“Childhood is the one story that stands by itself in every soul.”
– Ivan Doig
My childhood definitely stands by itself. It’s divided into before and after. Before moving to Florida and after moving to Florida. I consider every memory, after moving to Florida, a childhood memory. I consider every memory before moving to Florida a version of hell.
I never spoke about what had happened to my parents or anyone else. It was a terrible thought that lived a long time in my head. At times I felt I would go insane if I couldn’t find a way to let it go. So as a teenager I started exploring things I shouldn’t have. As a victim of childhood trauma, I was well on my way to becoming a statistic by my early 20’s I ended up having a daughter at 19 years old, and I had become addicted to pills. I dabbled in other drugs, but I mainly stuck to pills because, as a migraine patient, I had easy access.
I felt terrible about my addiction. I was a mother. I should know better. It made me feel sick to my stomach, the guilt.
One day I realized my mother noticed what I was doing. I asked for help the only way I knew how. I almost killed myself that day. I downed over 10 pills I had left in my bottle. My mother and brother rushed me to the hospital, and I ended up in rehab.
Rehab was one of the most painful experiences I had had. The physical pain was the first one to come. I had an awful migraine and couldn’t stop vomiting. My stomach was tied up in knots and I was drenched in sweat. Everything hurt. I don’t know how many days that lasted. When it finally stopped and I was able to get back to my group, that was when the mental pain began. You have to face your demons. You have to take a hard look at the past, a hard look at yourself now, and figure out a way to forgive someone you’ve hated and feared your entire life, but you also have to find a way to forgive yourself for all the terrible things you did to get to where you were at that moment.
It wasn’t easy, but I had a lot of support from the other patients. We became a tight knit group. One day I was talking to one of my friends and kept looking at his track marks on the inside of his arm. I guess I had done it more than once because he told me, “Don’t kid yourself. An opioid is an opioid. Your pills will kill you just the same as my heroine.” And you know what? He was right. So I decided I was ready to let it all go. I worked on it for a while, but I physically felt it leave my body. I knew in that moment I had survived. I had made it out of the dark hole. There was light outside and the day was beautiful.
I’ve never looked back. I’m a very active person. I’m always looking for new things to do with my family and friends. I keep busy. I move forward, and I remember that I can always do better. Much love.