An Addict at 49
Hey Shores family… for those of you who do not know me, my name is Loureen and I’m an addict. These very words came out of my mouth almost a year ago for the first time. They were so hard to say and hard to comprehend. My journey started August 28th, 2016 at age 49. After years of abusing prescription drugs, I surrendered to my disease of addiction. My story is not unique but it’s my story. A story of depression, severe anxiety, low self-esteem, and trying to fit in. It began as a teenager, but was fueled later in life after numerous doctor visits for anxiety. I very quickly became addicted to Benzos. Four years later I was in a car accident and was given Vicodin. It became my “thing” and after many other health issues I was given stronger opiates. I had a morphine pain pump implant, and at this point I needed every pill to feel “normal” or what I thought was normal.
Addiction Made Me Lose Everything
My addiction became the center of my life after a failed back surgery, a failed marriage, a mother with dementia, and my youngest son in active addiction. I was numbing all the pain from my past. All the hurt I was experiencing the last 5 months before my surrender were the worst. I had lost the job I loved, and began to isolate myself from life. I started going through periods of withdrawal and remembering I just wanted to die. That’s exactly what I set out to do two weeks before going to treatment. I took a handful of pills and swallowed them with alcohol wanting to end the miserable existence that was my life. To this day I believe God had another plan for me.
The Phone Call That Saved My Life
August 26th, 2016, I was severely sick and in full blown withdrawal. I was tired of this person I had become. I sent a desperate text to a high school friend of mine named Scott Demmy asking for help. Two days later I was in Florida detoxing and had arrived at The Shores on Labor Day. The following weeks would be terrifying and transforming. I met some of the most loving and caring people, and I had learned so much about myself and my addiction.
Progress Not Perfection
I came back to Pennsylvania on Oct 31st and struggled to get acclimated back into my life. I was attending two N.A. meetings a day, and eventually started to feel better. My greatest struggle thus far was my feelings. After being numb for so long, I kept reminding myself daily “progress not perfection”. I have an amazing sponsor, home group, and support network that includes my amazing sons. My oldest sister Karen has been my angel from the start of my recovery.
I thank God for this amazing gift of recovery and my new story is just beginning, I whole heartedly want to give back what was freely given to me.