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An addict named Shannon

by Shannon
(Troy , New York)

As I write this story, I am still actively using.

It all started at the age of 13 when I took my first drink. I became an instant alcoholic, as well as a pot head. As the years passed, the drugs intensified.

I was very smart. I graduated from a Catholic high school without failure. After graduation, I screwed off but then landed a good job in a prestigious law firm and worked my way up as a paralegal.

The attorneys loved me. We would party together a lot. It was fun. While working full-time there, I went to college and became a teacher. My whole family was college educated so I wanted to be too.

After 10 years at the firm, I left to continue my teaching career. At the same time I met Brent, the love of my life. At this point, I was a coke head, alcoholic and Ecstasy head. I also did a lot of acid in my teenage years and early 20s.

Life was great. My mom and I were always very close and she was my enabler. I didn't have to worry about stuff because mommy was always there. I proceeded to meet the other life of my life, my son Ryan. Next my new love, crack cocaine.

I proceeded to leave my teaching career because I was severely depressed and had intolerable anxiety. I stopped doing drugs and attending AA meetings. I honestly thought my mental issues were caused by the constant drug use.

Everything was great for the first five months in recovery. I landed a great paralegal job starting running 5 miles per day was a great mommy and great girlfriend. Then the depression started again as well as anxiety. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was severely depressed.

Nothing worked. I was still in recovery at this point. I was introduced to hydros. All my pain was gone. We also starting smoking crack again. As Brent continued on, taking suboxone.

I graduated to heroin. First sniffing then shooting. I was able to live a double life, wife and mommy on the front. Heroin addict on the low. This continued for two years. I overdosed, lost custody of my 12 year old baby and best friend, lost my only true love after 16 years, lost my relationship with my mommy, lost our beautiful home (my love has it), lost my car, lost my apartment, lost all my family and friends.

I am now homeless but staying with some nice people. As you can imagine, I don't want to live anymore. Depression has taken over to the point that I can't really take care of myself (for real) and I don't. I can't. And, the only thing that keeps me alive are drugs. They help me forget about life and reality. This is called self-medication.

I went from being a very smart and attractive girl who had it all. I was with the man of my dreams who took great care of me, I had my son who was my best friend, owned a beautiful house, etc., to a homeless junkie who literally lost everything and everyone she loved.

Comments for An addict named Shannon

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There is always hope, try going back to AA or NA
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Shannon,

Your story is heart breaking and it seems like you have given up all hope. Heroin often causes people to loose everything!

I found one statement in your story confusing, you said:

"And, the only thing that keeps me alive are drugs."

I find that confusing because the heroin is what caused you to loose everything? Why would you hang on to the one thing that has caused you the most pain?

I am a counselor and I often work with people who are SEVERELY depressed. Given everything you've lost in your life it would be a miracle if you're weren't depressed. Medications alone generally don't help to get rid of depression. You need to meet with a mentor/counselor weekly for at least six months and then you will find that the depression can improve.

My recommendation for you is that start going to AA or NA again and get the resources you need to stop using. Heroin is DESTROYING your life and is not the only good thing in it.

Troy has TONS and TONS of resources for you:

St. Vincent De Paul
AA meetings
NA meetings
The Salvation Army

All of whom are interested in helping you to end this terrible road of addiction that you're on.

Don't give up hope, try reaching out and you can get your life back on track.

Good Luck,

Debbie

You can beat this!
by: Anonymous

Hi Shannon,

I read your story.. Very sad, I have heard of many people in your situation, losing everything do to drugs.. It's heart breaking, I lost my true love due to his crack addiction, you may think you have lost everything, but the quicker you get help, the faster you will get yourself and life back. Along with getting your best friend back.. Your son...

I almost lost my son to heroin, he is now in recovery and building our relationship back to where we were once before. He has only been clean for 45 days, he said he feels like a new person.

I wish you the best of luck, with your recovery when your ready.. You can do this!!

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