What was your clean date? Tell us a short paragraph on how you are living your best life now post addiction and recovery?
I got clean March 31st 2018 and I am still working very hard everyday to continue to get more days back to back. I never want to go back to where I once was.
Today my life is full of happiness and gratitude. There isn't a way that goes by I am not grateful from where I was to where I am now. Today I can say with heart so full of joy that I have my kids back with me. My relationship with my mom and my sister are better then ever, I am able to actually be there for my kids be present and go to parent teacher meetings and attend things I'm supposed too. The program of Narcotics Anonymous taught me how to find myself again, how to deal with the core issues on why I used drugs in the first place. Patience, a connection with a higher power, the program has taught me to surrender, to be selfless, to be able to love, to trust, to have acceptance,to have empathy, and to stay committed with plans that I make. To be responsible and to come out of isolation. And most importantly I know I'm not the only one. The program loved me until I could love myself.
How did addiction keep you from living your best life?
Addiction kept me isolated, all alone, self hatred. I hated everyone around me. I caught myself doing things I would never do. Hanging out with people I would never associate with, had me doing illegal activity, I was selling dope, had a house full of weapons, carrying around weapons, hurting people. I was self centered, I only cares about myself and that was it.
I am a mother of 4 and result of my addiction I lost my son when he was 4 years old. My first born was with my mom and I completely walked away from them because I gave my attention to all the wrong people who I cared about. And only hurt myself over and over again and again. Result of being constantly heartbroken I masked the pain by using dope. I put my whole heart into relationships that only shattered me and completely, broke me down until I was nothing and I never felt like I was good enough.
I started using at the age of 13-15 years old. Started smoking weed and drinking then it turned into using ecstasy. I started hanging out with older “cool kids”. All my best friends were doing it so I wanted to fit in. I was easily influenced and I wanted to be apart of. As the years went by I experienced a lot of betrayal and painful situations. Had my first born at the age of 16, Shortly after that the age of 18 I was introduced to cocaine from a close family member. From that day forward I realized all the feelings of my low Insecurities, Fears, doubts I had we're all lifted from inside of me. Drugs had me feeling amazing. I was happy, didn't care about anything, I was emotionally numb. That is what I was looking for because I couldn't handle the pain because I didn't know how to properly deal with them. So I found it in cocaine. Everything from sadness,hurt, emotionally damaged we're gone. There was a period of a few years I stopped and I had another baby, the relationship I was in turned very toxic. I turned to cocaine again. I went to treatment my first time in 2008. I completed it, but when I got home I couldn't stay sober. Losing my son almost sent me Over the edge. Again I got sober. I couldn't tell you how many times I have gotten Clean and then relapsed. I was like the comeback queen. (I NEVER GAVE UP). I was In and out of court fighting for my son and I eventually lost him. My addiction got so bad, I missed his games, missed picking him up from daycare, or was up for days I neglected him and my daughter. Due to my addiction I lost out on my son's life. I chose drugs and being selfish and played the poor me card and blamed everyone around me and took no look at my part. So instead of me fixing what I lost I got deeper into using Cocaine, I ended up leaving so my mom was left raising my daughter because I couldn't do it. All I cared about was numbing my pain, thinking only about how I felt, again being very selfish. That went on for years. I found out I was pregnant and I was happy because I knew me carrying a unborn child would make me stop using drugs……………
You would think that would make someone stop using drugs. It didn't for me. Because I didn't believe in abortions in my mind I thought if I continue to use I could miscarriage. That didn't happen and I used up until she was born. THANK GOD she came out beautiful and healthy. I was so ashamed and full of guilt and stayed in a relationship that was narcissistic and that tore me apart literally made me go crazy and I again let my mom raise another baby of mine. I put up with these types of relationships for years. I took off for days,weeks and even months at times not telling anyone my whereabouts. The shame And guilt I felt kept me out using because I couldn't face reality of the pain I caused to not only myself but my kids and my family. The love I have for my kids wasn't enough the drugs had me. I didn't stop for days on end. And I did what I could to get more. I lied, I stole, manipulated, I did what I had to do to make sure I had dope on me at all times. Drugs made me do things that I would never have even thought twice about. Made me go against everything I believe in. I didn't have a conscience at all. I was eating out of the devil's hand.
