Dear 17-Year-Old-Me

I’m so excited to introduce Victoria. We “met” via Instagram and I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know her! We have quite a bit in common, which is always a fun thing to find out about someone new. 🙂 I hope you enjoy her post. And go check out her blog and IG account. ❤

 

Let me introduce myself – I’m Victoria from Life In The Ginger Lane  and Ashley has very kindly allowed me to Guest Blog for her.  I’m from just outside Glasgow in Scotland, wife of 4 years to David and Mummy to my gorgeous 2.5 year old boy Connor.  I started my blog last year as a means to try and get back into writing which is something I’ve always loved.  I have had my own struggles with depression and anxiety and as a result, my confidence has taken quite a hit so I’m slowly but surely trying to gain some of that back.  Please pop over to my blog and give it a read, it’s a work in progress so any hints or tips are greatly appreciated!  I’m also on instagram @lifeinthegingerlane so do come and say hi!

I’m turning 27 this year – how the hell did that happen?  So for this post, I thought I’d have a look back over the past 10 years and write a letter to me when I was 17.

Dear 17-year-old Victoria,

I know you think you know it all but University at 17 is not such a great idea for you – you’re just not ready yet.  The last year of school is a complete skive for a reason.  I know you have the brains to pull it off and you would have graduated no problem had other things not gotten in your way, but you’re just not as mature as you think you are.  You’re not old enough to drink alcohol so there is very little point in going to Freshers week; I don’t think you realize quite how much of Uni life is made up by the socializing outside of lectures, usually in a pub/bar.  You will tough it out for 2 years and then you have no other choice but to pack it in, let’s be honest, it was never what you wanted to do anyway.  Psychology is far too full of research methods and statistics for you, you have always been more of a language lover.  Writing is where you should be focusing your time.

It’ll take you a long time to realize that though, and even sitting here now I can’t say 100% that you are living your dream.  You are gradually finding your way back to writing but confidence is an issue; you will get there though, I can feel it!

Mum is right, he is an absolute waste of space but it will take you another year and a half before you realize it for yourself and by then the damage will already have been done.  Never mind, you will manage to pick yourself up and in the long run you will come out of it a stronger, better person.  And believe it or not, you have already met the man you are going to marry, I’m not going to tell you who, you’ll just have to wait another 2 years to find out for yourself.  But I will say that you will be married by the time you’re 22.  Your husband is an amazing man; it’s not going to be an easy road but you will get there, all your struggles will just make you stronger in the end.

Please know that Mum and Dad aren’t trying to be the bad guys, although they do give a good impression of it at times I’ll admit.  They really do just want what’s best for you.   And your little sister; she may be an absolute nightmare right now but trust me she is a blessing in disguise.  She is so incredibly protective of you and will back you to the hilt regardless of whether you are in the wrong or not.  She will surprise you time and again – blossoming into a fantastic Auntie before your very eyes, I bet you didn’t see that coming!  You come from a remarkably close knit and loving family, something which you have taken for granted over the years – that isn’t a bad thing, but please be aware that not every family is like yours.  Family is not always everyone elses top priority but it will always be yours.

You will have your struggles with depression and are probably in the beginning stages of that now, you just don’t know the signs.  Luckily for you, Mum does recognize them and together you will work to get you out of that darkness.  It will be a long road to recovery with a few relapses along the way, you are very anti medication – this trait will never leave you but you will eventually realize that taking medication is not a sign of weakness.  Taking medication does not mean that you can’t fight your own battles.  Taking medication is not lying down to depression and accepting that this will be your life.  What it means is that you are accepting that suffering from depression is not your fault, there is a chemical imbalance in your brain which is out with your control.  This will be a very difficult thing for you to do, you hate to be out of control, but you will realize that sometimes you need a little extra help – and that’s okay!

Don’t worry though, once you get yourself back on an even keel you do eventually manage to come off the anti depressants.  You do have the occasional blip but accepting that everyone has down days and they don’t always mean that you need to get to the doctors is a key coping mechanism for you.

Please know that the next 10 years of your life, although they are difficult and filled with times where you can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, they are also filled with so much love, laughter, and fun.  You will welcome a beautiful baby boy and in true Victoria fashion that will not go to plan either but you quickly realize that what’s meant to be will be and there is nothing you can do about it.  So please don’t worry, you will be absolutely fine and you should be proud of the woman you have turned into, I know I am.

