- Mental Health
I’ve been on the road to recovery since the summer of 2017. I’ve relapsed and tried again and am now in my longest period of sobriety.
It all started when I was about 15 years old and I had my first drink of alcohol. I remember loving the way it made me feel and crying to my friends that I would stop and I would never move on to any hard drugs. A few months later, I tried marijuana for the first time and would continue to use it daily for the next five years.
I was a party girl throughout my high school years. I drank every weekend and sometimes during the middle of the week. It was easy to maintain that lifestyle because I was a smart kid and did not have to try too hard to get good marks. At that time, I used alcohol to make friends, and to numb the pain from an abusive childhood.
Once I got to college, things began to escalate. During my freshman year, I continued to drink multiple times a week and failed a few classes. Later that year, I went on to try MDMA and, later, Xanax…a drug that eventually become my drug of choice (along with cocaine).
I remember how amazing I felt the first few times I took Xanax. As a high-strung person, the temporary relaxation Xanax gave me was something I had craved my entire life. I was able to socialize easily with my peers and forget about all of my problems.
By my sophomore year of college, the addiction had begun taking over my life. I was experimenting with research chemicals and psychedelics every weekend, and then ended my nights with any benzodiazepine I could get my hands on. I was in a toxic relationship with another addict and our days and nights consisted of doing any drug we can find. As my addiction became stronger, my grades plummeted.
By the end of my sophomore year, I had become a completely different person, and my mental health suffered tremendously. I was still abusing cocaine and Xanax frequently and I also had a full-blown affair. Later, I learned that I had undiagnosed bipolar disorder and that period of my life was my first manic episode.
After I came down from the high of the drugs and my manic episode, I hit a deep depression. That was when I first tried to stop using. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and sobbing because I had become the person I said I would never be. I called my university’s counseling services department and started therapy. After I told my counselor about my drug use, I was placed in the school’s recovery program.
Since my first attempt at sobriety, I have relapsed about two times but I have currently been going strong for five months. I know this seems like a short period of time, but for me, it was something I never thought I would achieve. I thought that sobriety was not something that I could live through and that I needed drugs to survive. I’m happy to say that the worst of my cravings have subsided and I am on track to improve my life in all aspects and have never felt better.