Illnesses

I always felt different. At least today I know why. It's just I sometimes still fear people think I'm crazy because of my insane insecurities. I mean, on one hand, I am but on the other, I'm just like everybody else. And yet, it doesn't make me feel any less alone. You may think I'm being weak but you never really knew me and you certainly don't know the person I've become. I want you to know but you never ask. If you did, this is what I'd say.

Eating Disorders & Working Out: How Staying Active Actually Helps My Recovery

I was the girl hiding in her closet at 2:00 a.m. doing crunches because I couldn’t sleep. I was private to the point of fault. No one could see me work out and I hated the idea of anyone watching me eat. Except, when I finally made the decision to seek treatment, I knew I had to change my behavior. I needed to alter how I looked at fitness and my relationship with food. At the end of the day, I wanted to not only look good but feel good too. So, let's start at the beginning.

I’m The Driver Now: How Holistic Therapy Helps Me Enjoy This Ride We Call Life in 3 Ways

I was the poster child of hedonism. I chased highs and escape. I ate too much. I drank too much. I gossiped too much. I bought too much. I smoked too much. I worked too much. The list clearly goes on. Because I felt so empty, I used an insane amount of external things to fill the holes on the inside —anything that fed my senses, I was hungry for. Because I had failed to address any of the things that were driving my need to escape in the first place, my first go at ditching pills crashed and burned. But then, I switched my plan of attack. It was during this time that holistic therapy began to take on a whole new meaning for me. So here it goes.

Life After Mind-Altering Substances: I’m 30 Days Clean, Now What?

I sit here with a clear head excited about what's to come. I've worked hard these past few weeks and I'm actually hopeful. But when I'm all alone in my bedroom, I can't help but think, what now? I know I have the tools to succeed in my recovery, yet, I still feel stuck (sometimes). It's like when there's nothing to do and I'm a little bored, I find myself asking, what if I got high? I can't. I know I can't. And the truth is, I won't. But seriously, what am I supposed to do now? Well, I can think of seven things.

Diabetic Confessions: Here’s How Stress Affects My Blood Sugar Levels & What To Do If It Happens To You

I remember being on vacation and not needing my standard amount of insulin. I didn't understand why my blood sugars were so stable and almost normal until I understood how stress effects just about everything. Many anxious moments occur spontaneously. However, some can be predicted. And if you can predict it, you can prevent it. Here's what you need to know about stress and blood sugar levels.