Andie on Addiction

Andie on Addiction


My first time drinking.. I was 13 years
old, and then it wasn’t like an average person who takes their first drink and
is like.. oh this is like nice, or this is gross, or you know whatever they think it
was like… Wow! that makes me feel different. And then I just kept drinking.
The first time I drank I blacked out. And.. so I started drinking more and more and
started smoking pot, and then when I was almost 15 I started doing like harder
drugs. And I.. I started.. I started using heroin and cocaine intermittently, and
together it’s what’s called a speedball. And.. I used drugs to feel different. It
wasn’t necessarily that I wanted to feel better because it didn’t make me feel
better. It just made me feel different than I was feeling. And it was my way to
kind of push feelings down and cope differently. And so I kept using drugs
and then when I was 16, my best friend overdosed.. right in front of me. And.. it
kind of was a little.. little.. it was a very tiny wake-up call. And so I started
that..like a week after his funeral, which I wasn’t even allowed to go to
because his parents blamed me for his death. To be honest I blamed myself for a
very long time, but I went to a Narcotics anonymous meeting. And.. I walked in and every single person
in the room was like 50 or older. And so I felt very uncomfortable being a
sixteen year old walking into this room, and then NA is a spiritual program but
sometimes a certain meeting can be very like.. god heavy. And at the time I was
like an agnostic and like.. and not spiritual, not religious, and the word “God”
really scared me off because I grew up Catholic. And so.. and like.. I had like.. I
was hating the church at the time and like was very mad at God. And then I.. it
was like.. I was mad at God but didn’t believe God existed, so it was like a
weird paradox in my mind. So I walked out of the meeting, and then I didn’t go back.
I continue to use drugs and alcohol. Lost jobs, lost friends, lost partners, and was
homeless for a lot of the time, and then I got into college, which was a really
surprising thing considering I was.. I was not the best student in high school
because I would skip classes to go use. But I got into college. I started
going to college. And then.. my like alcoholism and addiction felt more
normal because everybody was drinking all the time, and there was like a lot
more people who were doing cocaine. Not very many people doing heroin, so that
was like the.. like kind of what set me aside from a lot of people. When I was 19, I was living with a..
with this person.. this person who is now my best friend. And she like basically
like.. told me like.. “hey have you thought about like going back to like Narcotics
Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous?” And so she started driving me to meetings and
the first meeting I went to was absolutely awful.
I hated every minute of it. I was angry at the world, and nobody came up to say
“hi” to me afterwards. So I felt very like.. like.. that I didn’t belong there.
So it took me another year of putting together 30 days at a time or 60 days at
a time, until I started going to meetings in the Hillcrest area. And then that was
when I finally like found my group, my niche.. my like group of people
who like I could tell cared about me and understood like that my gender and my
sexuality had a lot to do with why I used in the first place. That’s where I
found my sponsor, that’s when I started working with steps. And like now.. and that
was.. I had one final relapse on December 31st of 2016 and so January 1st 2017 is
my clean date. I’m coming up on two years, which is really exciting. My advice to anybody who is struggling with addiction is honestly the 12-step programs.. like saved my life. Finding a group of sober and clean people who don’t use or don’t
drink has also really been helpful. There have been several times where like I
just wanted to go to a bar and get wasted. And like I would have if my like
good friends and recovery like wouldn’t or wouldn’t have been at that meeting
that I was supposed to go to. And like so my like sober group of people have like
really become my chosen family. And like we had like a look a sober Thanksgiving.
That was like super fun. That I had never had so much fun during a holiday. So like
things like that I really encourage people to find.. find the sober people. And
it can be me. Reach out to me and I’ll go to a meeting with you. And that way it
doesn’t feel as scary Okay well I’m gonna say that drugs and
alcohol is always an option, but it’s being the best option. It’s never gonna
be the best option. My life today as a clean and sober person is myriad’s
better even at my lowest moments when I have like.. when I got dumped and then my
roommate stopped paying rent and somebody stole money out of my bank. All
within the same week like.. being clean and sober is much better than
being high and wasted. Like in that situation, especially, like getting high
or drunk is not going to solve the problem. So like it really comes down to
that and like having a higher power is really important as well. It’s something important
that really scares a lot of people off from the 12-step programs,
but like your higher power doesn’t have to be a person in the sky, it doesn’t
have to be the traditional God that the church has. It can be a chair for all
matters. It’s.. it’s.. it can be something that you believe in, which is what
sobriety has given me. It’s given me the ability to believe in things again, which
is like an amazing feeling to be able to believe in a higher power, to believe in
other people, and to believe in myself, is like such a cool thing.

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