Hi, my name is Maddison Hodgdon, and I’m a recovering addict. My drug of choice was fentanyl. It feels surreal even to say that my drug of CHOICE was something I knew could kill me. I spent the early years of my life riddled with anxiety. My first panic attack happened around age 5 when my grandmother passed away. I was homeless due to my mother getting evicted in middle school. I began sleeping with boys and getting boyfriends much older than me, who I’d stay with and get rides to school. I was never disciplined. I wanted help. I knew something was wrong far before drug addiction came into the picture. I started therapy in middle school, and it never really got me where I needed to be, nor did the meds.
I didn’t have the environment to thrive in and was too young to succeed independently with the support of only a therapist. Soon I was smoking daily, and I drank occasionally. When I graduated, I had no sense of self. No idea who I was, what I was doing, or where I was going. Xanax was a part of my daily life at this point. I started dating someone my age, and he was handsome, funny, everything I wanted, and more. The chemistry was something I’ve still never felt with anyone else, but he was a drug addict, and I was on the verge of a fast downhill spiral. And so we did, and boy, did we spiral fast. Within two months, his father died in the house of an overdose. It was after that that I tried a line of fentanyl. I couldn’t comprehend why my boyfriend continued to use something that killed his dad. I thought it must be so peaceful and special. Maybe if it could make him, of all people, feel “better,” it could make me feel “better.
Within a month of using, I went to my first rehab. That didn’t work. Something inside me needed to be whole again and healed from deep within myself. For a couple of years, all I did was obtain drugs and sit in my room and shoot up. Dirty needles, dirty water, I didn’t care. I have a journal I keep and always have. I look back, and I feel like I’m reading a book from someone else. It doesn’t feel like me. It feels unreal that I was sitting in the same room I now raise my daughter in, shooting up. Becoming a mother changed me; I could no longer be selfish. I needed to be healthy so she could be healthy. My life has never been better. It’s not easy, but it’s better than what it was, and I remind myself of that anytime I start to feel ungrateful.
I also beat my rapist in a trial in 2019. I was raped while trying to buy drugs by a stranger, and I faced him in court for years until two months ago when he was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in maximum security prison and will be a sex offender for the rest of his life. I made a difference with my voice. This case wasn’t like the movies with all the DNA. My words proved I wasn’t a liar, and it was heartbreaking, triggering, and horrific. In the end, I cried tears of joy and felt for once like I was heard. I read my victim impact statement before his sentencing, and I genuinely believe that my words made every bit of difference in that room. Some jury members came to see the verdict, crying while I spoke. Happy that I’m healthy and changed my life. People who fought for me. When I was beaten down and called worthless more times than I can count, you can beat whatever you’re facing.