I am originally from Trumbull County and a city called Warren, Ohio. I grew up in a house with my mother, sister, great grandmother and I. Growing up my household was slightly chaotic. My mother was in and out of the house for days at a time, because she had her own problem with addiction. My father wasn’t around much and was in and out of prison most of my childhood, due to his problems with addiction as well. My great grandmother would watch after my sister and I most of the time. My sister and I did not get along very well growing up and I believe it’s because we took our feelings out on each other and didn’t know how to deal with what we were growing through. I remember feeling as if I didn’t fit in wherever I went. I would go to my friend’s houses to stay the night and call home to be picked up feeling out of place. There was really no religion in the house growing up but there were talks of God. As I got to the age of 12 I started to experiment with drugs and alcohol. I started smoking marijuana here and there with my friends and drinking on the weekends. I started to steal my great grandmothers car to ride around with friends all night and go on runs for my mother to the dealers houses. At the age of 15 I did crack cocaine with my mother for the first time. Around this time I had a few friends who were on heroin and I began to do that as well. My grandparents always stressed how important education was. I was always an honor roll student in school until this time, and I ended up dropping out of school at the age of 15. This began the vicious cycle of being in and out of jail and psych wards. I started to rob and steal from stores, my family, friends and anything else I could get my hands on. I was beginning to get physically addicted and I did not know how to stop and could not bare the pain that came along with the withdrawal. I ended up getting put on felony probation and sent to an inpatient rehab. There I went through detox but still could not bring myself to stopping. Shortly after getting out of rehab I overdosed and the paramedics told my family I was not coming back. As we arrived to the hospital I ended up waking up. This put a little scare in me for the time being. I went to talk to my probation officer and she mentioned a place called the Road To Hope in Elyria, Ohio for the second time. I never heard of this place before but this time I was willing to go. As I arrived to the Road To Hope I began to meet a lot of great people. They taught me personal responsibility and helped me to start becoming responsible for my actions. I was away from my family for the holidays and for the first time I realized that my actions even when sober are still causing pain in the ones around me. That is where the change started to begin. I started a job when I was 6 months sober and began to pay off my fines and eventually paid off all my fines. I was able to start making amends to the people I took from. I went and took my drivers test and got my drivers license and was able to purchase my first vehicle! I got signed up for the GED program through Lorain County Community College and completed it to get my GED. I never even thought college was an option for me but thanks to the help of the staff at the Road To Hope they helped me find hope in myself, so I signed up for college classes. I attended Lorain County Community College for 2 years in which I was able to obtain my Addiction Counseling Certificate! I plan to continue to further my education and eventually have a Master’s degree. I begin my job as an addiction counselor in March of 2019 and it is such a blessing! All of the things I thought were not possible are becoming possible thanks to God, AA, and all of the support and staff of the Road To Hope! Me and my family’s relationship is better than it ever has been. My sister and I are each other’s number one supporters now that I can be there for her! My parents still struggle with addiction but today I can be an example to them! I am now 3 years into my recovery and I cannot wait to see what the future holds as I begin my career and further my education! All thanks to God, AA and the Road to Hope!
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