I’m Angie, I’m 43 years old. I had a “normal” childhood, great parents, and I was a dancer and a cheerleader. I was a good student, I wasn’t a big drinker or drug user. While my friends would take acid & shrooms (that was the worst around then), I’d chill with them sober. I never wanted to try drugs because I was terrified of “losing control.” At about 20, I tried and fell in love with coke. I went off to party through graduate school; writing papers on zero sleep after being up for a couple of days was the norm. I got a Masters in Social Work & became a LCSW; I was working as a therapist. About five months after getting my grad degree, I did heroin for the first time & immediately knew I was hooked. Within a year, I was jobless, lost my license to practice therapy & had gone through all my savings. I began hustling & breaking the law, stealing to get cash to support my habit. I started getting arrested multiple times a week, and I racked up a more than 10-page criminal record. I became a convicted felon, went to jail numerous times, been on the ankle bracelet, probation/parole & a countless number of detoxes & programs. I was homeless for a couple of years, living in my car, and washing my hair in a public bathroom. But through all of it, I did not care. I didn’t want to stop using, so I lived accordingly.
I’ve been hospitalized numerous times, and I’ve had several long-term (more than a month) hospital stays due to infections. I almost lost my left arm, right foot & left leg directly due to the injection. My entire body is a battlefield covered in scars & permanent bruising. For about 17 years, from the age of 23 to 40, I continued that junkie lifestyle. Always hustling for the next high. The longest clean time I put together during those 17 years was 11 days (except for jail time).In 2018, a friend got some unexpected cash, & we thought we’d try detoxing for the last time “on vacation” in Mexico. After ten days of living without dope I was terrified of returning to Boston, so I stayed in Mexico, & was working as a drug dealer. Every time I’d have to go back to the States, the 1st thing I’d do when getting off the plane was use heroin.
November 9, 2019, was the last time I used dope. My dad died just two months prior, in September 2019, then my mom died a month later in December 2019. Both parents died within three months. That’s when I hit the deepest, seemingly bottomless pit that catapulted me to finally change. I was severely depressed for a long time, suicidal, and lost half of my hair from the grief. About a year after my parents died, I FINALLY realized that I was choosing to be miserable. I wasn’t physically addicted anymore, and I could choose to feel something else. I could choose to react to life in a better way.Since then, I’ve done so much work on myself. My negative mindset & junkie lifestyle is no longer my “normal.” I take care of myself. I sleep, I eat & I shower… 3 things I’d never done in the past. I started sharing my story online to spread hope to others. To be where I am now when I was so low & googling ways to end my life, I never thought it was possible. I got a puppy! My perfect puppy child & I live in a small apartment in Mexico. I’m so grateful. I hope my parents are proud & I hope they see me smiling. I started a podcast in January 2023 called “The Hope Chase Podcast.” It’s just me, each week picking different topics about addiction, recovery & healing. Sharing my personal experiences from my 20 year battle with heroin addiction. New episodes drop every Tuesday :)) So If you need a little dose of hope or just want to know you’re never alone, tune in & join The Hope Chase with me :)Thanks so much I’m forever grateful for all of it.Angie 🙂 oxox.