Name: Gabrielle Daricek
From: Wentzville, Missouri
My Journey of Addiction. Me VS. Me
My Journey of Addiction. Me VS. Me
Gabrielle M. Daricek
Addiction Awareness Scholarship 2020
In loving memory of Sean Michael Quinn.
To my mom, my biggest supporter and my one and only true friend.
If you or anyone knows someone who is struggling, please do not stand by no matter how hard it is, find them help. A second chance at life is never too late.
My Journey of Addiction. Me VS. Me
Addiction does not discriminate, it does not profile. Addiction does not look at age, or gender, whether someone is rich or poor. Addiction is simply something that will target who it wants, and how. While addiction takes a hold of one’s body, it will not stop or give up. Humans want to feel good; we all strive to be happy and feel happy. We all want to relieve stress, anxiety or be better and try to improve performance. Unfortunately, as we are all human, we are curious. While many people who fall into addiction because of their up bringing of loved ones struggling, or the area they live in that has high rates, there is another common cause and that is the social environment. Access to clubs, bars, and even young high school kids who throw house parties are all finding pleasure and happiness by doing these social acts. The moment these people have a beer, smoke a joint, or take a pill will lead them down a road that cause life changing consequences.
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. My dad was and is still an alcoholic. He would hide bottles of liquor or beer in the air vents of our home, he would take one of my three brothers and sit them at the bar with him from sunup to sundown. My mom was a nurse and did what she could to make sure we had a roof over our heads. My dad is that stereotypical truck driver that was “always” on the road. My parents split when I was 6, my mother saw his drinking and lying becoming a problem far too big for her to keep me and my brothers around. My dad revealed he had another family before he and my mom ever split, and my dad was absent from my life shortly after that.
Time goes on and my mom marries the man who became my stepdad. He was clinically diagnosed bipolar, and my mom was never aware. After the wedding, my stepdad became very controlling, mentally, verbally, and emotionally abusive. Sometimes physical, but only to me and two of my brothers. My brothers both left the house when they were maybe just 17 due to my stepdad. I was the only girl, so I had it a little different. I quickly learned all things come with a price tag, and there is no expiration date to punishment handed to me. I was in middle school and learned that when I would cut myself, it would cause a pain I inflicted on myself, not him. I got addicted to the idea of controlling my own pain, that was ultimately the only thing I felt I had control over. I ended up in a hospital and got help once was caught. The treatment helped me, and I never cut again.
Fast forwarding to high school. I ran track, I was in marching band, color guard and winter guard, and I also played the Oboe. I was well known and well liked by all groups of people. While my mom and located to a new town where no one knew us we could restart. I became very popular and I was pretty, and I knew it. I started to let my popularity take over my real self, I started dating older guys and drinking with friends every weekend. I lived for the high I would get when I walked into a party and everyone stopped and would cheer that I arrived. I was living a fast life modern day, middle class fame.
I was only 15 when I got black out drunk, my friends dumped me in my friend yard. I ended up in the hospital getting my stomach pumped and my mom found Adderall in my wallet. I drove when I 16 and blacked out drunk and totaled my mom’s car. The only vehicle we had. I yet then had to go to an outpatient program and worked the program. I back down my senior year of high school and focused on school so I could graduate. I then let myself think I needed only one type of help. Adderall. I would take this daily and that introduced me to more pills. I took a pain pill and that day my life changed more drastically than it ever had before.
When pills were not enough, someone introduced me to what the streets around St. Louis call, “The Devil.” Heroin grabbed me faster than I knew. I used heroin for 3 ½ years. I lied, I stole, I found myself in places I did not belong or fit in. I was so deep into the addiction I would wake up and tell myself “This Is my normal. I cannot picture myself living any other way.” This drug was my life. I never wanted to be without what made me feel so euphoric. The three-year journey I shared with someone. Someone I was supposed to love, but I could never love him as much as I loved using heroin. We both fed off each other’s high and craved more and more. His mother was an addict, and we ended up moving in with her. She used with us daily, and we used more than just heroin. I was so lost in this world and had no care, all I wanted was to use. Time goes on and things were as bad as it could be, I have no family, my mom had to turn away from me, her only daughter. I had no home, I was stealing and selling personal things to get money. I was getting sick daily and I became someone terrible. A fight broke out with the mother and I that was so physical, and scary; but I have never been more thankful in my life. That fight changed my direction.
My mom came to pick me up, the next day I was admitted into the hospital for detox. I spent 5 days alone, getting clean and help. The only person who knew where I was, was my mom. She visited me twice daily and just showed me nothing but love. After all I did to her from racking up her credit cards to breaking into her homes, using her SSN to get cash loans when I was high. Not once did she ever do anything but hold me up through my recovery. I am forever thankful and grateful for this woman I get to call my mom. She helped save my life.
My road of recovery was not easy the first two years. I battled depression, insomnia, and constant eyes on me. Now of course many things were thrown at me on my recovery journey and this is a battle I will battle the rest of my life. November 16, 2015, I started an up-hill battle and still to this day of November 2020, I am clean. It has not always been easier, but my life changed for all the better and I am in a place I never thought Id be in. I work for UnitedHealthCare while achieving an Electronic Medical Records Specialist Certification, and currently typing this essay for my present degree I am working for, Bachelor of Science in Health Administration.
This road behind me is not gone, I keep an eye on it in the rearview mirror to see how far I have come, to be able to share my story, to help relate to the rest of the world struggling. I am recovering Heroin addict and I want to be a late to even just one person in my life time that they can overcome their addiction, they can beat that person they are battling with daily, their addictive self. This crisis is looked poorly upon victims like me and anyone else who is a drug addicted because of the term, “Drug Addict.” Society makes everyone view things a certain way; Drug addicts are bad people no one should care about someone who pops pills or injects. Society makes you think that having money is happiness. We cannot change the world, but we can help to slowly show everyone there is a more than just a light at the end of tunnel and there is better road planned ahead of them, they just need help finding that direction.