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Breaking the Chains of Addiction

Someone once told me that the chains of addiction are too weak to feel until they are too strong to be broken.

by Antonia Abraham

This is the truest statement when it comes to my experience with drug addiction. In the beginning, I thought I was just having fun. I was young and carefree, I was invincible. I felt as though consequences couldn’t touch me.

By the time I was 22 years old I was a full blown heroin addict. I wasn’t able to maintain a job because I was unreliable and untrustworthy. I couldn’t find a place to live because I had no money and my friends were done letting me crash on their couch. I felt useless. I was of absolutely no use to the people around me, I was like a parasite. I sucked out everything I could get from you until there was nothing left. I reached a point where I fell into a dark, lonely depression that drugs could no longer mask. I made a phone call to the one person who would still answer my calls – my mother.

She helped me get into a dual diagnosis treatment center because my addiction had caused severe effects on my mental health and I needed to be diagnosed with and treated for both addiction and bipolar disorder. In treatment I was introduced to an idea that changed my life. People voluntarily brought speakers into the treatment center who explained to us the things that kept them sober. Some of these speakers had multiple years, but I even found hope in speakers who had as little as five months of continuous sobriety. Seeing that this had been possible for others instilled in me enough faith for me to keep trying. I wanted what these people had.

Upon my release from treatment, I went to a sober living home where I lived with other women who were just like me. We were all trying to navigate this new life in sobriety. I began to surround myself with women who had more clean time than me and I followed in their footsteps. I took all of the suggestions that they gave me, and I eventually became one of those speakers who goes into detox and treatment facilities to share my experience, strength, and hope.

The biggest blessing in my life today is helping others. There is no joy greater than helping other women recover from addiction. One of the things I do to give back to the recovery community is bring speakers into a detox every Saturday night. Doing this helps others as well as myself because I love seeing people get the same hope and faith that I was so freely given in early recovery. It is also a great reminder of where I was when I first got sober and just how far I have come.

Today I have a life that I never imagined for myself. I have friends who love, support, and trust me. I have an honest relationship with my family as well as the privilege to be an active part in their lives. I have a job in the field of addiction where I get to spread awareness around recovery to show others that it is possible to lose the obsession to abuse drugs. Today I live a life based on gratitude that comes from the freedom I have to walk this earth without deeming it necessary to put a substance in my body.

Antonia Abraham is an avid writer from Memphis who advocates spreading awareness around the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.

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