Postpartum depression hit me hard after the birth of my second son. Shortly after, I was in a car accident that severely injured my neck and back. My doctor prescribed Oxycontin for the pain and that’s where my prescription drug addiction story begins.
I used the medication as directed to treat the pain for a long time. As my injuries healed, I found that my body was craving the medication and before I knew it, I couldn’t function without Oxy. At the height of my addiction, I couldn’t wake up in the morning unless I had two 80 mg pills of Oxy. I had to take them just to get my kids to school. I felt like I couldn’t live without my prescription drugs. There were days when I couldn’t even pick out my kid’s clothes.
Oxy robbed every part of my life from me. I lost my house and had to move back in with my parents. It didn’t go very well, so my two sons and I ended up living in my car and occasionally staying with friends. I felt so trapped and so alone. I remember how hot the tears were on my face. I’m such a bubbly, positive person and drugs took that away from me.
I actually called social services on myself and begged for help. It took a while, but I was eventually referred to Arapahoe House’s New Directions for Families program.
On March 3, 2011 my life changed course. My first day at New Directions was hell. I had an incredibly high tolerance for Oxycontin and my withdrawals were close to deadly. I needed to be hospitalized. It took about a month for my body to feel somewhat normal.
My sons and I were at New Directions for four months. Treatment saved my life and my family. I didn’t realize until I was in rehab that prescription drug abuse was so prevalent. I started to feel less alone. I personally wanted to be sober for my children. My boys are 21 months apart and I have so many great photos of all the fun stuff I used to do with my older son. I don’t have many pictures like that with my youngest, since my addiction began after he was born, so I’m making up for that now.
Today, I’m proud to report that I have more than two years of sobriety and I’m a financially stable single mom. I have a great job at an auto finance company that pays a whole lot more than just the rent. I have a new car and a great home for my kids in Colorado. We are making plans to travel and we even have a gym membership, something that seemed so foreign to me when I was at my worst living out of my car. The other day my son said, “Mom, I’m glad you’re not sick anymore”. I’m glad too.