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I woke up. Breathing tube in my nose, nurses and my mom and dad standing around me, my skin on fire. “Where am I?” I screamed. “Calm down, you overdosed,” said the nurses. “We gave you Narcan and we need you to calm down. Your pulse is too high.” I looked over at the monitor. My pulse was 152. The nurse gave me a shot of Ativan in my IV. I started to calm down even though it still felt like my skin was melting off my bones. “Breathe in and out,” the nurse said.

If I hadn’t been taken to the hospital I would’ve died. My breathing had slowed down so much I need a breathing tube. I soon became very sleepy and passed out.

I can’t remember much except walking into my dad’s backyard to my neighbors screaming, “Get the fuck out of here, Grace!” “We’re calling the cops!” “Get the fuck out of here!” I vaguely remember the cops showing up, then blackout. I have borderline personality disorder and I dissociated for a day and a half. No memory of my dad and his friend chasing me around. Poor man. I guess all of it was so traumatic my brain said Shut down! Abort! Abort!

Of course, I stayed off the heroin for a little while and was doing other drugs, more hallucinogens. Before I went to detox this year, I snorted one last line of pure heroin my friend gave me and checked in. I didn’t want to go, of course. I lied about my eating disorder, my drug use, my self-harm, all of it. I had been 164 pounds in March and now in October was 115 pounds. I obviously had eating problems and a bad drug habit. So, I checked in voluntarily, thinking I was going to the eating disorder unit and found myself in detox. They did continue to give me my meds that I had come in with, but changed the dosages.

I had a bad picked acne open wound and they thought it was MRSA. I told them every time I went to the hospital for an abscess, that they gave me the same antibiotics they give people with MRSA. After two days in confinement they found out I didn’t have it, which I knew. But those two days gave me a lot of time to think alone. I had a spiritual awakening at that hospital.

Eventually detox cut me off. The hospital didn’t think I was ready to leave and insurance wouldn’t cover the eating disorder unit so they moved me to the psych unit. For the first time as an inpatient, I spoke to no one, flirted with no one and got no one’s number. I had an epiphany while on acid about getting clean….that to be positive, I had to surround myself with positive people. (By the way you don’t need acid to figure that out.) So, I decided to keep to myself this go around and focus on my sobriety.

I don’t hang out with many people. I’m cautious now. I only want positive people in my circle, people aiming for the same goal. Since October 12th I’ve quit all of my behaviors, even smoking. I do believe it is a miracle. For someone who’s been to sixteen thirty-day inpatients. It’s my time. There was a mix of things that got me sober and I choose to keep those for now to myself. But it is possible even for a sex, eating, self-harm, heroin addict like me.

Every day is a blessing. Last night I went with my mom to see that new movie Lady Bird. I loved it just because it was my mom and I seeing a movie together. Trust takes time. Though I now have keys to my dad’s house. He lends me money. I might be getting a job at my favorite restaurant. Anything is possible in sobriety. I truly believe that. I love my life today even though sometimes it’s really shitty. It’s not half as shitty as it was when I was out there.

My higher power is God and I thank God for saving me. Today I was able to help an addict not use. It was a better feeling than getting high. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Today, I live by my values. Love, compassion, altruism, empathy, sympathy, open-mindedness, friends and family. I was adopted and I wouldn’t trade my family for all the money or anything in the world. They are everything to me. I avoid negativity and allow in positivity. People think I’m a bitch, or negative, or whatever, but I’m cautious because my sobriety is everything. I won’t let anyone or anything take that away from me today. With the protection of my higher power, my family and NA, I have a beautiful life. One I never would’ve imagined I’d have. And all I have to do for that life is stay clean, just for today.



  1. Kimi Abernathy Reply

    I am thankful for you and your story. It will help others. I know. Keep reminding yourself. It will continue to help you, as well. Peace.

  2. Barbara Ruck Pavicic Reply

    You are a precious gift to your family and the world. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your story of grit, love and hope.

  3. LaDonna Bridges Reply

    You are so brave — to fight for your life and to share your story. I have never met you, Grace, but I am so deeply impressed. I love Peggy and Doug and am happy you have such amazing people in your life. Keep fighting!

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