What My Battle With Addiction Taught Me About Second Chances

woman walking on field after given a second chance

I used to be addicted to prescription drugs. It’s hard to even write those words now, 2 years 4 months and three days sober because I’m still embarrassed and ashamed. When I was at my worst, I stole from people I loved. I took credit cards from my sister’s wallet. I said terrible things to a boyfriend that I can never take back. I ran away after skipping out on rent for two months and pawning my friend’s clothing to buy food. But I was blessed with a second chance at life.

There were so many moments when I thought I had my life under control, but I was only lying to myself. I thought that my addiction wasn’t a “real one” because it wasn’t alcohol or hard drugs. I was always telling myself I was fine even though I was spiraling deeper and deeper.

I was an addict. I am an addict. I’ll always be an addict but I’m growing stronger every day.

A lot of people don’t understand what it really means to be addicted or to have an addictive personality. I wish I would have paid more attention to my warning signs. I wish I would have listened to the things my parents told me about lying.

That was the start of my life crumbling apart.

It’s hard to write about my experience because it makes me hate the person I was. It makes me regret a lot of things and the choices I made. I wish I would have been more careful. And I wish I wouldn’t have been so naïve.

But something I tell myself every time I get into a negative place is this: I have to focus on the present.

Life is filled with second chances. My sister gave me a second chance. My best friend gave me a second chance. And my family accepted me back after treatment with open arms. Their love taught me that life doesn’t have to be faced alone and I will never be able to repay them for the support they showed me.

Everyone has a story. Some stories are “prettier” than others but just because your story isn’t shining or neatly wrapped doesn’t mean it’s not one you can be proud of.

My battle with addiction taught me that my life is worth living, even if I make mistakes along the way.

Because of the love people showed me, I learned what it meant to truly get a second chance and have the opportunity to start my life over. When I finally got help, I realized that this wasn’t the end. It was the beginning.

And even though there are a lot of painful lessons learned and a lot of regrets, I’m thankful for each day. Who I am will never be defined by my addiction. That’s a promise I will keep.
 

Featured Image Credit: Jasmine Peardon

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