Clermont County Crisis Hotline: 513.528.SAVE (7283)
KRISTY - THIS IS HER STORY
Kristy has been sober for 3.5 years.
Kristy, 38, lives in Amelia. She went to Amelia High School. She is a recovery coach at the Clermont Recovery Center.
When I was in high school, I would go to the typical high school parties. Drink alcohol, smoke some pot. I didn’t do a whole lot of that, but I did some. I started working before I turned 16. I dropped out of high school my sophomore year and went to work full time. I started hanging around people who were smoking pot, drinking, maybe doing pills here and there but not too much. Then in 1998 I hurt my back. I herniated [discs]. I went through pain management and refused to let them do back surgery on me. Since I was going against medical advice, the pain pills being legally prescribed stopped. So of course I was buying pills on the street.
I went through that for 3 to 4 years. Then the pills got to be too expensive, hard to find. I had a “great” friend who introduced me to heroin. The words that were used were a “super-duper pain reliever.”
That was the start of hell.
So I did heroin for about a year after that, just snorting it. For some reason, I thought I was above the ones who were shooting it. I’m never going to do that. Then, sometime in the next year, I started shooting it with a needle. I went through that for probably another year.
I went to Northland my first time but I was half-assing it. I wasn’t working my program at all. Then it got to the point where I was questioning myself “why am I even coming here?” Then I was back out and in full use again. Then I got hemmed up with Pierce Township police. Mind you, I was born and raised in Pierce Township. Those police never knew I smoked a joint, let alone I was a full-blown heroin addict.
I was 35 years old, and that was the first time I had ever gotten in trouble and it scared the hell out of me. (One of the Pierce Township officers knew Kristy and her family.) He was standing there talking to me as I had a needle in my waistband … I ended up giving them the needle. He said, “If you have a problem, just take responsibility and go get help. Don’t sit around and wait for them to tell you what to do. Just do what you need to do.”
That stayed in my head. I kept thinking about it the whole night so the next day I called Northland, bawling my eyes out, begging them to please take me back. I went back out there, turned in my paperwork. When I got into treatment, I knew I was done. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I have a little boy and now more than half of his life I’ve been screwed up on drugs. When I went through my court stuff, I wasn’t hearing “The State of Ohio vs. Kristy,” I was hearing “the State of Ohio vs. Dylan’s Mom.” I felt so ashamed.
I started going to Solace and got involved in that big time. I started volunteering and doing different things.
What is your message to others?
You have to be willing to change everything. You have to change the way you think. You have to change the people you hang around with. Recovery is possible. We’re all living proof of that.
Stay actively involved in everything that you can. When you do good things, good things happen.
(Kristy continues to be on Medication Assisted Treatment as part of her recovery.)