Elizabeth turned to drugs as a way to fit in during high school.

I never fit in as a child. I was always the outcast and, you know, I never had friends. Around junior year of high school, my friends were like, “Hey, you should come hang out with us.” So I was like, “Alright, that sounds cool.” So, you know, we went to this park and they pulled out some weed…some marijuana. And, um, I was like, “I’m not trying that, you know that’s not who I am.” I grew up really religious. My parents made me go to church every Sunday. You know, I was in Sunday school…youth groups.

And, so, they pulled out the weed. I told them I wasn’t trying it and they were like, “Come on you should try it. You know it makes you feel good.” And I was like, well, what I’m feeling now wasn’t very fun…so maybe I should try it. We rolled up and I ended up smoking it. I was on standing on top of the football field. And I remember I would look up at the sky and it was a clear night. And I was like they told me I was talking to aliens and extraterrestrial animals and stuff like that. I was like, well that’s weird. And I thought it was kinda cool at the same time…like I never really communicated with them before you know.

So I tried weed that night and we road around. We listened to music and it was honestly one of the best nights I had in a long time. And I had finally felt like I had finally fit in and had friends.

Elizabeth moves in with an enabler and her drug usage quickly escalates.

About three months later, I moved in with my now ex-boyfriend. And I lived with him for about seven months and he sold drugs. I was introduced to OxyContin, morphine, hydrocodone, umm, a lot of pills, Xanax, Adderall. I was very curious. I’ve always been a curious person so I wanted to try like all of that stuff. I was like, “Yeah, I get to try all of this, you know. I’m the lab rat and I’ll be your test dummy.”

So, I ended up going through withdraws from one of my antidepressants…And that was the first night he gave me an oxycodone. And it was a really warm, fuzzy feeling, you know. It made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside, and like happy, and I had the best sleep I had ever had.

About a few weeks after that, I started doing cocaine and I started trying all these other drugs and stuff. I knew it was a problem when my friend brought what was heroin around to the house. He was like, “Who wants to try some heroin?” And I was like, “I’ll try some.” I ended up trying it. I snorted it and it made me a little drowsy but it wasn’t like the full effect. And when I tried it, I was like, “Man, I think I might have a problem.” And a few weeks before that, my ex-boyfriend had said he had turned down a sale to me and said that, “You’re an addict.” And, you know, my Mom had always told me, “You’re an addict. You need to get help.” And I was like, “No, I’m not. No, I’m not. I’m just a regular person. I’m not an addict.” I was ashamed to be called an addict and it was really embarrassing to me. After I had did that, she wouldn’t let me come home to live so I knew I had to get help somehow.

I knew it was a problem when my friend brought what was heroin around to the house.

Elizabeth’s mother finally gets her daughter to visit a rehab facility.

One day, my Mom was like, “Hey, I’ll take you to Chipotle.” I was like, “Alright, I’ll go get Chipotle, get lunch, hang out, go shopping.” And so…she ended up…we got Chipotle. She didn’t lie to me straight up. We got Chipotle and she was like, “We’re going to go somewhere.” And I’m like, “Where are we going?” She said we were going to go to this recovery organization. And I was like, “No, we’re not.” I tried to jump out the moving car. Like…I’m dying before I go here. I’m not going here. We pulled up and she was like, “Alright, let’s go in.” I was like, “Oh, my god. Like, do I really have to do this?” She was like, “Unless you wanna live in a homeless shelter, yes, come in with me.”

We went into the office. I was throwing a total fit. I was just being a spoiled brat. Like…“I don’t wanna go here. I hate all of you. You guys are not cool.” It was just scary, honestly. I did not think I needed the help. I did not think I was an addict at all.

Elizabeth finally comes to terms with her addiction.

I thought I was never an addict. I’m adopted…so my birth mother was an alcoholic. And I was like, “Oh I hate her. She’s riffraff.” She drank and all this stuff when she was pregnant with me and stuff…And it really messed me up emotionally and I always hated her for it. For me to realize that to myself that I was an addict I… like…I was admitting that I was just like her. It was really tough at first. But, like, once I started going to meetings, meeting with other people, the house and everything, I would introduce myself as, “Hi, I’m Elizabeth and I’m an addict.” You know, the more that I said that, the more it kinda clicked…the more it was open to me that, hey, maybe I was really an addict and I couldn’t control my using. I would use more than I would have to. I would get so high to the point I was throwing up and eating too much and all this stuff.

…the more that I said that, the more it kinda clicked…the more it was open to me that, hey, maybe I was really an addict…

Nearly three months into recovery, Elizabeth is thankful.

The best part about a recovery is…I would say is getting my family back. Making actual friends…people who actually care about you genuinely…and don’t want to use you for your weed, your money, for sex…for all that type of stuff.

Recovery means a lot to me. I can talk to my Mom and look at dead in the eyes…and not have to lie to her. I can look at my Dad and he calls me Princess again. He had stopped doing that and we had just started getting into a lot of arguments. I could come home high and he was like, “You’re high.” And I would tell him, “No, I’m not.” And my Mom would get up in my face, and she would be like, “Are you high?” And, you know, I would be like, “No, I’m not.” The whole time they knew. They’re not stupid. They grew up before I did…so they knew what the stuff was.

I really appreciate my parents’ support. They’ve shown me a lot of support and they are always there for me when I need them. I love getting my relationship back with them and with my brother.

I am 71 days clean today and I would absolutely not go back to the way I was living if someone paid me a million dollars.

Elizabeth found confidence and a new outlook through recovery.

She chose to swim.

Share your Story

I am 71 days clean today and I would absolutely not go back to the way I was living if someone paid me a million dollars.