In honor of National Recovery Month, SoulyHer has teamed up with a brave woman who wanted a platform to share her recovery story. This woman wanted to share her story to let people know that recovery is possible. SoulyHer welcomes and honors your vulnerability.
How recovery affects women specifically?
It is important to speak about the topic of recovery for everyone because there is still a stigma that diminishes the importance of this conversation. For women, it becomes even more difficult to speak about or seek the necessary help. Why is this? Most women have more hesitance to admit their substance abuse problem because they fear of legal action against their children.
About 70% of women who enter recovery programs, have children and are most likely to be the primary caretaker of their family. This can be a difficult decision to make for a women with children. Not only are women facing this challenge, they also face the challenge of childcare interfering with receiving the help they need. This can discourage recovery.
As women, we do have a higher number of sexual abuse history and body image issues, therefore recovery may look different than it would for a man.
Yes, recovery affects us all gender-specific or not, it is a topic that requires more awareness and through sharing these stories I hope someone can be inspired and know that they are NOT alone.
On the night of Halloween 2011 I was admitted to the hospital for just under a week. The reason why I was admitted is something I’ve feared discussing up until this point. I was only 14 and admitted because of an overdose of over 20 sleeping pills. This suicide attempt was my first encounter with prescription medication, but it wasn’t my last. I was unconscious for days and when I finally gained consciousness I had a seizure. You’d think that my frightening experience would stray me away from drugs, but it did the exact opposite. The following week I met a group of “friends” that into drugs and skipping school, something I took interest in especially since I was new to Philly only moving there the first week of October! From there my drug addiction began and turned into a vicious year of self medication and losing track of time. It’s so easy to find drugs on any corner in Philadelphia and they will sell to children, which I clearly looked like a child. My pill addiction turned into me trying new drugs that I had never that I would consider including PCP, cocaine, ecstasy, and psychedelics. This was a daily thing for me and also resulted in multiple suicide attempts and hospital visits. I was alone and had no family or true friends around to save me, and I was living with an abusive ex boyfriend who was older than me. It wasn’t until 2014 when I left for Florida that all of my habits ended. I found myself spiritually in a place of solitude and focused on truly loving myself. Today I am clean of any drugs and though my life isn’t perfect or where I want it to be just yet, I am grateful that I was able to make it out of that dark place in my life. I was lucky to have gotten out of my addiction on my own and I know it isn’t as easy for most. I was able to become a mother and to pursue my career goals, things I am so grateful to be able to achieve. The best advice I could give a loved one of someone with this illness is to never give up and give that person lots of love because addiction is a very lonely thing.