Why I was Addicted
“I was in active addiction since I was 13. I started doing heroin and continued using until I was 33.”
Gina is an outgoing person, hence, her soul that shines through her eyes. Without hearing her story, you would never understand the trials and tribulations she endured to make it to where she is today.
“In 2005, I was out getting high and fell 20 feet and broke my back and my wrist, but I stayed out. I was only 70 pounds at that point. My family had to prepare my funeral. I told my mom I was going to die from this disease, that it was my destiny.
“In addiction, you live in the past of what it was like when you were a kid, standing on the corner drinking 40s or hanging out in the bar. It’s the only disease that convinces you that you don’t have a disease. It’s cunning, baffling, and powerful.”
Like too many people, substance use disorder had taken over Gina’s life – that is, until one day when she found the inner strength to ask for help.
“I was hanging out in Kensington in the freezing cold, and I suddenly had a moment of sanity. It was like my head and my heart were both suddenly on the same exact page, and I thought, “What are you doing? This isn’t good.
“I had been to 11 rehabs before that day. But that time, I walked into the crisis center, and it was the first time I finally said, ‘I don’t have a home and I haven’t had one in four years. I’m dying and I need you to help me.’ And they did.
“I had a social worker who really fought for me. People would treat me badly. In their terms, I was just a junkie. But my social worker told me, ‘We’re going to fight really hard for you. I need you to fight hard for you.’ She sent me through detox. I started going to meetings and hanging out with girls who lived in the recovery house.”
To Gina having a a strong support system was crucial, most noteworthy was her family.
“Thank God for my family. One of the things that breaks my heart is that I was not always there for my family as much as I feel I should have been. I was really being driven by addiction. They supported me through my entire journey.
“Now, I’m going to college to get my associate’s degree in social work. I don’t really know what else I would do if I didn’t work in the recovery field, my sponsee calls me every day at 4:34pm, and I have a group of women in recovery who I know are always going to love me, who will always be there for me.
“I would say to anyone who thinks they have a problem: There is hope. Don’t give up on it. You are loved. You are somebody.”