Hi, my name is Julie and I’m an addict.
I was raised in a privileged home. I began smoking cigarettes at age twelve because I thought it was cool. In high schol, I started smoking pot. This habit got me kicked out of school in 10th grade when I was caught smoking in the bathroom. As a result, I was sent to live with my grandmother for the remainder of the school year. Before I would return to 11th grade, I was admitted to an inpatient rehab for three months, where I learned more ways to use drugs. Upon returning to high school, I also returned to using drugs. I smoked marijuana, did acid and used ecstacy. I began t withdraw from activities and started skipping school. I pretended to go each morning, only to sneak back in once mom went to work. I dropped out of high school in the 11th grade and moved in with friends where I drank every day until I got alcohol poisoning. My parents came to rescue me and sent me to a ninety day outpatient adult program. I went to meetings and was doing well for a while. After pleading with staff for additinal help, I was admitted to New Beginnings for six months. I was clean for a year.
I met a new boyfriend and started getting high with him. When I got pregnant, I knew I wanted my child to have a chance. I stopped drinking, smoking and getting high. I was determined to be a good mom. I found full time employment and didn’t use drugs. I was doing well until I met a new guy who I discovered was a cocaine dealer. I started getting high on the weekends while maintaining a business that I owned. The business was doing well until my weekend habit turned to a daily habit, that turned to a before and after client habit. My cocaine and crack habit cost me up to $300 each day.
After work. I took my toddler with me to score drugs. I got high with my child in the car. I was on a downward spiral and even my dealer asked why I was getting high. I checked myself into a program but had to leave because I had contracted an STD. Because I left before completing the program, I was unable to return for treatment.
My parents threatened to take my child away because the drugs were a higher priority. At rock bottom, I attempted suicide and was hospitalized for three days.
In an attempt to get myself together, I took a job as a white water raft guide. I lived in a tent for three months where “the river cleansed my soul”. I was so far from everyone and everything I knew, but I knew I couldn’t go home….yet!
I later decided it was time to be a mom and rebuild my business. With the help of my parents, I did both. I threw away my cell phone that had numbers in it that could return me to my old habits and I took different routes home to avoid old people and places. Untrusting of myself with money, I allowed my parents to handle my finances.
My relationship with myself, my child and God were most important to me. Afraid to share my story and unwilling to take the chance with someone new, I chose to be single for a long time.
“I almost threw my whole life away for drugs. I have a good job, a great family and a clean record.”
My name is Julie. I’m 32 years old. I am married to a great guy from junior high school. I am a mother and I work full time. I earned my GED and will be graduating next year with a degree in Business Administration.
I have been clean since April 15, 2003.