In the first of my guest blogs – my Twitter friend and recovery ally, Amy, or @sixfeetunder_85, shares her experience, strength and hope with us.
Thank you, Amy….
“I am 26 and coming up to 18months clean and sober. It truly is a whole new world and a way of living and I would never give it up for anything.
So how did I come to be an addict/alcoholic in recovery?
I had real problems making decent friends as a kid, always attracting the users and the mean girls. People pleasing as a child! I am an only child, and even though my parents are unconventional – I never lacked for anything. I was always put first and made to feel important and loved etc but I ALWAYS found myself looking for something more… I didn’t know what or who or why, but, looking back, I realise I was always restless.
I never felt like I knew ‘who I was’, as they say. I was the kid with a trail of hobbies behind her always picking up one thing that was going to be ‘it’ but after a while I got bored of it and went seeking the Next Big Thing that was going to make me feel better about me, and make everyone like me and respect me.
I had a terrible experience with a man when I was 16 that I kept to myself for the next 4 years. All this insecurity, my fear & self doubt, my nervousness, carried on until I was 20 years old and I was introduced to amphetamines. WOW. I was immediately hooked! I DIDN’T want to eat AND I could work 12 or 14 hour shifts, five days a week and do ten things at once. (I thought). My insecurities melted away. I had confidence I had never experienced before. I felt like nothing mattered, nothing could touch me and this carried on intensely for six months before physically my body couldn’t handle it any more.
At that point I moved on to alcohol. This became my longest and dearest friend in active addiction and lasted for five years. I used to drink to feel, to enjoy, to block out, to run away, to use as an excuse, to make it easier to do the things people expected of me, to stick two fingers up at the world and the controlling partner I was with. I did it to hurt myself and protect myself. I was a massive ball of pain and confusion, losing control when all I wanted was self-control and dignity. I couldn’t stop – and all I wanted for the last year was to STOP. I woke up daily saying, “Right, no more, that’s it.” But found, frustratingly, I couldn’t stop and it was devastating. I was mentally and physically addicted. I lost all hope and didn’t care anymore, and couldn’t summon the energy to fight it. I was also physically addicted to morphine and occasionally used heroin. I nearly died one night from overdosing and I experienced two horrendous detoxes from this over the five years.
My addiction left a trail of devastation and destruction for me and anyone who came into contact with me. I had lied so much even I wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t. I was beat and broken, and all the images and false personalities I constructed for self-protection and to please others unravelled. I only started to see that though when I discovered the fellowships of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. To say they saved my life is an understatement. It was not just the stopping of my drinking and using – it has also given me a set of tools for living.
The recovery programmes allow me, if I put the work in, to reach the potential to be what I always wanted to be, the kind of person I felt I had inside me but never let out. I am enjoying life and trying to grow in recovery; spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I can safely say this is the best my life has ever been. And I am sure I am not even halfway there!”
Amy’s story is her own. Her views are her own. There are many recovery programmes out there and this website is not an advocate or representative of any one recovery method. Thanks, Cathryn x