- Friends & Family
submitted by: Susanne Johnson
A decade of suffering from addiction came to an end for good in January 2015 when Patricia entered treatment. She has been in trouble with the law at times but never faced serious consequences for her addiction. She has a three-year-old daughter who lives with the father’s parents, and Patricia is not allowed any contact. She hasn’t seen her daughter for over a year now and misses her a lot. She had been homeless for a while without any contact with her family or old friends. She spent a night here and a night there with friends who shared their couches and shared her cravings for heroin.
One day she knew she had to change her life. Her best friend died, and she felt so helpless about it. She realized that could have been herself, and she was not ready to let go of her life even if it sometimes felt as if dying would have been easiest. Treatment was hard at first, and the withdrawal symptoms were painful. More than once she felt like giving up, but she kept reminding herself what happened to her friend and kept going. She went just one more day, one more hour, sometimes one more minute. She still suffers from cravings and the wish to use at times, but it’s not as bad as it used to be. She now gets over it a lot easier and faster with the tools she has learned and the fellowship that supports her. She doesn’t want to relapse and go through it all again, and some days that is the only thing that keeps her drug free. She says, “It doesn’t matter what helps. As long as I don’t pick up, it’s a good thing.” She was malnourished when she entered treatment but now looks and feels healthier than she has in the past ten years.
Patricia’s struggles started with alcohol and progressed to more and harder drugs. She now knows that she has to stay away from all mind-altering substances in order to maintain her sobriety. Knowing she is not able to drink with friends ever again makes her sad at times, but she is willing to continue to live like this to save her own life. All her friends are in recovery, and she feels very grateful for the close connection they all have. Patricia encourages all to reach out for help and would like to tell anybody who reads this, “You only have one life, don’t throw it away.”
Her dream is to repair relationships with her family and be able to see her daughter again soon.