V x

A letter to Rob Bishop 

A friend of mine from Utah wrote this letter to his representative, Rob Bishop. I wanted to share it because I want to encourage everyone else to write to their senators and congressmen/women if they want to see a change.

Thank you for sharing this with us, James.

I’m pretty sure Bishop won’t read my letter so I decided to let you all read it for funsies.
“Rob,

I am not at all satisfied with your representation in our district and the rest of the coalition of republican lawmakers in Utah and their unabashed hostility towards the preservation of the outdoors.
I’ve lived in your district for my entire life, albeit a four year stint where I served in US Navy. Part of what grew me close to this state was my involvement with the Boy Scouts of America, and the easy access we had to public lands. I’ve had friends who moved here because they were in love with untouched, rugged landscape and the easy access to trails, hunting, and camping. There is a wonderful natural world where others can get away from the insanities of civilization and industry at a moment’s notice. I have genuinely never heard a single person utter “this terrain is just beautiful, BUT it could really use more urban development and a big oil rig right there.”
The bill being presented by Jason Chaffetz, HR 621, and your aggressiveness towards redistributing the public lands back into power of state and private use seems like a short-sighted solution to make money. You’ll excavate the resources and the short term effects might wield a monetary gain, but what happens when, again, the resources run out and the industry that recovers those resources have left? We are left with scars of a landscape that wasn’t yet forsaken. It’s time to think of what will happen long term for the future generations, or perhaps you don’t actually care at all about that. Perhaps you don’t care because that problem is the future’s problem, and the money is needed now. If this is the case, you never actually cared about your constituents or the people here at all.
You have been quoted saying “the antiquities act is the most evil act ever invented.”, and “if anybody likes the way the antiquities act, the way it is written, die” and also something along the lines getting stupidity out of the gene pool. I think the only thing here that questions intelligence is how you got elected again after spewing some arbitrary diatribe like this? The legacy you are leaving for yourself isn’t a great one, Rob. In fact, I don’t think you’ll get elected again.
To close out, I’m going to quote a respectable republican who ironically signed in the Antiquities Act, and I think his intentions were clear; you’re living proof why we need it.
“We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I have never actually participated in protest before, but if it’s to keep the public lands right where they are then I guess there is a first time for everything.
Someone who should die apparently,

James Bockas
Ps. I considered myself conservative a time ago, but I definitely do not agree with your sentiments on conservation, and I’ll oppose you as long [you] as maintain it.”

A letter to Rob Bishop 

A friend of fine from Utah wrote this letter to his representative, Rob Bishop. I wanted to share it because I want to encourage everyone else to write to their senators and congressmen/women if they want to see a change. 

Thank you for sharing this with us, James. 

I’m pretty sure Bishop won’t read my letter so I decided to let you all read it for funsies.
“Rob,

I am not at all satisfied with your representation in our district and the rest of the coalition of republican lawmakers in Utah and their unabashed hostility towards the preservation of the outdoors.  
I’ve lived in your district for my entire life, albeit a four year stint where I served in US Navy. Part of what grew me close to this state was my involvement with the Boy Scouts of America, and the easy access we had to public lands. I’ve had friends who moved here because they were in love with untouched, rugged landscape and the easy access to trails, hunting, and camping. There is a wonderful natural world where others can get away from the insanities of civilization and industry at a moment’s notice. I have genuinely never heard a single person utter “this terrain is just beautiful, BUT it could really use more urban development and a big oil rig right there.” 
The bill being presented by Jason Chaffetz, HR 621, and your aggressiveness towards redistributing the public lands back into power of state and private use seems like a short-sighted solution to make money. You’ll excavate the resources and the short term effects might wield a monetary gain, but what happens when, again, the resources run out and the industry that recovers those resources have left? We are left with scars of a landscape that wasn’t yet forsaken. It’s time to think of what will happen long term for the future generations, or perhaps you don’t actually care at all about that. Perhaps you don’t care because that problem is the future’s problem, and the money is needed now. If this is the case, you never actually cared about your constituents or the people here at all.
You have been quoted saying “the antiquities act is the most evil act ever invented.”, and “if anybody likes the way the antiquities act, the way it is written, die” and also something along the lines getting stupidity out of the gene pool. I think the only thing here that questions intelligence is how you got elected again after spewing some arbitrary diatribe like this? The legacy you are leaving for yourself isn’t a great one, Rob. In fact, I don’t think you’ll get elected again.
To close out, I’m going to quote a respectable republican who ironically signed in the Antiquities Act, and I think his intentions were clear; you’re living proof why we need it.
“We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I have never actually participated in protest before, but if it’s to keep the public lands right where they are then I guess there is a first time for everything.
Someone who should die apparently,

James Bockas
Ps. I considered myself conservative a time ago, but I definitely do not agree with your sentiments on conservation, and I’ll oppose you as long [you] as maintain it.”

