Back In Good Graces

After I lost my car, my job and the love of my life, I still hadn’t sunk low enough to realize that I had a problem and needed help for drug addiction. In denial, I held to the belief that there was something wrong with the people who didn’t do drugs. If they had a problem with my drug addiction, it was their issue; not mine.

Some of the changes in my life that happened because of drugs were subtle, like not showing up at required social and family functions because I’d rather get high or I was too crashed to get out of bed. Other changes were more obvious, like the foreclosure of my condo and my parents banishing me from their home after I robbed them. One change happily had become the red flag I needed to get myself clean.

My brother and I were very close growing up. He was only sixteen months younger than I was and we had many of the same friends. In one of those increasingly rare moments in my life when I wasn’t high or crashed from my drugs, I heard from a friend that my godchild was having a party for his first communion. I figured me not being invited was an oversight and I got myself into a cab and headed to my brother’s house.

I rang the doorbell and my sister in-law opened it. I could see my brother standing in the background. I tried to enter their house she shouted “No!” Then she continued. You are not welcome here. We don’t want you around our children. If you show up here again, we’ll call the police. Go away, I will not allow my husband’s drug-addicted sister to upset him again.” After she slammed the door in my face, I let loose with a volley of obscenities to embarrass them in front of their neighbors. I did this before with my parents and trying to avoid humiliation they’d grant me entrance to their house.

My brother and his family ignored me. So I did the next best thing. I went to his neighbor and pounded on the door. When a woman came to the door, I told her the people she was living next door to were evil criminals. She didn’t speak a word of English and again a door was slammed in my face. My cunning scheme to gain entry to my nephew’s party didn’t work and I found myself walking to nowhere.

There wasn’t much left to me at this point in my life. If I could get high and had some place to get out of the cold, I was fine… or so I thought. As I continued walking, a tiny remnant of my former self cut at my soul. I was missing my nephew’s communion party not because of something significant, but because I wasn’t wanted.

I needed to do something, but I didn’t know how to get help for drug addiction, because up to that point I didn’t acknowledge I was an addict. After all, people with MAs in communications are not supposed to end up as drug addicts. I don’t remember how, but I got myself to the ER of a local hospital. From there I was able to get the ball rolling and learned that I had a lot of options.

These few years later, I’m ok now. I have re-established my relationship with my brother and his kids and my parents. I also learned my brother had warned his neighbor about me. She deliberately spoke in a foreign language to get rid of me and had she not done that, I never would have taken what I now call my enlightened walk to recovery.

Sophia L.- East Brunswick, NJ

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