Hello, my name is Natasha & I am an Addiction Recovery Coach. I was an addict for 22 years. I would like to start by telling you a little bit about me.
I had a pretty tough childhood. My biological mother left me at the hospital right after giving birth. She walked out without any explanation & I never had the chance to get to know who she was. However, I did find out a little bit about her as an adult and discovered that she abandoned me because I was the result of an affair she had had as a married woman and was too ashamed to bring me home or tell anybody. She just couldn’t afford to assume the responsibility of taking care of me. I could never find her identity despite a lot of effort because she wanted it that way. I also have a brother who I never met.
I was an orphan for a little while until I was adopted by a family at the age of 5 months, I never connected with them. When I was old enough to speak fluently & understand the English language, my parents told me I was adopted which was devastating to me. In my mind, the mind of a very young child, I was abandoned because I was not loved & not wanted.
Subconsciously, these thoughts started creating feelings of low self-esteem, which would later play a crucial role in my substance abuse, in an effort to destroy myself; I thought I was not worth anything or not worthy of being loved by anyone. I was unhappy & unfulfilled and things only got worse as a teenager. I isolated myself & decided to start experimenting with any substance I could possibly find.
The Day I Started
Around the age of 15, I started smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, taking ecstasy pills, speed, cocaine, acid, you name it, and partying really hard to get away from home because it never felt like home. My goal was to be emotionally numb.
I was heartbroken, I felt a sense of abandonment, I felt so alone, and it began destroying my self-confidence & self-worth even more as I grew older. I have never been able to experience what having a family is like, a real family with both parents, siblings, uncles & aunts, grandparents. I have never had that and still today at the age of 41 whenever I think about it, I tear up.
It is such a terrible feeling to feel like you do not belong anywhere, that you have no roots, it is almost like having no identity, and you just constantly wonder who you are …….
I often went clubbing & then stayed up for 2 or 3 days with a bunch of junkies doing drugs, smoking & drinking to stay awake. I hit rock bottom at this point.
I honestly have no idea how my little body has been able to take so much abuse for so many years. I am truly amazed that I am still alive today to tell my story. In some way, it is a miracle.
My Full Blown Years
By the age of 21, I was a full blown addict & decided to leave the house. I was a nomad. I slept on people’s couches & had odd part-time jobs such as bartending, waitressing, retail sales.
I didn’t care where I slept or what kind of job it was, as long as I was far away from home & had enough money to buy drugs & alcohol. My main goal was to stay high and it soon became impossible for me to interact with anyone without being high. I went to work high. My whole life was just all about being high. I just could not imagine another way to be in order to go about my day to day life.
I hated myself, I thought of myself as ugly, I had no self- esteem, I slept around with junkies I didn’t even know that got me pregnant twice, I was just a mess but I didn’t care.
I was on a fast train to destroy myself.
I felt lost and abandoned, which was the truth. I didn’t know who to turn to for help, so I continued doing more drugs & alcohol, to try to numb the pain & forget about my reality that hurt too much. The only way I could find comfort was by using drugs & drinking.
The Product of My Addiction
At about the age of 26, all the smoking & drug taking started affecting my health, I had trouble breathing & was coughing lot, and I became extremely depressed & a little suicidal. I had heart palpitations, so I made the decision to quit smoking cigarettes & doing drugs. I had very little money and certainly couldn’t afford to pay for rehab.
The only two weapons I had were my willpower & my faith in God. And it worked.
I have neither touched a cigarette nor done drugs in years. In my opinion, a recovering-addict’s willpower is more important than anything. Without it, one cannot become sober, and will relapse over & over again. He or she can go to rehab & detox fifteen times, but if there is no willpower there, I mean a true desire to become sober, one will not achieve sobriety. If one has the willpower, I would say 90 % of the work is done.
Additionally, in order for an addict to stop using, I believe it is essential for him/her to identify the real reason why he/she is using, whether it is because of depression, anxiety, stress, inability to cope with certain situations, lack of self- worth, or self-esteem, etc. That will play an essential role in the addict’s recovery.
Quitting drugs was not easy. I decided to completely change my lifestyle. I stopped hanging out with junkies. I stopped going to clubs & going out to bars as much altogether. I focused on work, got more rest, and just started concentrating on discovering who I really was & loving myself. All of those things helped me. But, I continued to drink alcohol heavily until I was well into my mid- 30’s.
A Life Changing Incident
It took 2 DWI’s & one car accident to finally decide it was time. Sitting in jail, feeling so ashamed, thinking about my son, who didn’t know where I was, and not knowing how or when I was going to get out & hold him in my arms again. That was an eye opener for me because I love him more than anything in the world. He is my world.
I truly believe God gave my son to me as a gift, to save me from myself, and ultimately bringing him into this world saved my life. I owe him to be alive today. I see him as this little winged angel, who came down from Heaven to save me & take me away from all this pain & agony. Jesus Christ knew I was in trouble & sent him to me. He gave me a new direction in life & most importantly a reason to live & to want to become sober.
I relapsed with alcohol about 3 or 4 times, so I would say it was much harder to get off alcohol than drugs & nicotine. The tools that helped me were to completely stop going out to bars to avoid befriending heavy alcohol drinkers and to never have any type of alcohol in my house anymore, which to me, is the # 1 rule.
I focus on my job. I focus on raising my child & being a good parent - that is what is important to me. And most of all, I focus on loving myself.
Drinking is no longer important to me. Being sober is what is important to me and I remind myself every day that I am alive today because I chose to stop using & because of all the steps I took that helped me to stop using.
As I was starting to get sober & withdrawing, answers started coming to me about my life purpose - I was now in my late 30‘s. I decided to start a new career as an Addiction Recovery Coach, to have the opportunity to help those who suffered from addiction for years, and made it, and are looking at starting a new life, free from drugs, alcohol, or any kind of addiction that kept them chained to misery for years.
Now, with the tools & path I have discovered, I believe I can help others that were in my same situation, to have hope, find their passion, love their selves, & stay in the journey towards a recovered, inspired life.
I Can Be of Any Help
I am here to serve those who want to re-claim their life, I know change is possible & I know I can inspire & help those who want to conquer this battle against addiction, once & for all.
I am here to offer hope, support, guidance, compassion, and care to all recovering addicts and guide them through this wonderful journey of life.