Overcoming Addiction to Pursue Journalism And Art

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My name is Tiffany,

I am a not-so-anonymous recovering drug addict, here to share my experience, strength, and hope with the world.

From a young age, I knew I was to be a writer and an artist, it was my calling in life and I was determined to pursue my dreams and goals – no matter what it took. However, I never would have dreamed that my experiences growing up in foster care would lead me into a place where I warmly invited the disease of addiction into my life and live to lose it all time and time again.

I was fourteen when I first started experimenting with alcohol and smoking, and for me it was never enough. I loved the sense of relief and confidence that it gave me, as if everything bad in the world faded away. I never acknowledged the fact that when I woke up, my problems still existed, only I then had a massive hangover to accompany them.

For years of my life, I tried to balance school, work, and addiction, and all the while denying that I had a problem that was continuously growing larger. My addiction was the elephant in the room that nobody wanted to acknowledge, especially me. For the longest time I proudly held the title of, “Party Girl,” above my head like it was something to be proud of. I could not admit to myself that I had a problem even when I began nose-diving into the… “heavier” version of partying.

I could not hold down a job for long, I could not hold down the leases on my living places, I was constantly spending any money I had, and countless friendships fell away with little to no explanation.

The darkest days of my life were when I hit my twenties. I was living paycheck to paycheck, fully aware of the fact that I had a problem bigger than I knew what to do with, but never knowing how to ask anybody for help. I was growing sickly thin, had bags under my eyes the size of Asia, and had no desire to even be alive anymore. Nine years had passed me by, and I had accomplished nothing except becoming the living dead just trying to pass the time.

Deeply within the clutches of addiction, and co-dependently living with somebody I didn’t truly enjoy spending time with, I finally began questioning what I was doing with my life. Did I really want my life to end knowing I had made no difference in the world? Did I want to die by the time I hit twenty-five? How did I let this become my life? Being a drug-addict had never once been a part of my goals, and yet that is exactly what happened. Nobody wakes up one day and decides they want to be an addict, but I did wake up one day and decided I wanted to get better. I could no longer live with myself or the choices I was making.

I finally sought help and entered recovery, I have been clean and sober for five months (which is the longest I have had in nine years), I have a place with a girlfriend of mine, and am finally going back to school to pursue Journalism and Art. Recovery is possible, finding love for life is possible, and no matter what has happened in life, there is always a reason to smile.

Everyday, I wake up and give myself positive affirmations, make the choice to spend another day sober, and make sure to do something I love every day, and always get some fresh air.

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