Masquerade Status, Junkie Sadness, & Pawn Shop Madness: How I Afforded Pills at the Height of My Addiction

I was more stuck than ever but I couldn't let anyone else know how bad off I really was. So I'd put on a mask and pretend I was enjoying the bed I made. Except, I wasn't happy, sane or functional. I was addicted, defensive, and in full savage mode. Things were different. No matter how bad it got in college, I always had Brad. We kept each other in check, but this time, I was all alone, with no one to look out for me but me. And you definitely didn't want this junkie on your side. I mean, I was the girl who robbed you and helped you look for it. I was the girl who used to have it all together. Except now, I had nothing but pill residue everywhere. So how did I afford to keep everything up? Three words: pawn shop madness.

Rock Bottom, Rape Culture & Recovery: Remember, When Things Seem Too Good To Be True, They Usually Are

As if things couldn't get any worse —I was still a hostess at The Office, an $18 gourmet burger joint on Atlantic Ave. in Del Ray Beach, Florida. If you remember from a previous post, I relapsed and eventually found myself homeless after getting kicked out of the halfway house I called home. I also found another pill-popping boyfriend who tried his best to save me. Turns out though, I needed to save myself. When a friend turns foe, before I know it, I hit rock bottom for the second time. Except once you fall as far as I had, there's nowhere to go but up. Here's what went down.

Freshman, Foreclosures, & Fresh Starts: What It Was Like Getting Evicted From the Only Home I’ve Ever Known During The Most Confusing Time in a Girl’s Life

Regardless of the politics, it was still hard. In short, I hated being home. It was a shocking reminder of how messed up my family life had become and I didn’t want to deal with that or feel any of these feelings. I mean, what teenager would anyway? I remember wishing I was anywhere, but here —be careful what you wish for. At the time, I was a freshman in high school. I lived in an affluent suburb of South Jersey and up until this point, everything was fairly "normal" —except, a few somethings were about to go really wrong. It would later be revealed that my once perfect existence was really all smoke and mirrors. But let's start at the beginning.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Drug Dealing & Pill Popping: The Time I Got Held Up At Gunpoint Inside My Own Apartment

I never thought this would be me. I never pictured a Jewish American Princess selling pills to support her addiction. But there I was. My once innocent fun becomes too fast, too furious for me to even realize what was happening. Parties and frat boys turn into painkillers and larceny. I was simply trying to feel good. But before I knew what these pills could do, I was already addicted. I recall one night in particular. I remember getting robbed at gunpoint with my drug dealing ex-boyfriend and junkie best friend. We were sitting in my apartment minding our own damn business. But that didn’t matter. Nothing did. And so, we sat in on this lonely summer night —with a knife under the pillow and our stash in the wall.

Chronic Pain & Depression 101: When Others Can’t See Your Invisible Illness But You Feel It Everywhere

Just about everyone gets hurt from time to time. When you cut your finger or pull a muscle, pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. Once the injury heals, you stop hurting. Sounds simple enough, right? Yes. Except chronic pain is different. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible trauma, chronic pain persists —for months or even longer. If you have chronic pain and depression, well —that burden may grow even heavier. The good news is, these disorders are not inseparable. Here's what you need to know.