No-one Saves Us But Ourselves …
November 22, 2016
On April 26, 1998, my parents brought their first child, a beautiful baby girl, into the world. They didn’t know, however, that just a dozen short years down the road, that beautiful baby girl would become a drug addict.
I had a good childhood; great in fact. I had no history of trauma, no addiction in my family. It all started around age 13. I wanted to have a good time; fit in with the older kids I, so desperately, wanted to be friends with. I wanted to feel invincible, accepted, masked from my emotions. Unbearable emotions.
Mental health issues and self-harm came into play way before drugs did. Using took these things away. Well, not really, it just made them easier to deal with.
Flash forward 5 years, age 17. I’ve experimented with pretty much everything, overdosed once already. Still didn’t care to stop. Lost my job. Decided to start selling drugs, drugs I “didn’t like”, so I wouldn’t lose money getting high on my own supply. Let me tell you, that lasted about 10 days; then I was doing the drugs I sold, drugs I said I’d never do. That drug ended up becoming my drug of choice.
Flash forward again, about a year, age 18. I’m pretty much out of the game now; only selling under the table to some friends. I was robbed. It scared me, so I decided to step down. On July 26, 2016, I had surgery, and to me, that meant free drugs. Oh, but the drugs I was prescribed weren’t enough. Oh hell no. I wanted to be on one if I was gonna be in bed all day.
So, I bought more; drugs I didn’t even need really. About the third day in recovery from surgery, I overdosed again; because of the concoction I created in my body.
That event, and the way I felt after, was what inclined me to seek help.
After all the arrangements were made, I was admitted to DSTYC on September 6, 2016. My first week here was a disaster, I wanted to leave, but my parents weren’t willing to drive five hours from Toronto to Kanata, so I was here to stay.
I slowly came to realize and remember what I was doing here. I started to get closer to the girls and staff. I started to understand that being here wasn’t so bad, after all. I started getting credits in school. I learnt how to cope with things in healthy ways, how to set boundaries, and stick up for myself in an assertive way. I learnt that I didn’t need to use to be happy, that I was in control. I didn’t need to be controlled and consumed by addiction, eating disorders and emotional abuse, any longer. I realized who my true friends were. I got to graduate high school at DSYTC. I became motivated to move on in life.
Coming into treatment, I was a girl with no motivation and little self-esteem. Using was the most important thing in my life, and deep down, had no real intentions of truly changing my ways. As I prepare to leave DSTYC, I am a completely different person. Even though I still struggle with mental health, disordered eating, and still have cravings from time to time, I can cope in a healthy way; I want to cope in a healthy way. I’ve come to realize that I can set and achieve my goals. I know now that I am in control of my own life, my reactions and that I do not need substances to make me feel happy, accepted and, most of all, normal.
Moving forward, I have big plans. Bigger plans than I ever would have imagined for myself. I’ve applied for college, social service work program, and I plan to get a full- time job until the fall. I will keep a meal plan, just like we do at DSTYC, to ensure a healthy lifestyle. I also love the gym now and will continue to work out once I leave here. I, as well, plan to reach out to supports, and actually use them, like my ACC and my addiction counsellor back home. I plan to stay happy, sober and productive.
Thank you DSTYC, you’ve all changed my life forever.