I have never fought so hard to write about something in my entire life. I want to say the words so badly and it sounds perfect in my head but actually putting it out into the world is terrifying. The girl that finally got her life together fell back down and fell down hard.
It wasn’t a slow progression either. I didn’t start drinking first, I didn’t take a pill. No. I made the decision and had a stem in my mouth and a needle in my arm within 20 minutes. And I’ll be honest, after not using for so long it felt like the first time all over again. That euphoric feeling took over and I had fallen back in love with my demons.
Until 3 days later I woke up sweating with my skin crawling and mind racing. Shit. Here we go again.
That’s when reality sets in. That’s when I remember why I stopped using in the first place.That’s when I want to run and hide from my problems and even more so, myself.
My thinking was so distorted again. I remember I had made a commitment that was quickly approaching. I was supposed to run a big book study at a 12 step meeting, so instead of finding another speaker, I ran it. High. Here I am sharing my experience, strength and hope with another addict and alcoholic, just as I always had, yet I can barely hold my head up. Drugs were my solution again and I was miserable.
This continued. I kept my sponsees because in my mind, I couldn’t let them down. I needed to take care of them before taking care of myself. Not to mention the guilt and shame surrounding my relapse caused me to not admit it for a long time.
4 months ago, I was out of town when my boyfriend passed away. He was found dead in my home. Up until this point, I had been focusing on everyone but myself…only going to meetings with sponsees or when I spoke at one. I didn’t know it but I was already on a downward spiral. So when he passed, the feelings associated were my excuse to run. That was my out.
3 overdoses in one week, narcanned 12 times, raped, held up in motels from Georgia to Kentucky to Michigan. Three months I was out there rippin and runnin again. One more day and I would have been dead. That was my mission – put as many drugs in me as possible so I didn’t wake up the next morning. Any addict can relate to that feeling.
The reason I write this might not be so much for anyone else, but mainly for myself. I lied to myself and others for what felt like a long time about my relapse.
I am sick of hiding.
I am sick of being ashamed.
I am an addict, yes. But I am still here.
I am still alive.
And I am still fighting.
By, Brittany Sherfield
Note from Katie, Brittany’s mom: I am so proud of Brittany for writing this, I know it was very hard for her. This is the reality of the disease, and why we write. Its our journey together, but this was her story to tell, not mine. I love you kiddo. Recover. Together.