Being a woman with a past is not easy, especially in a small town. My poor choices affected everyone I love. I manipulated, and hurt anyone in my path. I hurt my children with my choices. I will never forgive myself completely for that. I did not set out to become a drug addict but addiction found me. I have been around hundreds, if not thousands, of addicts during my lifetime. I met some on the streets and others during treatment. I can say for certain that no drug addict set out for such a dark life.
Addiction for me started young, even before I used a substance. As long as I can remember I felt “different”. I had an imagination without limit. I was extremely sensitive to my surroundings and other people. I could actually feel the vibes others let off. I could feel people’s true intentions. As a child, that can be very overwhelming. I did not understand why I felt the way I did , so I cried. A lot. That labeled me as “oversensitive”. Feeling things so intensely made my preteens really difficult. I just never really felt like I fit anywhere. I remember feeling like something was missing. Even as a child, I felt a void.
I never thought to ask other addicts if they also felt this void. I wish I would have. I do know that addicts often have childhood trauma. Somewhere in their lives they survived some sort of abuse. Not all suffered abuse though. Some had perfectly normal childhoods with loving and supportive parents. This is why I know there must be something we all have in common. I think it’s that void. Since I can only speak for myself on that , I will describe what that void feels like.
I felt like I was empty of all the good stuff other people are made of. I would see smiling , laughing people and not understand what could possibly make them that happy. In my teens is when I really started to notice this. I so desperately wanted to feel the way those people felt. I was jealous. I was also angry. I was angry that other girls my age , had families and parents that loved them. They were concerned for and cared about. They were safe. I was kicked out of my house at 16 years old. I was not checked on. My parents did not care if I was warm , or safe, or cold, or hungry. There were days I did not eat, did not have a place to sleep , and was not safe. The anger and resentment just piled up at that point. Although I was fortunate enough to be taken in by a family, my own did not want me. That hurt. This is where things get tricky when an addict tells their story.
I started drinking and using drugs because they made me feel better. There is no other reason that an addict uses drugs. They take them from where they are to where they want to be. Period. All of that pain and anger just gets pushed deeper and deeper inside. Drugs make everything better. If I felt sad , or lonely, or angry, drugs made me feel safe and content. They numbed me. They worked so well, I started using heavier drugs, and more of them. There was a point where I never wanted to feel sober. I just wanted to get high and high and higher. I went to extremes to get high. I did what I had to do to get high. I had no self confidence, or self respect in any way at that point. I really didn’t care if I died. I wanted to die. I wanted to just get it over with.
Eventually, I did try to just get it over with. I put an immense amount of effort into killing myself. I was always in a blackout drunken state when this happened. I know I put a lot of effort into it , because I would wake up in the hospital every time. During my entire addiction fueled mess of a life, I put more effort into dying then I ever put into living.
That is when the drugs just weren’t working anymore. Consequences came and they were heavy. That is the reward we get for long term drug use. We get regret, destruction, guilt, shame, and eventually, a total disconnect from anything and everyone we care about. What I have learned through sobriety is that I used to feel better. It was not because of my childhood, or any trauma, or any other excuse. I used because I had poor coping skills, and it was easier to numb then it was to feel and deal with it. Addicts use to feel better.
Today, I am put energy into improving myself, my relationships , and my family. I am always going to be a work in progress. I am always going to be a little bit broken. I know God saved me, for some reason. I am not perfect, I do not claim to be. I am just so much better than I once was and that is okay for right now ❤ Much Love and Good Vibes! Nicole.