My journey into the life of addiction really starts at birth for me. My father was an addict, an alcoholic, a dealer, and an abuser. My earliest memories are of him hurting my mother and me. He was an absolute nightmare to be around but thankfully my mother took me and left him when I was 4. Unfortunately it was court ordered that he still have visitation with me. To this day I will never understand this when they knew how bad he was. I watched drugs rule his life and those around him. I saw how addiction made him act. He hurt people I loved, he hurt me but yet I still ended up following in his foot steps. I stopped going to see him when I was 12 but that didn't keep the bad out of my life. I was a tortured soul and I started to use alcohol to cope at the age of 16. I think what ultimately led to a turn to drugs was something that happened to me that year. I won't go into detail but it changed my life forever. I began taking opiates which I found made me feel even better. This really didn't become a huge problem until I started dating my ex. He was addicted to Heroin which I was unaware of at the time but even when I found out I didn't run. We started using together and it quickly turned into a relationship more about drugs than each other. We were together a year before I just had enough. I couldn't deal with the drug abuse anymore. We had both been in rehab multiple times but we were triggers for each other. We just couldn't stay clean. I couldn't handle the fights anymore and I was just done with all of it. I was ready to leave him and change my life when I found out I was pregnant. I stayed with him, I felt I had to because of our baby. I got clean but he didn't. After our baby was born I started using again. This went on for years. I got pregnant again but this time I was unable to keep myself clean. I was far to gone in addiction at that point and my ex did not help. I was very lucky that my daughter was born with no problems. I can never be thankful enough about this. Our drug abuse took an even worse turn after our daughter was born. My ex started going to a Methadone Clinic but since we were low income we could only afford for him to go. I was left stuck buying Suboxone off of people just to keep myself from being sick so I could function as a mom. Eventually he got take home doses of Methadone and would share them with me. This was the worst part of my life. He would only give me some every three days so I was constantly going in and out of withdrawal. I hated him for this and I hated him for the way he treated me. He constantly was belittling me and telling me how I was worthless. He was always yelling at me. I just became so depressed that I couldn't even function normally. I wanted out so badly but I knew if I left him I wouldn't be able to take my children. I was a stay at home mom with no where to go. It took a while but I finally just couldn't do it anymore and told him it was over. He kicked me out and I moved in with a family member. This is where my drug abuse ended. I came off Methadone on my own with out anyone in my family even knowing. I took a class and got certified as a Nurse's Aide. I got a job and really turned my life around. I was so proud of who I was becoming. I eventually met the love of my life, we've been together for almost 2 years now. We have a baby boy together now and thankfully I still get to see my older 2 kids whenever I want. They love having a baby brother and are much happier now that their dad and I are not together. I still struggle today with wanting to use and I'm definitely guilty of using alcohol to cope with life. I know though what it's like to live in that hell and that's a place I never want to go back to. Any time I even think of wanting to use I just remember what it did to me and my family and that's enough to keep me clean.