I had a pretty rough upbringing. My father was an emotionally abusive alcoholic, I was sexually assaulted 3x before I hit high school, and I just felt like I never fit in anywhere. I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol in high school and was a full blown addict by the time I was 16. In the following 15 years I had a child, dealt with toxic and physically abusive relationships, was homeless multiple times, almost lost my child, and utterly destroyed my life. I tried to get clean multiple times but could never stay clean for long. On my 30th birthday, as I sat in my car getting high, I had the uncontrollable urge to end my life. I was depressed and couldn't see a way out. I made a pretty serious attempt and passed out. When I woke up, I sobbed. I'm not sure whether I was more upset that it didn't work or relieved that it didn't. I decided then and there that I couldn't go on like this anymore. I got myself into rehab the next day for the 12th and last time. I spent 30 days there and another 5 months in sober living. I worked a 12 step program and put everything I had into staying clean. Today, I'm 3 years and 2 months clean from all mind altering substances, I'm in a healthy relationship, I'm building a relationship with my daughter, I have a place to live, a car, a dog, and most importantly, my life. Things are still hard and I'm still learning to live life on life's terms, but I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to continue putting my demons behind me.

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