A Beer Kind of Mom

I have an amazing guest post for you today! My husband has virtually introduced me to Jan O. of The Shitty Housewife. I can not wait to get back to Atlanta to meet her in person. A new development happened just this morning. It is her and Tyson’s 20th high school reunion and I think we are going! I am so excited to finally get the chance to meet her in person!!!

Anyway, if you don’t know anything about her or her blog yet you need to go check it out. Right away. Seriously, like right now! She has so much to offer and I love reading her blog! She hilarious, witty, truthful, and honestly does it all! So without further ado, The Shitty Housewife…..

 

A Beer Kinda Mom

 

If you are reading this you know that Ashley has claimed to be a Vodka Kinda Mom. And although I have yet to meet Ashley in person, thanks to social media and me being a mild stalker, I feel like the phrase she grabbed is very fitting. I know these kinda moms. I will be honest with you, sometimes I envy these ladies. You see, I myself am a parent and also a drinker. But I classify under a different title. I am what you call A Beer Kinda Mom.

 

You see, while Ashley hates buying a big bulky sweater for a Christmas party because it is ugly and hides her killer body, I crave them. I am older than her, my body has more flaws and my days of being fashionable are very few and far between. The idea of BEING FORCED to wear something oversized and lame would make going out for a night on the town much, much easier.

 

I have a friend who would for sure be more of a Vodka Kinda Mom. She just has her shit turned up a notch on all accounts. As a mom, a wife, the way she looks, the way she handles herself. She just is classy. Then there is me, the Beer Kinda Mom. A woman who always sports a stain is always dropping “F” bombs at carpool and whose signature look can be summed up in one word….DISHEVELED.

 

There is a world of differences between a Vodka Kinda Mom and a Beer Kinda Mom. And as moms, we can see which team we play on the moment we first meet at any story time, toddler class or playdate. One has organic everything while the other is shoveling out happy meals. One has an ironed shirt with fixed hair and makeup, while the other has wrinkled clothes…..and wrinkles on her face.  One is beyond stylish, as are her kids, while the other is wearing something from 2002 and her kids are half naked and mismatched. One can’t wait to get home to her vodka and the other to her Miller High Life.

 

But here is the thing…..there actually is NO DIFFERENCE. Because at the root of it, we are both just moms. We both live a daily struggle between loving a little human so much and missing ourselves just as much. We both wake up to little toddler demands and go to bed hearing those same exact demands. We both are playing a role we have no idea how to actually do, but pray to god we do it right so we don’t screw up our kids that bad. We are both moms and no matter how much we differ externally, we are exactly the same on the inside.

 

Like I said before, I have never met Ashley. And I know for a fact if we stood next to each other we would be like night and day. I mean everything about us LOOKS completely opposite. But I know I have more in common with her than I do with some of my best friends. We both are so in love with our children and are fighting our way to make a path to better their future. We both love being real and honest and are getting more and more comfortable with opening up about it. We both not only adore our husbands, we treasure the bond they have with our kids and cherish how hard they work for their families. We have the same political views, we are both feminists and we both love saying the word fuck and find it very appropriate for certain situations.

 

Moms are all so very different, but the reality is motherhood all equals the same thing. We are simply moms. The good, the bad and the ugly side of parenting is our number one journey now since we took on this role and no matter how different we are, we should all always have each others back and never judge. We are a team and we are the only ones who understand.

 

And I can not wait to meet Ashley face to face. I want all of our wild kids running around together while our husbands exchange war stories about being in a relationship with a hot, vulgar, smart, driven feminist. But mostly I want to order Ashley a beer, myself a vodka and cheers us for succeeding, no matter how different we are.

Guest Bloggers Wanted

Good morning everyone and happy Monday!

