The Long Road Home- Addiction Recovery

mother daughterMy story of recovery isn’t a new one, it’s just one of the many of us fighting our way out of the dark. I say the dark because I quite literally don’t remember years…about 12-14 to be exact, of my life.

Recreationally I started using Xanax at about 18. I loved it. It made me uninhibited, unafraid, fun, dangerous and confident. Why would I ever give that up?

Years went by and I married the love of my life. We had 2 beautiful little girls and everything was great. I mean, we took Xanax all day . I never remembered to clean or change diapers. The house was filled with cockroaches. My sister would come to visit a few times a year and never saying a word clean, and clean, and spray and take out diaper pails that hadn’t been emptied in weeks. She never said a word.

We threw birthday parties, I put bows in their hair, and there were first steps, first words, and first days of school. I try to this day but I don’t remember. I once had fallen asleep while the girls were playing and my youngest who was 2 at the time went outside and stepped in a fire ant pile and was hospitalized. I didn’t even feel bad. I was numb. I was gone.

This went on for years, sleeping. Dirty houses, dirty kids. People around my children that shouldn’t have been. But I couldn’t judge them, I didn’t even know who I was half the time.

neglect

On December 8th 2007 my husband had gone out for some fun with his twin brother, they drank had a good time. He came in at 2 in the morning stumbling and said..” hey babe…I am beat. Going to bed.” I was annoyed. He was all fucked up and I wasn’t.

I woke up in the morning and his arm was heavy on my back like every other day for the past ten years. I told him to move his “fucking arm, it was squishing me.” He didn’t move. Nothing. I immediately jumped to me feet and stood looking at him. He looked like he was asleep, but something was wrong. I put my head on his chest. No heartbeat. No breath. He was dead.

I called 911. They advised me to pick up my 275lb husband and start CPR. I did. He aspirated on the floor. I screamed at my girls to get back in the bedroom until I came for them. They did.

mourning

EMT’s arrived. “ He’s been down a long time miss.” That was the news my life was over. He was 28 years old. After his funeral. I packed up the car with everything I could fit and we left. We came home to Connecticut from Florida and I went back to school every day to become a dental hygienist. I got a mediocre job and saved every penny to rent a little condo with my girls.

The Xanax didn’t go away though, the doctors told me I NEEDED them. I had PTSD. Anxiety, Major Depression. So for another 5 years I took Xanax every single day. Then I went and looked at an old photo album of my babies. I didn’t remember anything. I cried and felt like the world caved in on me all at once.

I checked into a rehab facility which weaned me off of Xanax and I have never taken one again. I never will.  I am here: good, bad, happy…whatever. I am here to remember the beauty I put in this world. These little girls who still love me, even when I feel like I don’t deserve it. For that I am so grateful.

hands

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  • Katie Schwartz

    Thank you for reading a small part of my story and the devastation drugs can cause. You are not alone.