Without my struggles I wouldn't be the awesome person I am today!

by Amanda
(believeinrecovery.tumblr.com | Twitter: B3lieveRecovery)

It all started when i turned 13. I don’t want to go into it, I’m not ready and it’s really not necessary. but something unethical happened to me.. I didn't know how to cope. I asked for help but I didn't receive it so I turned to self-harm. At first, I only cut when I was upset.. then it turned into a full on addiction. Self-harm wasn’t really known about or common when I was 13 (that was 11 years ago). That year, we moved.

I used to live in a diverse town with many different cultures, so when we moved to a predominantly white “rich” town, it made things a lot worse. I was left with no friends, no one that would even talk to me. I wasn’t rich and these kids have been friends since pre-school.. why would they want to be friends with me? The school noticed this, and without my parents permission they put me through intense consoling (including them ‘overseeing’ me in the classroom and lunch). it was humiliating and made things a lot worse.. for me and my self-harm.

High school wasn’t a lot better… still self-harming but now I was older. i would drink A LOT or take any pill that was given to me. (One time I even ended up in the nurse's office because I accidentally took horse tranquilizers). I was out-of-control. My mom and I were at each other’s throats. I ran away on a few occasions, ended up in the hospital, and I just hated myself. I was going to drop out of high-school but instead I went to a vocational school for art. That was when i met Cesar.

Oh Cesar. We instantly clicked and were inseparable. He saw me for who I really was. He buried my razors in his backyard. when I would cut, he would cry to me. He made my life worth living. Everything got better for me once I found him. I graduated high school, and my mom and I were actually friends… I was in love. There was never a day when we would be apart.

To make a REALLY really long story short.. that day came. Cesar was brought into this country when he was 2 years old… he was an illegal immigrant. We were already a couple for 5 years (lonnggg time for being so young, 16-21 years old).. when his family was deported. I lost him. I grieved like it was his death. He didn’t want to leave me. I was RIPPED to shreds (I’m actually crying while I’m typing this.. it’s still really hard for me)

A month later, i flew on an airplane for 11 hours straight, alone, to a county where I don’t speak their language. I was there with him for 5 months. It put my mind at ease but I was heart-broken all over again when I had to leave.

When i got back to the states, I found out my mom enrolled me in cosmetology school. I still didn’t know how to cope with all these emotions; I was still devastated about Cesar, and I promised him I would never self-harm again. This is when I met Allie. She was a ‘pill-head’. We would skip class to get messed up, get messed up in school, get arrested during lunch period! That was it… I found out she ratted me out to the cop that pulled us over. By then, I had all her pill dealers in my phone. I wasn’t ashamed to use them alone. Within a year, I met Bear.

He was everything
I was looking for. He was cute, a lot older than me, he got messed-up, and he was popular. He brought me along to all the parties! He found out that I did pills EVERYDAY. …he decided that he wanted to join in. Until he told me about heroin. You got the same high for way cheaper!

That should have been the end of that relationship; however, I was with Bear for 2 years. Within those 2 years, my mom kicked me out (I told Cesar about my drug habit and he told my mom)… so I was living with Bear. The only time we would leave the house was to go get drugs. He treated me really bad.. emotionally and physically. He beat me up on a few occasions. He brought my self-esteem so low that I thought I deserved it, plus my mind was clouded from the heroin. We stole so much money, from everyone. I broke into my own house to rob my family. Anything to get a fix. It was fucking awful.

We would go into crack houses, the projects, meet up with people we didn’t know. …then I started doing that alone. I could get more drugs if I didn’t have to share with him.

We broke up and I moved in with my dad. I was still copping drugs in crack houses in the west side of town, driving around with people I just met, I could have been murdered… I didn't care.. maybe it would make the pain go away. But I realized the drugs made the pain worse. When I would wake up, I would be soaked in sweat and shaking. Every morning I would vomit from the sickness then go to work. ‘Luckily’ I worked with someone who also used heroin. She would help me get it during the day, then I would drink away my sorrows at night.

One afternoon, I called my mom at work telling her I needed to talk. She knew. She left work early and picked me up. We sat outside that dunkin donuts for about 2 hours. She couldn’t get me into a suboxone doctor for 2 days, so she gave me money to go get methadone from a dealer I knew so I wouldn’t be sick until the doctor. I knew that once I told her, I had to be serious about recovery. And I was. (I ended up messing up a few times… until I quit my job, changed my phone number, deleted my Facebook… I literally had to DISAPPEAR to get away from the drugs)

Today I am 7 months clean off heroin. I don’t drink either; I’m completely sober. I have a new boyfriend Mike. He was also a heroin addict.. will be 10 years clean this year. He has been my backbone and is almost like a sponsor, although I don’t rely on him for my sobriety. Mike could break-up with me and call me the worst of words and still I would NEVER go back to using. I ONLY RELY ON MYSELF. I still talk to Cesar, he will ALWAYS be my best-friend and any boyfriend that I have, will know that.

I will always love him, he’s a huge part of my heart. I go to intense therapy.. and I am learning to deal with my emotions properly. I have changed my whole life and my mindset completely around. Now i spend wayyy too much time on tumblr trying to convince others they are worth the process of recovery. Without it, I know.. I would be dead.

Recovery is possible.

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Jun 03, 2012
by: Anonymous

This just made my morning. Today I am 1 year and 5 months sober and the end of your story gave me chills because I too well know that I would be dead if it wasn't for the program and sobriety. So amazing. I am incredibly proud of you (I know I don't know you but I do).

Apr 02, 2012
Beautiful story Amanda!
by: Casey

Congrats on your sobriety! Your story was so powerful. We never realize how little our problems are until we hear someone else's. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless. xoxo

Mar 08, 2012
WTG, Amanda!
by: Cheryl

I read your story and it broke me up inside. This is such a painful world we live in and we've all been through the wringer so many times. It's no wonder that we want to bury the thoughts and feelings and pain in whatever we can find.

I'm so glad you found your way back out into the light and that you have your feet on solid ground. You sound very "centered" and that will always work in your favor. Once we lose our balance, we run the risk of making bad choices again. Believe me, I know.

May God bless you and keep you safe, whole and content. And may you always find that sobriety is far more desirable than any substance that simply dulls the pain and blurs the mind.


Mar 07, 2012
To Amanda
by: Rae

Hi Amanda,

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. It sounds like you have been through a lot, and unfortunately, a lot of us deal with our pain by harming ourselves, whether it be with literal self harm, drugs, or just negative behaviors.

I am so sorry to hear about what happened with Cesar - it sounds like that was and still is a really painful thing for you to have to go through, and I can only imagine. I know how difficult the process of becoming a citizen is and how serious officials are about illegals (my husband is from Turkey) - and I cannot even imagine what it must have felt like for you to have to lose him. It is great that you still keep in touch.

I can relate a lot to just kind of falling in with the wrong people - when you are using drugs, it seems as though you are just attracted to those kinds of people, or they are attracted to you. When I was using, I was like you - I would do anything to get the next fix. It didn't matter who I had to hurt in the way. I know that can be a lot to deal with once you get sober - I still feel guilty for a lot of the things I did in my active addiction.

It's amazing that you have found a way out of that pain and have found recovery. You should be incredibly proud of your 7 months. That is truly amazing. I am also really happy to hear that you met someone you can be yourself around and be comfortable with, and it's definitely a good thing that your sobriety isn't dependent on him. It sounds like you are really on the right path, and from here, things only get better.

Thank you so much for writing in! Your story is really inspiring and it's great that you are trying to spread recovery. Congratulations again!


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