Have you ever wanted to say something and just get it out there for the world to see? I have, and that’s why I started this blog. However, I want to extend this opportunity to all of you. You don’t have to be a professional writer or anything like that.

What should you write about or are there restrictions you may ask. Write about whatever you want! I have had a guest blogger write about her horrific experience with drugs and I have written about my deep postpartum depression, abortion, feminism, the NFL, my top 10 lists for whatever subject, parenthood, my son’s adoption process, or just funny random ideas that pop into my head. There are no restrictions!

I want to hear it all. 🙂

Any and all are welcome, so send it on over! Email me at marsh.ashleym@gmail.com. (Include pictures if you would like)

I hope you all have a marvelous Monday!
❤ Ashley

My Daughter is My Driving Force

I have another special guest post for Truthful Tuesday. This is Molly Ryujin. Molly and I were acquaintances back when I was in junior high/high school. We went to shows at Boom Va; holy fuck that makes me feel so old (and dumb).

***Any of my old friends from Utah will read this and reminisce/cringe while they think of their times spent on 27th street at good ol’ Boom Va. Straight Edge kids (sXe, sellouts, XXX etc) and hardcore shows like To No Avail, Clifton, Kitty, Job for a Cowboy, They Came in Swarms were a weekly social event. Embarrassing, I know.***

Anyway, I got to know her better after she started dating, and got engaged to, my best friend from back home. She is such a great woman for him. He needed a strong woman who would set him on the right path but who would also let him take care of her. I don’t see them anymore and we hardly talk but I will always have a special place in my heart for both of them and their family. ❤

I hope her story helps anyone reading this see they can accomplish truly remarkable things, no matter the circumstances.
My name is Molly. I am a mother and a recovering heroin and methamphetamine addict.

I had, for the most part, an amazing childhood. I had a loving mother and father and three older sisters. In therapy, they help you to identify points in your life that led you to that dark direction you took and as a child I was sexually assaulted.

Confused and small, I didn’t tell anyone for nearly a decade but I came to realize the trauma I endured at an early age would shape me into a person I never knew I could be. Like most teenagers, I loved escaping my reality and found relief in using drugs at parties, loving that feeling of being able to forget. Like most people who are victims of sexual assault, I had no boundaries with people and found myself in co-dependent, unhealthy, abusive relationships most of the time and the men who didn’t use couldn’t save me.

I was clean for a short period of time when I was 20, but then began snorting lines of oxy and smoking meth once in a while. Occasionally turned into every day and pain pills turned into heroin. I was still managing to go to school and maintain decent grades. My family knew something was wrong but I was insist I was fine. Just tired.

The truth came out when my apartment was hit by Ogden Strike Force and although they didn’t find drugs, they found tin foil with residue and lots of paraphernalia. I was arrested for possession of heroin but still lying about it to my family. With the help of an attorney, I fought the charge and was pled down to attempting to possess and controlled substance. By that time I was in a new relationship and put on private probation.

On June 18th 2012, I found out I was pregnant. I knew that this would be my reason to get clean. I knew girls who used while they were pregnant and will admit, I judged them. I couldn’t imagine harming a baby you were carrying and not giving them a choice. I decided to try to wean myself off because at that time, I was using heavily and I feared I couldn’t quit cold turkey. I was in a very unhealthy relationship and in a place where everyone used around me. As much as I wanted to get clean for the baby, my addiction wouldn’t allow it. As time went on, I became more and more depressed with myself and what I was doing to my baby. I felt so guilty and ashamed but could not stop for the life of me. I was still being dishonest with everyone outside of my inner circle that used with me, but I knew even they judged me.

It was Valentines day, 2013 and I knew my water broke. I was so scared and had spent most of my pregnancy in fear and anxiety because I didn’t want my baby taken from me. I was tempted to try to deliver the baby in my apartment because I couldn’t stand the thought of the state taking her but because I didn’t want to put her at risk further, I went to the hospital. Before I was given an epidural, they had advised me that my urine tested positive for amphetamines and opiates and I tried to lie and say I had been around meth users and had taken a pain pill. That entire 8 1/2 months of my pregnancy had been the darkest time of my life so far. I wasn’t able to experience the joys of it because of my addiction and guilt. When confronted by the hospital, I just wanted to disappear. I don’t remember too much of being in labor. I remember sleeping through most of my contractions and waking up ten minutes before I gave birth.

