- Mental Health
My name is Stephaney and I am a grateful believer in Jesus and a recovering addict. I am also in recovery for codependency, trust and mental health issues. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar II, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, and Anxiety. I am also a survivor of childhood sexual trauma and rape.
As a child, I lived a fairly sheltered life away from drugs and physical abuse but there was always this unspoken anger in our home. I was molested by my paternal uncles in my pre-teen years which led me to have low self-esteem and also self-worth and self-image issues. I began to smoke pot with “friends” at social gatherings and it quickly turned into a regular habit that would continue throughout my entire life. My insecurities as a child led me to run away from home on multiple occasions, typically to “friend’s” houses.
After I met my first son’s father, Josh, I began to tie my self-worth with his approval of whatever I did. I, therefore, followed him to Houston to live at a crack-house and then be homeless and pregnant. I slept on the sidewalk more times than I can count, yet I did it to make him happy, not me. This pattern of thinking has honestly stuck with me to this day.
After Josh and I broke up, I met my first husband, Tim. Tim was the husband that could never be pleased, so naturally my insecurities played a huge role in our entire relationship and it progressively got worse every single day we were together. Even after I had a baby boy by him, he was still critical and overbearing. Our marriage ended with his cheating on me twice and getting one of the other women pregnant. This caused me to have serious trust issues in my life and has affected every relationship since.
I went through a period of time after that marriage where I drank heavily because I was convinced there was something wrong with me and I wanted to numb it. I became promiscuous and I was in a few more short-term relationships that ended in pregnancy, leading me to have my 2 precious baby girls.
After having my last child, I was raped at a local club after a night of drinking and taking one too many benzos. I have severe PTSD from this occasion and cannot find myself going into a club without fear of being attacked.
It was shortly after my rape that I met my second husband, Maddy, in Austin. He acted like he actually loved me and gave me roses and wine and stuffed animals. He did all the romantic, lovey-dovey stuff that girls want. I truly thought he loved me, but it was a lie. In an email I encountered, I found out that he only married me for his immigration. He did love my girls and did absolutely anything for them, so I stayed because I could not support them on my own anymore.
After I found out what his true intentions were for our marriage, I began smoking pot, drinking and using Vicodin and benzos on a daily basis. In 2011, my habit got to the point where my husband could not afford it anymore so I had to quit cold turkey and detox at home while taking care of two little girls. I loved my girls very much, but at that point in time, I was so sick and tired of the detox I was scared I would hurt them at times. They needed to be taken care of and all I could think about was trying to make it through my next migraine and vomiting session. Shortly after that, I placed my girls up for adoption and signed my rights away to my sons.
After all that happened, I introduced a new drug to my list, methamphetamine. I was using with a group of friends immediately after my children left my home. I used it to the point where I had a panic induced heart attack and ended up in the hospital over it. I was so dehydrated they could not find a vein to give me more fluids.
After I was released from the hospital, I stopped using immediately by packing up 2 suitcases and leaving Texas with a friend headed for California. While I was in California, I was supposed to be on the straight and narrow looking for a job and getting my life together, but instead, due to easy access, I was still smoking pot and drinking. I also seemed to only come across other people that smoked and drank. It’s almost like a gravitational pull that I find people that use.
After six months of living that lifestyle of partying, I decided to move to New York in 2012 to live with my sister and get my act together. On the bus, as luck wouldn’t have it, I met a new boyfriend, that claimed to be trying to get his act together, too, and we instantly hit it off. Within three days of living with my sister, I decided to move in with this new boyfriend only to get kicked out a month later back to my sister’s place.
At my sister’s, I was not held accountable for my behavior much, so I drank and smoked weed constantly. I decided to leave after about four months to head back to Texas without a plan. I ended up staying with my aunt and cousins. Once again, I was exposed to the pot lifestyle and also began using Vicodin again.
After a few months, I ran into my first boyfriend from when I was a teenager and we got an apartment together and I began going to a mental health clinic. That was when I got diagnosed with Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD and Anxiety.
Having found out what my diagnosis was, I spiraled into a deep pit of depression, even on the medication. I ended up having a pretty rough suicide attempt. After ending up in the hospital for suicide attempts on more than one occasion, I learned that if I am going to accept any help for my illness and past drug history, I am going to have to find a counselor and find my higher power to keep me from using and feeling hopeless and worthless.
All of my past habits, hurts and hang-ups can be remedied by God’s grace and His love. The counseling is helping tremendously by showing me that all the negative behaviors that have been ingrained in me can be changed and that my thoughts can control how I react to any situation. If you think positively about a situation, a positive outcome is likely to occur. I am now at peace with my past, through the help of God, my counselor, and my recovery group. I am definitely a work in progress but I keep comin’ back!