My name is Sofia and I am a recovering addict and alcoholic.
I started using when I was 12 years old. What started out as drinking alcohol and smoking weed quickly escalated into regular use of narcotics, and by the age of 13 I was abusing cocaine and prescription pills on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, my drug use was not the only cause for concern. I was also struggling with a severe eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, along with a handful of other psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. I had an extremely negative self-image and hated the person I was becoming.
My life was out of control, and my drug use was exasperated by my desire to feel as if I had a sense of power over myself and my surroundings. I used in order to stop feeling and thinking about all the negative things in my life, and this desire to forget only increased with the shame of my drug use and the mistakes I made while using.
Not surprisingly, my drug abuse involved a number of run-ins with the law. At the mere age of 15, I was arrested for underage drinking and resisting arrest. My BAC (blood alcohol content) was more than double that of what is considered normal for someone of legal drinking age. However, this incident did nothing to deter me from my drug use and other harmful behaviors I was engaging in.
Over these years, my drug use progressed into using anything and everything I could get my hands on. In particular, ecstasy and LSD became my drugs of choice due to their quality of making one feel artificially “happy”. However, I was not happy at all. Not only did I have a horrible relationship with myself, but I had destroyed my relationship with my family in the process. I hated my parents for trying to stop me from using drugs, but I hated myself most of all.
After an incident in which I threatened to commit suicide, I was forced into a long-term drug treatment program where I resided for nearly three months. This experience not only changed my life forever – it saved my life. Looking back, I am so incredibly grateful for everything that my family did for me both during my years of drug abuse and my time spent in treatment. Without their unyielding support, I would not be alive and well today.
With the support of my family, the tools I learned while in treatment, and my newfound desire to change, I was able to successfully complete treatment and begin my journey of recovery. Today, I have been clean and sober for nearly seven years.
Over the past seven years, I have accomplished more than I ever thought possible while I was using. I graduated from college with high honors, have begun working within the field of substance abuse treatment, and will soon be continuing my studies in graduate school where I will earn a degree in Addiction Studies. I now have a wonderful relationship with my family, and most of all, I have a healthy and loving relationship with myself.
I hope that my story will give hope to those out there that are struggling with addiction, whether you’re concerned about your own drug or alcohol addiction or that of a loved one. I am a testament to the fact that there is always hope, and recovery is possible for anyone. There is strength in surrender, and I am so proud of myself for all that I have overcome.