On February 15th I gave birth to Chloe Lillian, 6 lbs 11 oz, 19 inches long. She was perfect and so beautiful and I felt I didn’t deserve this perfect human. She was healthy but she cried a lot. Babies cry, of course, but Chloe was born addicted. Child Protective Services came into my hospital room and advised me I wouldn’t be taking my baby home. This forced me to be honest with my family and admit what they had already suspected.

My mother had my daughter for the first month and a month later, temporary custody was granted to my sister. Things only got worse from there. I was in and out of jail, seeing my daughter for just hours at a time.

Every time I left a visit, I felt like I was saying goodbye. I used more and more and as if things couldn’t get worse, July 5th, I made the choice to shoot heroin. Until that moment, I had feared the needle, knowing its power and so many people it killed. I had lost all hope. As I waited for a bed at a treatment facility to open up for me, I got lower and lower. I got into rehab, only to relapse 12 days later. I was given opportunity after opportunity and continued to sabotage every one of them. I was desperate to get clean and get my daughter back but wasn’t showing much promise.

I entered into Family Drug Court and had been sanctioned to jail time for relapses. I was kicked out of rehab twice at that point and knew the next time I had court, I’d be taken to jail again. I didn’t show up at my court date and went on the run. At that point, my addiction was beyond out of control. I had overdosed in motel rooms, taken advantage of my father *who was my best friend and the only one who still had faith in me* and sunk lower than I ever thought possible.

It was September 27th and I fell asleep at my fathers house where I’d been staying when I wasn’t out running the streets. I awoke to police officers standing over me. They advised me that I had warrants for failing to appear in court and they’d be taking me to jail. I remember the look of sadness and relief as my father just stood there, watching his baby be taken away in handcuffs.

That was the last day I used.

I was in jail for 60 days and was released back into rehab for the 3rd time. I knew what I had to do in order to be a mother. It was hard because my daughter didn’t really know me. She was only 9 months old at that time and hadn’t seen me in close to 3 months. I pushed through and knew that she was the answer the entire time to overcoming this affliction.

I jumped through every hoop the state put in front of me and was grateful to have another chance. I was court ordered to be on methadone with Medication Assisted Treatment to help with cravings. I went from being the addict mother that no one believed would succeed and get clean, to a well respected woman who had beat so many odds and over come so much.

In the summer of 2014, I was granted full custody of my daughter and made a choice taper off of methadone after 11 months.

I’m not a perfect person, but what I do know is that the love I have for my daughter surpasses anything I’ve ever known or felt. I know how precious she is and I don’t take the role I have in her life for granted. I know it’s my job to protect her and accept her, to make sure she’s healthy, to give her confidence and teach her how to be a good person. This has taught me to be more understanding, to be less judgemental and love unconditionally.

My father passed away in July of 2015 and our bond was unbreakable. I can only strive to have that same bond with my daughter. To believe, encourage and push her to always know her worth, never lose hope and always have faith in herself. Being a mother has it’s difficulties but I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.

In the past, I didn’t know who I was or what I was meant to be. But the moment I looked at my daughter through clean and sober eyes, I knew this was it for me. Being Chloes mother is the biggest honor I’ve ever known and I know she’s a huge part of why I choose to stay clean for now 39 months and counting.

Thank you for reading my story.

From Addict to Freedom

I want to introduce you to Delaney Colvell. I have known Delaney since we were very young and going to a small private school in Ogden, UT. We have stayed friends through the years and have recently reconnected through Facebook and texting. She is an incredibly strong woman who has been through hell and back.

I want to thank her for writing this and sharing it with the world. I can’t imagine the courage it took to be so brutally honest and open.

I want to share her story with you today for Truthful Tuesday. ❤

 

Hi, I’m Delaney, I’m an addict/alcoholic and I am addicted to opiates.

I am now in recovery, but I was previously a closet addict for 10 years. If you don’t already know, addiction is a disease.I am new to recovery so I am still learning..Always be teachable. My sobriety date is November 14, 2016 and that day will always be burned into my brain and I would not want it any other way.

Remembering that day helps my sobriety because holy hell, who would ever want to go through detox twice, am I right?

