my story by cASSONDRA
Hello everyone! My name is Cassondra and I am an addict from Fresno, California. My clean date is March 24, 2016. My experience with addiction started long before I ever used my first drug. My mom, dad, step mom, step dad and grandparents are all addicts. My biological mom left when I was five years old to pursue her drug addictions as well as her addiction to the lifestyle of crime. Her and I did not have any kind of relationship until I was almost 20 and I am proud to say she is now clean along with my step dad. My father and step mom are also now clean and my step mom is beginning her journey in Narcotics Anonymous for the first time ever! And my grandfather is going on 26 years clean. So now about me... I first got loaded when I was 13 years old. I laughed at consequences and poor choices and my drug choices quickly escalated. Before high school was over I was regularly using meth, cocaine, alcohol and pills. I never considered myself an addict because I graduated from high school, never got arrested (with the one exception of being caught fighting), could go to school and work and nobody knew I was high, not even my family. By 19 I was in my first abusive relationship where instead of leaving I spent two years drowning myself with alcohol and pills. Once I decided I wanted something more for myself I packed up and left, still denying I had any part in my misery. I moved back up to my dad’s house in Salinas, California to start over, this being my 5th or so time moving back and forth between Salinas and Fresno to start over but doing the same shit with the same people. I eventually got involved with criminals, gang members and IV users. I was full of rage, hatred, misery, anguish and while preaching about loyalty, honesty and pride I in fact was INCAPABLE of and contained NONE myself. I was raped by someone I trusted, loved and looked up to or at least I think I was? I honestly couldn’t tell you. I remember saying no.....blurrrrrrr.......having sex......blurrrrrr......two days later coming to on a couch surrounded by people I barely knew. When the people I trusted, loved and looked up to said "you took as much for your first time as I do every time and I’ve been shooting up meth for almost 20 years." I told myself I must have said yes because he would never and I stayed with him for 2 more weeks. I later went to jail two different times for two unrelated crimes, one of which I was clean for. I told myself that I could hang out with everyone still and not use, then I could get them to get clean...because I Cassondra can save the world, right? WRONG. I never got anyone clean, I only got myself loaded. I still told myself I wasn’t a junkie, I'm not an addict. I convinced myself that if I wasn’t using IV heroin then I was good. Even though, I had lost my job, car, freedom, self-respect, happiness, everything life had to offer and the worst part was I didn’t have any interest whatsoever of getting it back. I got clean for a little while to please my family (none of which wanted me anywhere near them) went to meetings and started to get honest with myself and I got scared and quit. I realized that the people I loved, admired and would do anything for didn’t really care about me or my well-being, then I told myself that whatever happened to me I deserved because I was after all a junkie. I justified the actions of everyone around me and the actions of myself. I was then in bad relationship after bad relationship where all we did was drugs, crimes and feed into the worst parts of each other. I was scared of being alone because I hated me by myself. At 22 I completed my first rehab program in Santa Cruz, California and I LOVED life. I was on my pink cloud, living in my SLE, with a job and my clean friends, a sponsor, going to meetings, even chairing meetings at the treatment center. Then, I met someone. He used heroin and I thought I was going to once again, save someone. I relapsed and my new-found pride kept me loaded. I was ashamed of myself and I refused to go back to treatment because I was terrified of detoxing in front of people I had just chaired a meeting to the week prior. Eventually I decided it was time to get off one drug and only do another so I left my boyfriend for a different guy that only did the drug I still wanted to use. I started my second stent in rehab and decided fuck this and left to go back with him. We thought a geographical change was what we needed to get clean. So, his friend and him and myself packed up and went on a journey to find sobriety and a new life, haha. Needless to say, that DID NOT work. That quickly ended with him in jail and me back in Santa Cruz down the street from the rehab, homeless, broke, strung out, probably 85 lbs. and extremely depressed and suicidal. So finally, there comes a point where I am now single, using every drug I can get my hands on and I was at least attempting to slam them all. I had hit my bottom and just didn’t know it yet. I went back to my dad’s house and he told me I could move back in after I graduated from rehab so to please him I went to Janus. He dropped me off and I filled out paperwork to start treatment once again.... I was so fucked off by drugs that it took me TWO DAYS to fill out the paperwork. With no idea, what to do after day one I called a "friend" of mine to see if I could crash there while waiting to see if I was going to actually get in and show up for rehab. He said yes and came and picked me up, the next morning he had to go to work so I went downtown and ran into another friend of mine who was still living in my former SLE and told him how I was honestly feeling ...for the first time ever I admitted to myself and another person out loud that I wanted to kill myself. I told him I had been trying to kill myself with different combinations of drugs and that now I was going to shoot up one more time and I was going to make sure I didn’t wake up. He somehow talked me into going to Janus. So, the next morning I show up, for my dad, for my friend, for myself though? I wasn’t sure yet...I get into treatment and I am one week into my 4 week stay when I am allowed to go to outside meetings so I call the same guy friend that let me crash at his house before going to rehab to come pick me up to go to a Heroin Anonymous meeting, not realizing I was in for a huge surprise. On our way to the meeting he turned to me and said, "So I just wanted to say I’m sorry for having sex with you while you were passed out on my bed, I got a hard on and went and jacked off but then I came back in the room and it happened again so yeah." At that exact moment, I decided I was done with drugs, I was done not knowing what happened to me, I was done and I deserved more, to be more, to do more, to have more. I completed rehab and graduated and moved back to my dad’s house in Salinas. Somewhere between 30 and 60 days I met someone who had about a week clean and we started hooking up and I got pregnant. He relapsed and went into Sun Street in Salinas, California and I stayed clean. This was June of 2016. (If you did the math I got pregnant the 2nd time we hooked up) He was kicked out of rehab at the end of June and instead of seeing that as a warning sign I moved in with him at his dad’s house in King City. Now, I had not yet realized that the things I wanted in a partner while loaded were NOTHING I wanted in a partner clean, so the cycle continued itself. I was once again raped. I was pregnant and told him we couldn’t have sex because it made me bleed and that I would have a miscarriage to which he replied "who gives a fuck". I said no a few more times then gave up and didn’t fight him, I just laid there and cried. He told me that he was on felony probation for kidnapping some guy over 20 bucks and that he had a gun under his dad’s bed to hide it from probation so needless to say I was not going to tell him I was leaving him. The next day my brother and sister came back to town so I told him I wanted to go hang out with them for a while and asked him to drop me off at my dad’s. When he did I sent him, a text telling him to never come back to my dad’s and to have someone drop my stuff off. I never went back, instead I continued to work MY program. I tried to forgive him once he got clean for my son’s sake and when we talked about why I left he told me that it was not rape because I was his girlfriend and he didn’t mean it like that...at that time I decided I was going to protect myself and my son from him. I gave birth to my son on Feb 24, 2017 and continue to raise him without the help of his dad. His dad has never seen, held or talked to him and may never. After our first court date his dad left rehab and is on his way back to jail...as a result I have full legal and physical custody of Clayton and do my best to play the role of both parents while praying that someday his dad gets it. I have a sponsor, I work steps, I go to meetings, read the just for today and go to bed each night asking myself how I can do better tomorrow. I am now happy, I feel emotions again, I enjoy life, I love those who do right by me and pray for the ones who don’t rather than getting angry and I am going to school to be a juvenile drug and alcohol counselor. Thank you, Janus of Santa Cruz, friends, family, higher power, Narcotics Anonymous, Nor Cal recovery and thank you to myself for the days I have turned into months. One day at a time.