From dope to hope. Liza is a ROCKSTAR

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My rough upbringing had a lot to do with the low self esteem I have had since I was a little girl. My dad partied a lot as well and cheated on my mom. My mom had 3 jobs so as a little girl, I felt very alone. I also had a language barrier and I only knew Russian. No one had time to teach me English because my parents also only spoke Russian. Not only I felt alone at home but also at school.

Things changed for me when I was 7 and my mom finally had the courage to divorce my dad. When she met my step dad (still to this day) things really changed for me. He became a father to me. He taught me English as well as other subjects. I started to do better in school and even made friends. As I started to get into middle school and high school, I started to focus more on my social life rather than my grades and because of it, I really suffered. Partying became more important to me then passing an exam and therefore my parents had no choice but to send me away to a behavior monitor school program in Montana so that they can help me finish my school as well as “fix me”.

After a year of being there, the school was shutting down so I was allowed to go home and by then, I only had half semester left to barely graduate high school. Once that happen, my parents gave me a lot more freedom and from then on, I really went downhill. I started with the rave scene, popping lots of molly as well as smoking lots of weed and drinking lots of booze. I knew something was different for me because the high was never enough and I always wanted more. I met a boy who became verbally, physically and sexually abusive. By the time I found this dark side of him, I thought I was madly in love with him and he made me believe nobody would love me like he does. I became so depressed and broken.

After three years, I finally had the courage to break it off with him but only because I met another boy who I thought would save me but he wasn’t any better. He was heavily addicted to heroin and I became curious. I wanted to bond with him so I asked to try it. At first, I really didn’t like it but heroin was something we would “bond” over so I kept doing it. Eventually I was addicted to smoking heroin until it wasn’t working for me anymore. I notice boyfriend at the time was slamming it and he was so high that I became envious. I begged him to shoot me up just once but he was crying. He told me that if I tried this then thing would be a game changer for me but I didn’t care so of course he did it and he was right, I never went back to smoking.

For the next 5 years, I went downhill fast. Even in between, I tried to go to several treatment centers but heroin had a tight hold on me. I even had several more toxic relationships as well and it was be that typical Bonnie and Clyde relationship where we would do illegal crimes to get our fix. Finally, my last year of using was by far the worst of the worst. I ended up homeless in downtown Los Angeles On skid row which is one of the worst homeless poverty areas in the United States. I lived in a cardboard box, addicted to heroin and crack and I was barely 80 pounds. I survived on snicker ice cream bars and pizza lunchables. I hardly took a shower or brushed my teeth. I was on the verge of dying.

Finally, my whole family intervened after posting a photo of myself on Instagram thinking I looked like hot shit but no matter how much I filtered it, you can tell I wasn’t doing good. I agreed to go to treatment only because I just wanted a warm place to sleep at and have food. I was so tired of fighting the help that for once I stayed even if I didn’t want to be there at the time. I pretty much used that “fake it till you make it.”

Eventually the seed was planted enough that I started to want to do better for myself. My mom moved me to a small town two hours away from Seattle, Washington because I wasn’t welcome back in Seattle which was originally home for me. I went with her plan because she was generous enough to help me. She didn’t have to help me because I was over 18, but I accepted. When I first got to Wenatchee, Washington, I was culture shocked. I looked for a lot of differences and immediately threw a temper tantrum, missing home. Eventually after 75 days of being clean, I had two beers at the bar and that was on Christmas of 2016. I may have not suffered major consequences but I felt so guilty. I didn’t want to start the cycle of insanity again so December 26, 2016, I walked into an NA meeting and admitted that I relapse. People welcomed me with open arms and I felt safe for the first time in years.

I always say my 10 month old boy is my miracle baby because I got pregnant at 4 months clean. I was so nervous about being a first time mother but I truly believe this was my journey because he is my biggest motivator for wanting a better life. I am very active in Narcotics Anonymous. I have a sponsor, work steps, have a service position and even sponsoring other women. I am currently in college trying to build a future for myself. The best of all, I have my family back. My parents are in my life again. I have my own family with my son and my fiancé. It’s amazing, the turn around that happens in my life once I put the actual footwork. I tell people that my old life feels like a movie because my life now feel so right and so good. Yes I have bad days, but nothing ever compares even a good day using because it is so nice not being addicted to anything and always wondering how I am going to get my next fix.

I am so passionate about recovery because too many of my friends overdosed from this sad opiate epidemic. I actually overdosed a lot throughout my using years and by the grace of my guardian angel, I am still alive and therefore I believe I was revived because I have a purpose and that purpose is to share a message of hope. Thank you!