I guess I should start with some background history first. I started using at 14 years old. Young, but there is always kids starting younger and younger unfortunately and I would do anything in the world to change that. It started with one pill, just one. I was sucked into the black abyss of addiction immediately, it doesn’t always work that way but it did with me. I always had self esteem issues and when I took that pill I felt confident, the only thing I ever wanted to be. Plus I got high, why else do you do drugs right? I lied, I cheated, I stole, I sold all my worldly possessions, I manipulated, I almost destroyed my marriage with the man I’ve been in love with for almost 8 years. Addiction takes you down dark alleys of life you never thought you’d go down. I thought I’d never break into a house for drugs but I did… BUT i don’t want to focus on my shitty life choices, I want to focus on my recovery.

So, rewind to approximately 8 months ago. I was having seizures (most likely from detoxing in my sleep) so my husband and I were sleeping in separate beds and 3 o’ clock rolls around and he wakes up to me trying to get in bed with him and he touches me to take me back to bed and I’m wet. He turns on the light on to see me with what looks like me smuggling a basketball under my shirt and covered in puke and puke in a few places all over our bedroom. Off we go to the Emergency Room with me passing out and puking, repeatedly.

After an MRI and CT scan we found out my intestines were about to explode. The oh so lovely hospital process hates me and next came the tube shoved down my nose into my intestines to drain some of the pressure so they could operate. $5,000 later I have a vertical 6 inch scar down the center of my belly. Not fashionable in anyway. I would have died had I not had my husband there. I now 100% trust in my Higher Power, he has given me a guardian angel named Ryan who has saved my life not only once but twice, now here comes the next part of my rewind.

I recover from my intestinal ordeal and that didn’t even scare me straight so of course the addict in me tells, “You’re fine Delaney, you didn’t almost just die so you’re okay to keep using.” and not only did I use but I went hard. I will not talk about how much or all the different drugs I have done because that is irrelevant.

This next part of my story is told from a third party standpoint for I have no recollection of it I was so out of my mind. It was around 7:30 and I was passed out and my husband tried waking me up and I came to about two minutes later and could barely hold myself up. Mind you my husband had no idea I was using, he then ran to get me a glass of water and when he came back I was crawling on the floor incoherent. I was again rushed to the Emergency Room and all the way there I denied, denied, and denied that I had taken anything and blamed it on my seizures. Of course the Dr.’s drug tested me and told my husband about the high amounts of opiates in my system.

I was taken up to a room and strapped down. I came to, hallucinating that the nurses were trying to kill me, and passed out again for a good while. I came to with my husband trying to calm me down and me as angry as could be calling him every cruel thing in the book trying to deflect from my own problems. Like I said, drugs make you do and say crazy things. Insert corny 80’s commercial egg sizzling on skillet, “This is your brain on drugs!” I was kept for a day or two with a constant babysitter without talking to my husband. Not known to me at the time was that he knew of the opiate use.

I was blue sheeted which means they think you tried to kill yourself, off to the Psych Ward I went for four days and I played every trick in the book and told them everything they wanted to hear so I could get home and use. My mind was on using and only using. Ryan picked me up four days later and I could feel his aura, he was happy to see me but there was something eating at him. We had a nice walk to the car, and he waited to bring up one of the hardest conversations anyone can have with their loved one. We got home and, boom, the talks of rehab came up. I, of course, said no many times strictly because I was afraid… deathly afraid of treatment. I had been using drugs for 10 years to keep my body functioning. I eventually smartened up and said yes to rehab. I think I was subconsciously using so blatantly so that someone would ask me to get help, I was surprisingly so excited to get help and go to treatment. Unbeknownst to me was that my husband and mother had been calling detox centers and rehabs trying to get me a bed for two days while I was in the psych ward.

A day later I was admitted to a detox hospital. We were told they had a bed for me and to be there at 3:45, we were there at 3:30. My dad always taught me to be 15 minutes early for everything, always be prepared scouts. We were taken into an admitting office room and they of course were not as prepared, they still had to get my medical records faxed over from the hospital and get an OK from the Dr. in order to admit me. This took from 3:45 to 7:30 at night sitting in an office with my husband trying to keep my composure while slowly starting to detox and having the deepest darkest pit in my stomach of fear. The darkness started to swallow me whole knowing what I was about to endure. 7:30 came and the on call Dr. approved me to be admitted and all I wanted was some drugs to stop how I was feeling and that was now possible, so I thought, and their computer system crashed HA! I took it as a sign that I needed to sit and detox without any substances to help me so I could feel that fear and pain.

