After years of battling addiction, Chae' is filled with laughter and love

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had this tendency to want to help people who were going through struggles; in particular, the homeless. I never dreamed that I would one day I would be homeless. But then, there I was. Sitting on the sidewalk hungry. Looking for alcoves to sleep in where I would not be bothered. If you would have known me when I was younger, you also would have never dreamed that one day I would be homeless on the streets of Colorado addicted to heroin. I was a cheerleader. I went to Baylor University. My parents have been married for 35 years and when I was growing up, I never wanted for anything. But all of that can change in a blink of an eye. Or it can be a slow gradual change. And for me, that’s what it was.

I fell into addiction the way that so many people are falling into addiction these days. Prescription pain killers that were prescribed to me after a major back surgery. But somewhere along the way I got introduced to heroin and it became my god. I say it was my first love. My world revolved around it. For a while I was able to still maintain a job and relationships. But then I couldn’t. I left Texas and went to Colorado in attempts to run away from my addiction and the people who played a part in it. When I got there, nothing was different. I was still me and I was still an addict. Wherever you go, there you are. I ended up in an abusive relationship with a pretty big time drug dealer and gun runner. This guy was awful. He was a sociopath and sometimes he treated me like a gift from God and other days he didn’t want me around and would kick me out onto the streets. When I wasn’t on the streets I was in a constant opiate daze. I was like a zombie. And then I found meth. Now I had a way to come out of my heroin nod and be able to take care of business. Or so I thought. I would stay up for days at a time and then do a huge shot of heroin to try to level out. A never-ending roller coaster that went on for years and years. I completely lost my family. I completely lost myself. I was in and out of jail and on and off the streets living in a state of insanity. Something had to change.

I don’t want to talk too much about the very low places that heroin and meth brought me. So many people have lived my exact story. Some not so bad. Some worse. I would rather talk about how I finally found myself and found a way out. I’ve been to lots of rehabs. I have always relapsed afterwards. And that isn’t to say that rehab doesn’t work for some people. In fact, I have a whole lot of friends who have completed rehab and maintained long-term sobriety afterwards. It simply didn’t work because I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want it. And if I have learned one thing about recovery it is that you have to want it more than you want any other thing in life.  

The way that I finally found my way to sobriety is through something that stirs up a lot of controversy among those in recovery. At least I have heard a lot of people say a lot of negative things about the path that worked for me. I took Suboxone. Just like rehab, I had tried to use Suboxone in the past to get clean and it didn’t work. But just like rehab, it didn’t work because I was not ready. When I went to the Suboxone doctor this last time, I was ready. Suboxone gave me a chance. A chance to maintain normality. A chance to work and to save money. A chance to mend my relationships with my family and mend my relationship with my significant other. A chance to see how BEAUTIFUL a drug free life can be. I took it just as prescribed. I didn’t sell them to buy dope. And I tapered down slowly. I went to a psychiatrist and therapist. I dug deep and got to the core of what my issues were. Before I didn’t’ care if I lived or died because my drug use had turned my life into a calamity. I didn’t feel like I had anything to live for. After getting on Suboxone, day by day I chose to build a life that I loved. I placed things into my life to fill the spot that drugs used to fill.

A year ago, everything I owned could fit into a backpack. Now I have a home that is filled with laughter and love. I live with my fiancé’ and two dogs. I have a vehicle. I have a full-time job and I show up every single day. A bank account and a savings account. To most 29 year olds, all this is a given. But for me, it’s a miracle.

My passion is writing and using my story to help others. If anyone reading this is interested in reading any more about my story, I recently did an interview with my sister who runs a pretty successful blog. If you want to check it out, head on over to

The last thing I want to say is this: Just like everyone’s addiction takes them down a different path, everyone’s recovery can be different as well. I think there is a quote that says something like “It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey.” Well, when it comes to addiction and the road to recovery, I would have to disagree with that quote. It doesn’t matter how you find recovery and sobriety, it just matters that you find it. There is such a better life out there, ya’ll! Never give up your journey to find it!