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.

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.

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.

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.

Jails, Institutions, & Death: How One Girl Died From Prescription Drug Withdrawal & What You Can Learn From It

When Naomi Sear found herself in jail outside Denver, Colorado on a fall afternoon in 2015, no one could have predicted it would have been the last time the decade-long opioid addict would see the light of day. And I don't mean figuratively, I mean literally. When she was arrested on two misdemeanor warrants, her parents decided not to pay her $300 bail —under the assumption, she would be safer in jail and away from heroin for a few days. 72 hours later, Sear died of dehydration at the county jail, according to a coroner’s report. The alleged cause? Let's find out.

Halfway Houses & Double Lives: When Relapse Mode Goes Too Far But Then I Finally Got it Right

I was a hostess at The Office, an $18 gourmet burger joint on Atlantic Ave. in Del Ray Beach, Florida. Not only was the meat fresh in the kitchen, I was fresh meat myself, straight out of rehab, even though I really wanted to get high. I was living in a halfway house that happened to be next door to a dealer. “You good girl?” (referring to drugs). The pills I craved. I didn’t know how much longer I could say no because inside, I said yes, every time. From desperation and manipulation to hopelessness and loneliness, things got worse before they got better. But eventually, they did. They always do. This is what you need to know when relapse mode goes too far.

Let’s Talk Coping Mechanisms & Substance Abuse: How Yoga Helps Me Overcome the Darkest of Days

I think you have to want it bad enough to overcome addiction. I couldn't let these pills go, even after I hit rock bottom. And then I found yoga. That's when everything changed. I get it though —the process of recovery is stressful on its own, and without your usual means of coping, it’s really easy to become overwhelmed. So, here are three ways yoga helps me stay grounded.

We Didn’t Use to Pay for Convenience: How I Stepped Away From Instant Gratification and Finally Found Balance

I used to find comfort in drawing and taking a nice walk around my neighborhood. Except now, it seems as if the opioids depleted everything good in my brain. I say this because those activities no longer bring me pleasure. Or at least, they didn't for a long time. And I don't think I'm alone with this. Based on some research, I learned that drug addicts and alcoholics (generally speaking) are hooked on this idea of instant gratification. I know I couldn't deal with the impending consequences of my actions so I'd snort more pills to silence the noise. The thing is, recovery can do just that. So, here are four ways to find balance in this microwave world.

When We Have Our Health, We Have Everything: How CBD Helps Me Every Day

There are some days when I can't muscle enough energy to leave the house. There are weeks when it hurts to simply get out of bed. As the months go by, I don't understand why my insides hate me. Then I found CBD oil. That's when everything changed. I say this because lately, I have more energy. I'm worrying less and socializing more. My illnesses no longer define me —despite the obstacles staring at me in the face. When it's all said and done, CBD helps me every day. Here are nine ways CBD can help you too.

As Katy Perry Once Said, I Don’t Negotiate with Insecurities: So Let’s Battle for Some Sanity

College graduation is upon me along with my sensible attempts to get the good girl back. Except this chick was severely addicted to opioids. I was literally doing about 31 pills a day. But I thought if I could simply leave, then I could get better. I was living my life through the saying, out of sight, out of mind. So I pack my bags, give my apartment key back to my landlord, and try to start over, again. Destination —sunny Florida. Things started off great but I was about to learn; wherever you go, there you are. And eventually, I find myself addicted all over again. So I'll ask you one more time, who's ready to battle for some sanity? I hope you say yes.

Just Keep Swimming: How to Stay Afloat When You’re Sinking From Self-Doubt

In my last blog post, I discussed how I’m trying to swim through life with multiple mental illnesses but I can’t even float. It feels like I’m sinking with nothing to stop me but me. And so, I pretend everything is okay. And if you're like me, you want to feel normal but maybe you just don't know how. Well, here are three mental health treatment options that can bring you back to the person you were always meant to be. 

Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels: What It’s Really Like Living with an Eating Disorder

This disease is not solely based on the pursuit to “look beautiful" —for those who have some type of eating disorder, it's so much more than that. Honestly, it’s as if you're in an abusive relationship. One minute it’s spewing hateful thoughts about you and the next it’s apologetically, promising that if you listen to what it says you will achieve happiness. One thing I always wish people knew about living with this type of mental illness is that it casts a shadow on everything in your life, no matter how small it may seem from the outside world. So, this is what it's really like to live with an eating disorder —at least from my perception.