Finally 11 PM rolled around and I was able to get some meds to help, I was prescribed Subutex, which helps wean you off opiates, but of course I had to wait 12 hours after my last which was 4 hours away. I laid in bed thinking, thinking of all the bad things I’ve done, thinking of all the people I’ve hurt and I cried. A cry that hurt through my whole body and I got a sense of motivation.

My time in detox was not pleasant to say the least, the toilet and repeat episodes of Roseanne were my best friends. Puke, Roseanne, puke, Roseanne, and more puke. The second night rolled around and I guesstimate it was around 2:30 AM and it was time for vitals and I was passed out, finally, and I wake up to a nurse shaking the living shit out of me and her calling other nurses into the room and them saying, “I don’t know what to do!”. Apparently my heart couldn’t handle the strain of detoxing and I was going into heart failure… I’ve never prayed so hard in my life. The usual prayer when you haven’t spoken with whoever you consider your Higher Power yet ask for life. I tried to panic so I could give my heart a kickstart but there was just this sense of calm washing over me as a nurse is ripping the 7 blankets I’d acquired off me and ripping my pants off. They needed to put Ted hose stocking on both my legs to try and get the blood pumping from my legs to my heart. Next was trying to get me out of bed to run, I could barely walk and I sure as shit laughed when they told me it was time to run. I had to have help to run and it was the saddest run in the history of runs, and I run like Forest Gump on a good day! My heart started to recover slowly but I did not sleep one minute that night, I prayed consistently promising to live my life right for helping me through that little rough patch.

Although my heart almost failed I still knew there was still a mountain the size of Everest still out there to climb.

Finally I got the good news call from my mom telling me they had found me a rehab, the only part I did not like was that it was two hours from home. Later though, that came to be a benefit, I will explain later. I finished my time in detox and was sent on my merry way with my taper prescription of Subutex and Nicotine gum, I should mention I’m a smoker so not being able to have my other vice was hell. Little did I know was that I was going to a non smoking facility! Fuck me, right? A man from the rehab drove the two hours to the hospital to pick me up. Before he got there my brother, mother, father, husband, and beloved furry child came to see me off and it was the pick me up I needed to get in that car. We said our goodbyes and off I went to rehab. I’m tearing up just writing this being so grateful they supported me as much as they did throughout this ordeal even after all I’ve put them through.

Walking into rehab weighing 95 pounds at the height of 5’ 6” looking like a skeleton and broken down knowing not one soul was one of the other scariest moments in life. AND, of course, I had to be admitted on family night of all nights. Just my luck, and on family night they order pizza, and I was so malnourished and starving I grabbed 3 pieces of pizza and 3 breadsticks. Luckily there was this sweet girl who saw me standing there like a deer in headlights reverting back to middle school as the ugly and awkward duckling I was trying to figure out who to sit with and she called me over and asked if I would like to join them. I sat there in silence scarfing down pizza like it was my last meal before execution, later that night I puked my guts out not knowing that when you’re that malnourished your stomach can only handle so much food. Slow and steady wins the race in that aspect.

The next day I saw the Dr. and he reviewed all my test results from the detox hospital and told me I was so malnourished that my organs were feeding on themselves for energy, boom, another hit of how serious this situation was.

I had been numbing my feelings with drugs for 10 years and the first time I saw my therapist I had a complete breakdown… To help with this piece of this story it is relevant that I was born in California and it is 100% considered my home and my husband tried night and day trying to get me into a California rehab hoping it might be a little bit of a boost but my health insurance wouldn’t cover out of state rehabilitation centers. The other tidbit is that at the rehab I went to is that you are on blackout which is no phone privileges or visitors. You are expected to as they called it “sit in your shit” for a week. So, getting back to the story, I see my therapist and start bawling within the first five minutes. I should tell you I am not a cryer, I used to consider crying one of the most disgusting things. Crying that quickly like a blubbering fool was such a humbling experience, it reminded me that I am a human being and just as weak as any human being on Earth and that I am no more special that anyone else there. Thankfully he let me call my husband and it was just what the Dr. ordered. My husband reminded me that this was for the best, that I am strong and could overcome this demon holding onto me, and he is my biggest supporter. I was only able to talk to him for five minutes but that five minutes will always be the best call that ever happened to me and I consider that one of the biggest things that picked me up, brushed me off, and got me through the whole rehab trial of hell. The next little thing that picked me up was that my therapist happened to have a pen from a California rehab he asked me if I would like. I used that pen to work on every step work or homework I received. It was as if my Higher Power was working through that measly pen, I still have that pen and I will forever hold it extremely close to my heart.

