After getting sober, Adriana built her self esteem

My name is Adriana and I'm an addict.

I grew up in San Francisco, CA. My parents divorced when I was 2 and my grandmother raised me. She did the best she could but I learned at a young age how to manipulate her so that I could get what I wanted. My mother and father both remarried and had families of their own, and I felt very left behind.

I never really fit in when I was younger, and then I realized that if I drank my confidence grew. I got involved with the gang and street life very young and lived fast. I started using meth and ecstasy at 18 and fell in love. Things were good for a while, then things weren't so good. I ended up in an abusive relationship, and everytime I tried to leave him I'd end up homeless. I burned bridges left and right. My family wanted nothing to do with me. I was robbed at gunpoint. Then, my grandmother died. That rocked my world. Shortly after that I caught yet another case but this time something was different. I was sick and tired of using. I had lost everything. But when I got out I went back to doing what I knew how to do.

About a week after being released, I had a moment of clarity. I ended up reaching out to a couple of my friends and to my aunt. They pointed me in the right direction. I ended up going into residential treatment. I built up my self esteem and self worth. I learned limits and boundaries. I healed my inner child and vowed never to go back to the abuse. I got my life back. It wasn't easy but it was possible. I made new friends that were clean. I hit hella meetings and got service commitments. I worked the NA 12 steps with my amazing sponsor.

Now I work for the treatment program I went through. I have my own place, and I went back to school. I just finished my first semester of AOD classes at CCSF. I hope to one day open my own battered women shelter to get women off of the streets that are stuck in abusive situations. I facilitate a youth group for young women. I hope to be for them, what I didn't have growing up. My life has drastically changed for the better and it's all because I made the decision to not get loaded. If I can do it, anyone can!!