Michelle is a Recovering Angel
I had my first experience with drugs during a surgery procedure. I was only supposed to be there 3 days, I was there 2 ½ weeks with complications. They gave me my first dose of pain medicine in the hospital to keep me comfortable. I had this euphoric feeling like I could just get out of the bed, clean the room, and go home right then. I fell in love with that first high. After 2 ½ weeks of round the clock pain medicine, the doses went higher and higher, so did my tolerance. Not only was I addicted to the feeling the drug gave me but my body was physically addicted. It doesn't take long for the pain medicine to have your body physically dependent.
When they released me, I got my first taste of being sick from having no medication in my system. I was in full blown withdrawals. I felt like I had the flu x’s 100 for a week straight. I had hot and cold flashes. My body ached so much that it felt like it was never going to stop. My mind said “If I could just take 1 more pill” to stop the sickness I’ll be okay. Another lie that the addicted brain likes to tell you. After the withdrawals started to subside, I wanted that feeling euphoric again. The feeling like when I first took the drug. I started taking pain pills regularly around this time, and I got them from wherever I could. I could never get that same feeling again, yes they gave me energy but I still couldn’t feel that first high ever again. So I decided to try something stronger. I picked up a street drug called cocaine. I was addicted immediately. I wasn’t afraid to try anything anymore. My depression started to kick in and the sadness overcame me “What Have I Done?” I couldn’t stop using. It was a horrifying feeling. These drugs had control over my life. As the depression and hopelessness got worse, the more drugs I would take to numb the pain. Stopping was the furthest thing from my mind. I quickly forgot about the week in withdrawals and how I said I would never use again because the pain was so horrific.
Fast forward a while. I had friends that like to go out to parties and I always hung around lots of people. I always wanted to be able to relax in front of people and just fit in and have fun! At this time in my life I was addicted to anything that made me feel good. I had an invincible feeling inside me. I had tried everything by this time, uppers, downers and stimulants. I had done some pretty hard drugs up until this point. I also did them in any form they came in. I went from living in a beautiful home to wanting to move out into a small studio apartment. I didn't want to live with my family anymore. It was just because I couldn’t get high at their house. Here I go acting impulsively again. I did not not even notice that the neighborhood was infested with drugs. Well maybe subconsciously I did know.
I always thought I was invincible. My then boyfriend was coming home from another trip to jail. When he got out, the using went out of control. Not only did I have him back in my life which was not a good thing to begin with, but he was co signing all my thoughts of using. We were a horrible, toxic, codependent match. When he wanted to use, we did. When I wanted to use, we did. Physically, I was deteriorating in front of my own eyes and everyone else’s. But I didn’t care. I had gray skin, I lost so much weight so fast, my skin could not hold it’s elasticity. After only a few months of living in the studio apartment, I couldn’t pay the rent of course. I ended up getting evicted. I had nowhere to go and no one to turn too. I had no money, no drugs and started to get sick very quickly. I lost my car the year before and now my apartment. My sanity was definitely next. I started staying at motels and random houses. I could not believe how fast I was spiraling downhill. It was the most frightening experience living on the streets. It seemed like evil and darkness never slept. As the year went by, living on the streets and doing whatever it took to get my next fix. I started to feel like I was dying a slow death.
I needed and wanted a change. One night I felt like I was fading away into the darkness so I started praying very quietly in this abandoned house for Jesus to come and save me, help me. That night I knew in my heart I wanted to be done, but I just could not stop on my own. I asked my parents if I could come home and detox there. I didn’t go into rehab like most people do. After I started to feel better I got involved in 12 step meetings right away. I was tired of living an insane life. Everything needed to change. I also started a blog called Recoveringangels.com. It was a way of therapy for me, like journaling I could get things off my chest and I could help others not make the same mistakes. I felt just like it says... a Recovering Angel. Today, I am a Grateful Recovering Addict, who is full of life, love and happiness. There is HOPE when it seems hopeless. We do Recover!!