My name is Stephanie. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol in high school. After my first time drinking I thought, ""this is the feeling I've been searching for my whole life."" It quieted the racing thoughts in my head that told me ""you're not good enough"". I couldn't wait to get that feeling again. This would lead me down a long and excruciating path of more drinking and more drugs. I became a different person. I lost myself in the booze. When I was 21 I was prescribed opiates for an injury. This would open up a darker path for me that lasted for years. Opiates were a new kind of hell that I couldn't get myself out of. I was desperate, alone, and felt like there must be something wrong with me because no matter how badly I wanted to stop, I couldn't. Opiates held my life in its hands and the fear of going through withdrawal kept me in its grip for 7 years. Along this journey I would overdose 3 times. I went to treatment five times. I got a year sober and I celebrated with drinking. I thought to myself, ""at least I'm not doing opiates. I can control drinking."" I was shown very quickly how progressive the disease of addiction truly is, and very soon I was back on pills and the opiates got me again. I would go to jail many times. I would fight for my life even though I didn't even want to be alive anymore. Addiction had me. Until August 22nd, 2015... I had a spiritual awakening after an overdose. I was free. The obsession was lifted and I became willing to do whatever it took to stay free. I went back to residential treatment, went back to IOP, and attended aftercare for years. I have been sober since that day 6+years ago. And my life has become something I only used to dream about. I went back to school and became a Substance Use Disorder Counselor and now I get to help people on their journeys into sobriety. It is the most incredible plot twist to such a painful story. I am so grateful for the recovery community, my therapists and counselors, my family (especially my Mom), and my clients."