I met a youthful, shining soul that keeps in real. During my time around her, I constantly saw her giggling and helping others. She radiates a positive aura. I approached her about sharing her experience with addiction and she immediately dove right in. This is Megan’s Story of Recovery.
Megan’s addiction began around eleven years old. She says she doesn’t really recall a lot of her childhood. Her biological mother was not around, and her father (an alcoholic) condoned drinking and marijuana use with her. Megan says that at the time, “I just thought he was a cool dad.” She spent most of her time around her stepmother. “I was a troubled child and always felt that my stepmother hated me. In my mind I was pretty much Cinderella.” Aside from relationship struggles with her family, Megan endured significant trauma from ages three to twelve.
“I started being molested when I was three years old. My great uncle took me and my brother and sister to the park. Then, he told me I owed him for it. He locked me in a room with the song ‘where oh where could my baby be’ playing and made me kiss his private.” After this experience, Megan says that the abuse continued by another one-trusted great uncle. “He didn’t stop until I was twelve. That’s about the time my biological mother started coming back around. I told her what was happening to me,” she says.
Tell her mother about her distress though, did not stop it from happening. Megan says she told her father. It was then, her grandfather came over, sat down at the dinner table with a shot gun and said, “Tell me he touched you and I’ll go kill him.” This vivid recollection has never left her. “It scared me to death, so I told him that he didn’t,” she says.
The Addict’s Mind
Megan currently has five children. She thinks back for a moment and tells me, “I stopped using with every pregnancy except with Josie. I was nineteen at that time. I was smoking pot, drinking alcohol, and popping Xanax. That’s how I lost my rights to my three oldest girls. I was sober with my youngest two, but still had an open DCS case. I completed that case successfully. However, as soon as it was closed I went right back to smoking marijuana.” Megan’s story of recovery was far away at this point.
“My justification for my using was my feeling that no one loved me or cared for me. My thought was ‘I just don’t want to hurt anymore’,” Megan explains. Unfortunately, her suffering continued with the discovery of a body of a young girl, lifeless, in her backyard. “I found little Dominique, just a girl I knew in the neighborhood, dead. I thought to myself ‘if I wasn’t high, I might’ve been able to save her’”.
Shortly after, Megan lost her sister and her nephew in a tragic house fire; and her stepmother overdosed. “I couldn’t handle all that, nonetheless, it got worse,” she states. She met a man named Nick and they fell hard and fast for one another. Being together a year and a half, much like every couple, they had some difficult times. “Nick and I were abusive to each other. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. On October 21, 2020 at 5:30 in the morning, we were fighting. Nick put a gun to his head. I put one hand on the gun and the other on the back of his head, trying to apologize. The last thing he said was ‘You don’t think I’ll fucking do it, bitch?” and five inches from my face, he pulled the trigger.”
After her love’s death, the pain became excruciating. Megan blamed herself. Heartbroken, fragile, and desperate for a glimmer of hope, she turned to heroin. Megan confesses, “When I was using meth and heroin, I was mean and selfish. I became someone I didn’t know. I wasn’t the kind of person that I would want to be around.”
Slowly, she started to realize she was receiving the cold-shoulder from her mother and children. This is when Megan’s story of recovery began. Her mother-in-law came to her and said, “Your girls and I need you. We need you to be around, get clean, and stay alive”. This was the moment she stopped using and called a treatment center. Megan has been sober now over two months. She has an excellent support system including her five children, her mother-in-law, father-in-law, biological mother, father, aunts, and uncles. “I am blessed with a great family,” she beams.
Megan admits she is still actively working through the losses in her life. “I miss my sister, nephew, and Nick so much sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe. Occasionally, I wish that Nick had shot me first, but then, I think how selfish that would be because my children need me.”
In Megan’s story of recovery, she tells me, “My favorite thing has been getting my feelings back! To feel anything is so much better than feeling numb.” She told me about how amazing it is to know that she is making her family proud and that she cannot wait to see the smiles on their faces.
A Message of Hope
“I’m so happy to have a second chance at life. and to be alive and still have my family’s support. I have learned so much,” she says. “I have been way too hard on myself and some things are simply out of my control. It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it. I have the power to stop the cycle!”
Megan goes on to say that she has never felt this connected to God, her Higher Power. She has also never felt this humbled or ever believed in something bigger than herself. To addicts still suffering or in recovery, she says, “Your Higher Power loves you! Whether it be God, nature, the universe, whatever it is! And you are worth it. Take it one day at a time.”
-I’d like to thank Megan for allowing me the privilege of interviewing her and her bravery of sharing her story. You can find other personal stories here! If you’re struggling, please click here for help.