I would say I grew up in a low-class lifestyle.I  grew up with my mom and two younger brothers. My parents divorced when I was just 3 years old. Spent most of my life wondering who my dad was and why he left me. Today I understand. My dad was charged with physical and sexual assaults to very young children. And to my understanding I was one of those children. At the age of 13 I started skipping school, smoking weed, and drinking; most teenagers seem to do that, this  was normal for me.

May 2005 I was raped. I never got help for it until recently. I was lost and broken. My dignity was stolen from me. My life made a very drastic change for the worse. I didn’t know how to cope. I was willing to do anything to get out of the daily pain and agony. I attempted suicide by overdosing on pills and ingesting kitchen cleaning products. I was hospitalized for 6 weeks. I started to run away from home shortly after leaving the hospital. Running away for me was a freedom within myself,  no responsibilities,  didn’t have a care for anyone but myself. I met a lot of people on the street and started getting involved with the street lifestyle.

Addiction followed closely behind this lifestyle; my drug of choice: crystal meth. My first experience with meth…. “I felt as if I found the answers too all of my problems.“ I didn’t have to worry about where I was going to sleep because I was not tired. I didn’t have to worry about how I was going eat, because I was not hungry.  I didn’t have to worry about my feelings because I was numb. So I stayed high… for a long time. I had to do something to support my addiction. So I started breaking into/stealing cars and then robbery. After getting arrested over and over, I was sick of going to jail. I started selling drugs and that was a whole new way of life.

Eventually my past caught up to me.  I ended up going to a youth juvenile detention centre for 4 months; which today I am thankful for because I was pregnant at 16 years old with my daughter. If I didn’t go to jail I probably would have not stopped using meth. While I was in jail I decided I wasn’t going to run away anymore. I wanted to take responsibility for the first time since the beginning of my addiction and be a mother to this beautiful child inside of me. July 2008 I had my daughter and my life started to change. I ended up staying sober for about 15 months off of meth after she was born but I was will drinking and smoking weed. My daughter’s father was abusive and I was stuck in of cycle of violence in an abusive relationship.  My daughter was taken away from me by children services and I left my daughters father.

Not long after I started using crystal meth again drinking almost everyday and got involved with another guy.  Not long after we started going out i was pregnant with my second child. I than got my daughter back and in June 2010 my son was born. Life was ok I was in a very co-dependent relationship with my son’s father. He was an alcoholic and I felt as if I was a single parent when I wasn’t.

One day my son’s father went on a binge on meth and alcohol and came home after 4 day of using (I was home worried sick for that 4 days.) When he came home everything just went to shit, pretty much. We got in a fight, the cops came, both my kids got taken away by children services. And I pretty much gave up after that. I lost everything that I thought was my life so that was it. I was straight back out on the street selling drugs and doing meth within hours of my life feeling like it fell apart. Things only got worse. I was doing more meth then I ever did before and I didn’t care anymore I convinced myself “life as I knew it,” was over. After about 7 months of consistent using I started to get sick of doing drugs and wanted to make a change. I realized that I would die on the street or I would end up killing someone. I started reaching out to iHuman Youth Society again and they were willing to help me because I sucked up my pride and asked for help. I ended staying sober for 5 days. After a few failed attempts for trying to get into a shelter and detox. I ended up relapsing went  on a 3 day flyer and ended getting charged with a very serious assault charge. I knew in my head that jail or death was going to be the end for me and so it was. While I was in Jail I chose to go to a treatment centre for the first time and try to change my life. In treatment I got the chance to really learn who I was, “who Stephenie” was.  I started uncovering the roots of my addiction bringing up years of pain and hate for men and the world. Only when I could see where my problems rooted from, I was than able to start making a change within myself. I learned new positive and healthy ways to cope, everyday I continue to learn.

I am now 11 months sober and continue to work on myself and my recovery everyday. Since being sober I have had so many amazing experiences and opportunities. I am currently working on a documentary with my friend about our life which will be done 2013.

“I want people to see that there is hope. Change and recovery from addiction is possible. I did it so can you.

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