The first week I was there I had a meltdown, screaming and cussing trying to leave. I called my husband and used every drug addict manipulation in the book to try and get him to come get me and he told me he would call me when he was on his way. He hung up with me and called my therapist to tell him he was not coming to get me and I applaud him for being so strong and not caving to come get me because that was a huge sign that I needed serious help.

I don’t want to dwell too much on my time in rehab but I stayed 33 days, I detoxed from opiates, detoxed from Subutex, horrible using dreams, and Post Acute Withdrawals. It was not a vacation, it was 33 days of hard work. When I returned my husbands call on day 33 at around 8 PM and he asked if I would like to come home I cried and asked him if he was joking. I could not believe that day had finally came that I could go home and be home for Christmas was the most liberating feeling I have ever felt. He asked if I would like to be picked up the next day and I immediately said YES! I got off the phone with him and informed the techs that I was going to be picked up tomorrow and they tried getting ahold of the on call therapist and started getting my discharge paperwork in order and my husband called the tech I had been working on my discharge with and said, “screw it, I’m picking her up tonight”. The tech told me this and I literally stood up on a dining room chair and yelled informing all the residents I was going the fuck home. I got my hugs and said a few goodbyes and have never packed so fast in my life. A fire was lit under my ass!

I was told he would be there at 11:30. Well lights out is at around 10:30 so I waited in my room dressed and lying on top of my made bed with the blinds open and rolling over and looking out the window at every car that drove past. After all that looking for our car I actually missed him pulling up. I had a tech come into my room telling my ride was here and I snuck out trying not to wake up my roommate and our room neighbor sleeping on the floor because her new roommate was detoxing and she could not handle the smell. I saw my husband and ran and jumped into his arms like a dramatic scene out of the movies. I had a huge suitcase, a clothes hamper full of three bags, and two more bags overflowing with clothes and shoes I rushed to pack in the car thinking maybe it wasn’t real and the smart ass my husband is said, “Actually this is just a test, you’re really staying” I punched him in the arm and said, “I’ll kill you”.

I got in the car and started crying again with that freeing feeling with the largest sense of accomplishment. I’ve never felt proud of myself until that moment in a car outside a rehab at midnight and it was the most wonderful sensation in the strangest place.

I am writing this at 48 days sober with the feeling of freedom, freedom I hadn’t felt in 10 years. I am new to sobriety but it really works if you truly want to break free of the chains of alcohol and drugs. Once I finally had the freedom of sobriety I feel a sense of happiness I thought I could only find in a bottle or drugs, who knew natural happiness is a real thing! I will be honest in that I still crave drugs everyday, but I always remember how happy and stress free I am without using or drinking and I bring myself back to a sense of sober concentration.

My greatest sobriety tools are meditation and yoga everyday. You must find your center and learn to be in tune with your body. I hope this helps anyone struggling with addiction. I want you to know that you can be helped, there is no such thing as a lost cause. I kept using because I figured I was too far gone to be helped but I did it and I have the biggest addictive personality. If you have doubts of your strength just know the body and mind can truly surprise you on how much they can handle. Please, I’m begging you, seek help if you believe you need it. I may have hated my therapist because he broke down my walls but while I was sitting in rehab he gave me the best quote that really motivated me..”Your best choices landed you here.” Us addicts may make a lot of poor choices but you can always be saved once you learn about self acceptance and forgiveness and learn that the only forgiveness you need is your own. “I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday.”

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Me weighing 95 pounds looking like a walking skeleton.

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Me with a tube shoved down my nose and into my intestines with shit coming out of it before surgery… disgusting and pathetic.

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My stomach a week after intestinal surgery, which the scar has been nicknamed Snape.

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My two reasons for staying sober.

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Me hanging out with my husband in rehab happy as can be weighing 25 pounds heavier.

 

The feature picture is Delaney almost 20 days after rehab looking healthy as ever with a glow of happy.

 

 

If you need help overcoming addiction check out this website.

Here is the link to the National Helpline if you are interested. ❤