My whole life I was told to sit pretty and keep my mouth shut… little girls were meant to be seen not heard. I was pretty good at my job of doing this and was the little girl that dreams were made of. Sugar, spice, and everything nice. I smiled, said please and thank you, wore pretty pink dresses, and never disobeyed. Little did anyone know I was slowly dying inside. My little brother was born when I was 3 years old, from the day he came home he was not easy, and that’s putting it nicely. As he got older he was always getting into trouble and my parents were always dealing with him and I became invisible. Because he was so difficult even more pressure was put on me to be perfect, and not rock the boat.
I was put in every extra curricular activity you can think of. Dance, gymnastics, sports, theatre, ice skating… pretty much whatever could keep me busy and out of the way. I played my part well and only just wanted approval from others and my parents. If I got one question wrong on a test I was reprimanded for not getting a 100%. My brother meanwhile was getting into trouble every day at school and had severe behavioral issues. Instead of being punished he was coddled and my parents always had a reason and excuse for why he was getting trouble. He played the victim really well and was able to easily manipulate them and others.
My struggles with perfectionism ran deep. I felt I was never good enough. Never smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough… and the list goes on. I was constantly searching for who I was. When I went away to college the pressure of my studies, working, and keeping up appearances was too much for me to handle. While cramming for a exam one night my roommate offered me an adderall. I had no idea what it was but she told me it would help me study so I fell into the rabbit hole. Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat ADHD, and is a stimulant. I quickly learned how to manipulate doctors to get my own prescription even though I did not have ADHD. I thought it was an innocent way to help me study for hours on end, kill my appetite, keep me thin, work… and do everything perfectly. Within a couple of months I was heavily abusing the prescription medication and found several different doctors to give it to me a month.
I was heavily addicted to the stimulant and would stay up days on end. My brain had turned to mush and I was so thin and weak I could barely stand. I barely graduated from college and it became impossible to keep up appearances and it became clear to everyone that I was in full blown addiction.
My tolerance and dependence grew worse everyday and I would have to take more and more everyday to be able to get the same effect as before. Because of this I was burning through the three prescriptions I had from three different Drs in a week. The withdrawals were so bad and I was desperate. I had never done cocaine in my life and swore I would never do hard drugs.
That all changed one day. I was desperate. I had no idea where to get coke so I drove alone to the bad part of town and started asking anyone standing on a street corner if they had some. After about three attempts I found someone who did. He got in my car and we drove to a isolated parking lot. He taught me how to snort my first line. That was it. My habit quickly turned froma $20 a day habit to a $150 a day habit. I couldn’t function without it and started stealing to support my addiction.
It took a month and a half for my life to be completely ruined, not like there was much of one to begin with. I had spent mine and my roommates rent money on coke and were evicted, I totalled my car, was homeless, and had lost all contact with my family and friends. I couldn’t handle what I had become. I didn’t know any other way out, and attempted to take my own life.
I thank God everyday I was not successful and it was the wakeup call I needed. When I was discharged I entered a cocaine rehab center for 30 days, with extended intensive outpatient care. When I left I completed my steps with a sponsor, and found a strong support with the women in AA. They loved me until I could love myself. I am now able to give back what I was so freely given to me. No matter what your journey has been there is always a beautiful new life waiting for you! Recovery and sobriety saved me and has given me a life beyond my wildest dreams!
By Crystal Hampton
Crystal Hampton is a 37 year old avid writer from South Florida. She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.