March 30, 2015. I did not know then, but my life was forever changed after that day. I have been free from IV opiate addiction for 2 years and 3 months now. I was in active addiction for almost half of my life. I began turning to substances at 14 years old, and drugs quickly became a daily part of my life for the next 14 years. In 2014 I found myself in some serious trouble and was entered into the drug court program. I was exhausted. But not yet sure if living a life without substance was what I wanted. I still had no clue who I really was, because almost my whole life had been built on lies. I knew that I was an addict, and I had accepted and believed that this would never change, and that my life would always be filled with struggle, anger, misery, and substance use. Sadly, I don't even think I knew what it was like to feel happy. It had been so long. I tried to navigate through daily life without using, and I could make it a week or two at a time, but eventually I would always give in and use. My actions now where brining me immediate consequences through drug court. They would interrupt each relapse, sending me to jail for a week sanction when I came up dirty on a drug test. Eventually I got tired of the "revolving door" to the jail that I seemed to be stuck in. I decided I would do whatever my case workers said that I needed to do, and stop trying to fight the system. Somewhere along the way something clicked. I began to build positive relationships with my family, and I made a few friends outside of the court system I was so used to. I began learning things about myself, and discovering things that brought me joy. I held a job for a long time, and was able to pay my own bills and it felt so good. I had gained a life, and I decided I was no longer willing to risk all of that for drugs. I saw that I could be happy. And I learned that the ups and downs happen to everyone, happy people are not happy all the time, and you just learn better ways to cope when things seem to fall apart. On June 3rd, 2017 I graduated my drug court program, which was something that I never ever thought I would accomplish. Through my experiences, I have found myself, became who I always was underneath the lies and the hiding, and found inner peace and joy. It is so important to me today to radiate the love that I have found for myself and the people that supported me the entire way, and give to as many people as I can. I am working toward becoming a yoga teacher so that I can pass on the practice that had much to do with my recovery to other people who suffer from addiction. I believed for so long that I was destined to die, that my life was unimportant. I know today that I am loved, I am important, and that life is beautiful and messy. Everyday I am grateful that I am here.
- Hannah, Recovering for Happiness