It came to a point in my life I couldn't see the hope anymore and I wanted the pain to stop that I was causing, so I committed suicide. For the grace of God a phone call saved my life. It was all done pretty much I was waiting for the pills I took to kick in. I had goodbye letters all written out, I was done being a drug addict mother, I was tired of hurting the ones I loved so much. I couldn't stop so I attempted suicide but my father found me and saved my life. Again I put myself into treatment in Vancouver at Hanna House and it was a great program completed 90 days, life was great. I didn't want to come back to my hometown but my kids were there. So I ended up back hanging out with my so called “friends”, because I thought I was cured and I wanted to show everyone how good I was doing. So I played with fire and I eventually got burnt. I started socially drinking and then I thought I could “control my using”. I went to meetings to keep face and had a sponsor I never used, I didn't work any program. And I again went down hill. And so did I! Because I missed who I thought we're my friends, in my mind I couldn't leave them behind because in my mind these were my true friends I cared so much for……. They weren't my friends. They talked behind my back, betrayed me, I was constantly talked about, my name was dragged through the mud consistently, was put on websites. This broke me because I would do anything for these people. And by being so real and loyal to the ones I considered friends I got broken down to pieces. That emotionally destroyed me. One night I tried crystal Meth and that was the love of my life! I tried it once and never put it down for two years. I honestly loved it so much I honestly didn't see myself ever quitting. In that two years the most craziest things I would never have imagined happened to me. I got shot, I was selling, my life consisted as violence, collecting from people who owed me. I was living a life that I'd watch in the movies. While all this craziness was happening I was pregnant with my last child. Nothing fazed me. My ex attempted to send two people to try and kill me. My life was a mess and completely unmanageable. My house was loaded with unregistered weapons I was in trouble with the law. All while I was pregnant and had my oldest living with me. I was so wrapped up in my crap it didn't even faze me I had kids in the house. As long as I had the pipe I was okay.
What and who guided you to toward an addiction free journey?
December 2017 my kids were taken from me by MCFD and honestly it was a blessing in disguise. At the time though I was full of anger and revenge. sitting there having to hand over my newborn baby to my sister and being told I wasn't allowed to be stay with them destroyed me. I've never felt the pain I felt that day. It took me 3 months realizing no one was gonna help me and if I wanted my kids back and my life to change I was the one who needed to do it. So I was sick of sitting in self hatred and poor me, anger, resentment, self sabotage, and blaming others for my wrong doings. I finally put things into action. I didn't give up on myself. With no one's help I gave myself hope again. I got my perseverance back and my willingness to change.
● What plan and steps did I take to get out of addiction?
I picked up that phone and I made appointments with mental health and addictions but it wasn't going as fast I needed it to go. I knew I needed the help and if I didn't do then I probably wouldn't have done it. So I got in my car I was tired of waiting on people and hoping I'd get a return call. So I got ahold of a detox center in Victoria BC, while driving there and I got a lady on the phone, by the grace of God the lady stayed there over time to listen to me and usually what would take 4-6 weeks, the lady sat there and did the intake with me right there. And I was in Detox 4 days later.
When did you decide it was time to take action?
3 months after my children were taken from me. I was tired of being alone and sitting in my room with a pipe. I was done. I was tired of feeling the way I felt. Music actually got me to pick myself up and gave me hope again. I know I'm a fighter and I wasn't giving up that easy.
What was at stake for you if you didn't take these actions to get sober?
My life was at stake. If I didn't do what I did I and get sober I would have lost my daughter's, my family, I probably wouldn't be here today. My life wasn't a game it was becoming dangerous.
For someone in the same situation as you were who wants to get clean, what would you tell them?
I would say whatever you do or how ever crappy you feel right now DON'T GIVE UP! There is hope! Give yourself a chance and get the help you need. Do it for yourself because your worthy of happiness and the unbelievable gifts of recovery. Take min by min and one day at a time. I know it sounds cliche but it's all so true. If you get yourself connected into a program whichever one works for you and you do the work thata suggested. You will find a life worth living. Work the steps that's where your true freedom comes from. Give the program all you have in you and your guaranteed to find your purpose.
Just do it for yourself you have nothing else to lose.
Today in my life which Narcotics Anonymous has given me
● My self back
● My kids back, My son is talking to me after 3 years
● Love and trust back
● Real friendships
● A higher power that does nothing but help me in the right direction.
● A life worth living
Jennifer Hacking, a mother, currently upgrading to become a drug and alcohol counselor.
I am a proud Recovering Addict, who can carry the message to the still suffering addict.
I am from Courtenay BC Vancouver island
Feel free to contact me on Facebook- Jen Hacking
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