recovery is possible

‘Mom, something awful is happening to me.’ They found embalming fluid in my system, causing me to black out.’: Young woman overcomes meth addiction, hidden sexual abuse on camera, ‘My awful memories no longer haunt me, I am healed’

“I was 18-years old when I met him. I moved in with this man who was 17 years older. He told me he loved me. I believed him. He convinced me to do things, including recording our sexual encounters. ‘These are just for us to watch,’ he promised. I checked his browser history, horrified at what I found. Our sexual encounters were being posted on a pornography site.”

‘Don’t go too far. You have work the next morning.’ My boyfriend jumped in to save me. I was so intoxicated I couldn’t swim back.’: 24-year-old overcomes ‘party girl’ alcoholic lifestyle to thrive in healthy, sober life, ‘I never thought this day would come’

“I was blacked out. I was apparently dancing on the bar and fell off, head-first. My poor roommate called the ambulance because she was scared to let me fall asleep with a concussion. I convinced myself I ‘deserved’ a night out. I woke up with a swollen face and bloody cuts. I got kicked out of my sorority. I was more than just a ‘party girl.’ I had issues. Really, this was just the beginning.”

‘I’ll shoot you up for the first time,’ the man I was sleeping with offered. I agreed. I lived a double life.’: 25-year-old overcomes prostitution to feed addiction, now manages sober living home for women

“She was a stripper, and she introduced me to the lifestyle. I was infatuated by it. Fast money, flashy life, and drugs galore. It wasn’t long before I started working as a dancer in the strip club, and my life took an even darker turn. I was in the bathroom doing lines of cocaine. She pulled out another bag of drugs that looked different. ‘It’s heroin. Do you want to try it?’ Biggest mistake of my life.”

‘Oh my God, she’s alive!?’ The overdose killed me. I was gone for 11 minutes. My dealer hovered over me.’: Stay-at-home mom beats heroin addiction, my son ‘is my reason now’ to stay clean

“I was 95 pounds soaking wet and my face was all picked apart when I got a phone call from my mom, tricking me into coming home. I knew something was up, but I was so tired and ready to surrender – I went willingly. When I got there, it was like an intervention. ‘I’m begging you, please stay the night.’ I had no choice. I finally understood.”

‘I picked out songs for your funeral,’ my sister told me. I feel nothing. I start shooting heroin into my IV.’: Young woman survives harrowing heroin addiction, says her son ‘hands down saved me’

“’How did I get here? I don’t want this life.’ I walked by the gun case and decided to take one rifle. My parents called the police. I downed an entire bottle of antidepressants and shot up the rest of my heroin. I sat on the edge of my hospital bed, sobbing. My doctor knew what I had been doing. She knew I had a syringe in the cabinet above my bed.”

‘I am meant to be a heroin addict forever.’ I truly believed it. ‘What happened to me?’ That damn needle.’: Woman overcomes opioid addiction, fulfills childhood dream of becoming pro wrestler, ‘I’m living my wildest dreams’

“Senior year of high school. I felt sick. It spiraled completely out of control. I’m sniffing heroin and smoking crack cocaine like it’s going to get me into Harvard or something. I looked at my father and told him, ‘I need help.’ My dad wanted nothing to do with me, he was done. That really hurt.”

‘Are you okay?’ I was visibly a junkie. This man took me to his home where his girlfriend was waiting.’: Woman reminisces on stranger’s ‘beautiful act of kindness’ during active addiction

“I used to sleep under this bridge. One day, at a gas station, I was visibly bleeding from a fight. This woman gently dressed my wounds. They gave me clothes, a soda, and a sandwich. I was literally too hungry to play shy, so I scarfed it down and chugged until I hiccuped. In that moment of pure desperation, they breathed life back into me.”

‘My dad begged, ‘PLEASE ASHLEY, do this for me.’ It broke me. I had to put an end to this.’: Young mom celebrates 2 years clean, meets husband in recovery, ‘I would’ve NEVER imagined this’

“Right after I turned 21, I got pregnant with my boyfriend of 2 months. We decided to keep the baby. I started abusing pills and continued breastfeeding while taking them. I told myself, ‘It can’t REALLY affect her through my breast milk.’ Her dad was smoking heroin. I’d pawn my daughter off on whoever would take her. Paying her dad to take her so I was free to do what I wanted. My daughter would wake up in the morning to find random strangers in the house. I thank God she was too little to remember any of that.”

‘I loved my older cousin. At 8, I learned the only way to be friends with him was to have sex with him.’: Daughter and mother in addiction recovery together after years of childhood trauma, ‘If that isn’t wonderful, I don’t know what is’

“I remember the bright red carpet in his closet. This ongoing ‘event’ became our secret, I held onto this secret for close to 15 years. I never got over what happened to me, I stuffed it so far down. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I finally surrendered. I had enough. I needed to give myself a chance to live.”

‘Freeze Miss Piggy, spread your legs. Put your hands up.’ That’s what my brother said before the gun went off.’: Woman overcomes childhood trauma to mentor kids, instill ‘wisdom, knowledge’ that ‘no one did for me’

“We were playing cops and robbers and didn’t know the gun was real. It was my mother’s gun. I hear a man’s voice asking, ‘Where the money?’ as I was hiding under the covers. I remember running down the road to the police station in our pajamas. I was 5 years old. ‘I know it’s going to get better, please protect my mommy.’ I never thought it would end. But yet, I held onto a small piece of faith.”

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