Participant #10
C2
39 Years Old
Divorced, currently Single

Bio of Addiction
C2 grew up in a single-mother household with one sister. She was left on her own often because her mother was busy working to support the family. She saw her father once a year because of geographical distance, but enjoyed spending summers with him.  Unfortunately, there was infrequent communication for the remainder of the year. C2’s mother was in and out of relationships as C2 was growing up. C2 said, “I really didn’t know what love was growing up.” C2 was a good student and attended catholic school. Her relationship with her mother was turbulent at times, causing C2 to spend more and more time outside the home with her peers and older friends. She would spend her time after school drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, having sex and carelessly hanging out. C2 struggled with excessive partying as a teen, where she would often binge drink socially until she would pass out. C2’s father, several uncles, and male cousins were and are alcoholics

“I didn’t look at it as an addiction because I quote-unquote functioned. It didn’t make my life unmanageable at that time.”

“I never had a fascination with alcohol, but I would drink just to pass out. That’s why I don’t drink alcohol.”

C2 became a mother at 16 years old, and had to face the new responsibilities of motherhood. She entered the workforce and found success. Though she recreationally used alcohol, C2 did not use drugs because of occasional work drug testing. She had a lot of positive influences in her life at this time.

C2 went on to get married at 20 years old. Her ex husband was in recovery for opioids when they wed, and unfortunately, after two years of marriage, relapsed into Opioid addiction. Her husband was arrested and sentenced to an 8-9 year prison sentence. C2 was unprepared to handle the emotional stress of her husband’s incarceration and began using marijuana again to relieve stress. During this time a friend began questioning her increased marijuana use, and told C2 that he/she didn’t want to be associated with drugs, or drug users. C2 abstained from marijuana use for the sake of the friendship.

When her marriage ended in divorce, C2 became depressed. She decided to relocate to a new city in hopes of starting a new life.  She began dating a man in recovery for crack cocaine. He soon relapsed early into their relationship. Through a deep sense of despair, C2 began smoking crack cocaine with her relapsed boyfriend. C2 lost everything- her job, financial stability, and normalcy of life due to addiction. Despite the fact she would occasionally call her family for financial help (to subsidize her drug addiction or rent), her family was unaware of her crack cocaine addiction because they lived in another city. Her life of addiction remained a secret for quite some time.
Turning Point

C2 became pregnant with her second child. C2 stopped using crack cocaine at 9 weeks pregnant. C2 partner continues to use crack cocaine while living with C2.

“I got pregnant with my second son. I had to make a decision to stop.”

“My second son was my saving grace.”

“It was really tough. I didn’t have support from anybody, because no one knew.”

“My mom still doesn’t want to accept it (C2 addiction).”

“I just didn’t want my child born affected (from drugs).”

“I know I’m bigger than this (drugs).”

“I just did it!”

“You’re going to take me down a path I don’t want to go anymore. (referring to her partners drug use)

“Some people need a lot of structure. Every path in recovery is different, their journey is different.”

C2 began going to Nar-Anon for support in coping with her unborn child’s father’s drug use.  While at Nar-Anon, she began telling her story of crack cocaine use. After telling her story, she was advised that a Twelve Step Program may benefit her needs better. C2 was unprepared to believe that she may be struggling with a drug addiction.

While at Nar-Anon, two women from a twelve step group came to speak to the group. C2 felt a closeness to one of the women and told the woman her story of addiction. At first, the meetings did not resonate with C2. She was constantly comparing herself to others; however, that all changed after valuable advice from her new friend that comparisons weren’t helpful or healthy. C2 continued going to meetings and realized one day at a meeting that she was a true addict in recovery. It was through this realization she embraced the reality of her own addiction and her recovery process.

“At first I was like, this is not for me. I compared my story to others.”

“Your story is unique…… it’s your journey. Some days will get something out of it (meetings) and some days you will get nothing.” (Advice from her 12 step companion)

“I got it!”

 
Rehabilitation
Addiction 1year
Recovery Attempts 1

C2 continued to go to a twelve step group with a sponsor, but never completed the twelve step process due to her sponsors own relapse. Oddly, role reversal of support occurred between C2 and her sponsor. C2 continues to read her twelve step books and  revisit journals of her story of recovery. She is still searching for a sponsor to complete the twelve step process. C2 never ignores her addiction or progress through recovery.

“I’m humble.”

“I still have to work on character defects. I have to work on those, like anger issues. I tend to react to things instead of responding.”

“I think they have a lot to do with my addiction.”

“In my upbringing I had to be the perfect person. I also feel like I have to prove myself. I have to go back and say, “Ok, what is my motive in this particular thing?”

“I’m a people pleaser, and I’m a yes person. So, I’m working on that. That’s where the anger stems from, too. Why can’t I just be accepted for who I am? Why do i always have to prove something to someone?”

“My mother still doesn’t understand why 4 or 3 years after I still go to a twelve step program. She asks if I’m using again.”

“I went to Nar-Anon to deal with someone else’s problem. Then I was like ‘crap, I actually have a problem!’ You know hello! I was like ohhh! I was seeking help for someone else’s issue……. That’s what happened with me.”

Life in Recovery
Recovery 5 years

C2 has dedicated her life’s work to helping others struggling with addiction and mental health issues. She is currently pursuing graduate work in the mental health field. C2 holds a firm belief in service work to improve the community. She continues to be a great mother to her two sons, and has a close relationship with her extended family. C2 continues to work on herself and work through her anger issues.

Graduate studies
Twelve Step Program for narcotics without a sponsor
Service work
Spiritual investigation
Meditation and prayer
Journaling
Peer advocate for addiction
Avid reader 4-5 books per month mostly on addiction and coaching skills

Legacy to others

“It’s possible- it won’t be easy. So many resources for you. It takes a little bit of work on your part.”

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