It Took 20 Years and 4 Stints in Rehab to Cure My Drug Addiction

Even as a kid had always been anxious, I was plagued by sleepless nights and intense nightmares, and had some several compulsive habits. I would say that my parent’s divorce – played a part in what led me to drugs and alcohol despite the fact I was from a well to do home, with a financial whizz of a dad, and equally intelligent mom.

I was 14 when the substance abuse started, and it would remain with me till I was 30. It was ramped up by my parents divorcing, although they always supported me despite my addiction, and toxic lifestyle. From high school, through my college years, and postgraduate studies, I would orbit from one drug dealer to another, making sure that I always had a steady supply of drugs.
My dependency on drugs became so intense that at one point I used up all of the trust fund my dad set up for me before it was due, and also I sold my condo and started living in a cheap apartment so I could spend it all on drugs.

I would say booze and drugs had this soothing effect on me, it gave me a sense of pleasure that I couldn’t find in any other place or thing, and that’s why I continued despite the fact my whole world was crashing around me.

The outcome and what became my penance, was my deteriorating body – I was suffering from massive weight loss, pale skin, severe hallucinations, and a wave of burning anger and hatred for everything.

I got kicked out of bars repeatedly, I would go a week without sleeping or eating, only drinking booze and taking coke, and I became paranoid and suspicious about everything and everyone.
Dad and my family kept tabs on even when I kicked them out of my life and lashed out the interventions they held on my behalf. After emotional stress and turmoil, I finally gave in and decided to go for rehab.

My first rehab stint came in 2007, and it became the first of four rehabs I had to do, with the last coming in 2013. It showed just how deep I was in with my addiction that none of the rehabs made any changes in my life – I didn’t feel ready to change.

I always felt alcohol and drugs where the root of my problems, but even for the short times I was sober, I didn’t feel any better about myself, and as it turned out, it was my thinking and mindset that fueled my addiction. The hatred, anger, and unhappiness were the foundation of my problem, and I didn’t even know.

It was in January of 2011 that I had a complete turnaround. I had hit rock bottom when I was so high that I ran into oncoming traffic – a taxi hit me. The driver quickly got out to see if I was ok, and I punched him in the face.

I was given a choice by my father – the option of staying on the streets continuing my destructive and unfulfilling life or staying sober in the apartment my dad paid for. On one of such sober days, while lying on the floor, I had this overpowering sense of comfort that God was with me. I must confess I am not a religious person, but the connection was so real that fateful day. I called one of the few friends I still had, said these words out loud “I’m ready to quit.” That was how my sober life began.
I had a complete turnaround in my life, patched things up with my family, and met my husband.

I finished law school last year, and I currently work for a social justice and advocacy law firm. My goal ultimately is to go into criminal law and even when I know this path may not be the most lucrative; it is the path I am happy to take along with my caring husband and our beautiful daughter. My life is an evidence that everybody can turn their life around and everyone deserves another chance to make it right (also a second, third, fourth and fifth chance)- no matter how long it takes.

Read Carrie’s full story here.