Growing up I had a pretty good home life. I never wanted for anything and never did without. As I got older, I knew that I always felt different and would do anything to feel I belonged. In high school that led me to drinking alcohol and smoking weed. At the time I really thought it was the “cool” thing to do. It made me feel good. It made me feel important.

When I was a senior in high school, I got pregnant and dropped out. I thought my life was over, and I would never amount to anything. In 2009, at the age of 18, I had Kennedy and really had no idea what I was going to do. I was in a crazy relationship where I thought I was going to have to spend the rest of my life. I began using pain pills every day just to deal with the daily life of a young mother.

From that point, my life really began to spiral out of control. I was not only doing drugs, but I was selling them to have some control over other people. I started using the needle, and my life got miserable. I wanted to die every day. I hated my life, and I felt like there was no way out. I thought I would live this way the rest of my life.

In 2011, I got my first DUI and went to jail for the first time. You would think that would scare me a little bit, but it just added fuel to the fire. I became really careless at this point and ended up with a few different charges. Shoplifting, possession, another DUI, and felony contraband were just a few.

While in jail I was offered SAP, which is a six-month substance abuse program in a county jail. I thought that was just what I needed. I went to Hardin County Detention Center in Elizabethtown and completed the program.

I came home and wanted to be a mom again. I started going to meetings and doing what I needed to do to stay clean. A couple of months went by, and I thought I could be a “successful dope head,” whatever that was. I thought I could just use on the weekends, and nobody would know. I wouldn’t get out of control. That was definitely not what happened. I used a couple days and was already dope sick, miserable, and back out of control.

Not long after my relapse, my 6-year-old daughter saved my life. I had overdosed for the second time, and she found me with my lips purple and barely breathing. My dad rushed me to the ER, where they put me on a ventilator for five days. My family was hurting so badly and praying for me to just come back. I woke up with my daughter by my bed crying for her mommy and hoping I was going to wake up. I really thought I was going to change then. However, I think it just made me worse. The guilt and shame were so unmanageable I didn’t think I would ever be able to look at her the same.

I went back to jail and got sent to Pike County Jail for SAP again. I knew this would be it for me. I was going to stay sober this time. I stayed clean longer than the last time, but it still wasn’t enough. I was on probation and ended up pregnant – not even knowing until I was already 12 weeks along.

My probation officer called me in for a drug test, and I thought I would be OK because I always brought somebody else’s urine in so that I could pass the test. That day was different. She knew I was pregnant, and she knew I had brought urine, so I wore handcuffs out of the office. Screaming, kicking, and crying, I went back to jail. I knew I had really done it this time.

I never dreamed I could change the old selfish, self-centered me. But I went to a long-term treatment facility and learned a lot about myself and how to live life without the use of drugs.

Today, I have a beautiful life. I have five and a half years clean. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters who mean the world to me!

I recently took on a new job working for ARH Medical Center and get to help other people find their way with recovery!