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To the Ones Who Aren’t There Yet

To the ones who aren’t there yet
Get out now before you can’t
To the ones who use casually
But aren’t addicted yet
Maybe you’re dealing with trauma
Or you’re chronically bored
Maybe your friends all are users
And you just want to fit in and have fun
Whatever your reason, you’re not addicted yet
So get out while you can

When your heart isn’t into getting high
And you can still hold down a job
You still have your dreams
You just want to escape reality
Get out while you can

You are in the neglected side
Of the drug epidemic
There is no help- because you don’t have a problem
You’re not living the addiction hell day after day
But you’re not living clean
You can still quit, even if you lose your friends
The loss of fake friends is worth
Your dreams, finances, health and life

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This is for everyone not included in our epidemic- the ones who aren’t addicted… yet.

The ones who still do drugs for fun, to relieve stress or to cope with trauma- get out while you can, before you hit rock bottom and lose everything. Before you lose everyone you care about. Most importantly, before you lose yourself

I did. So did many of my other friends. We noticed when the high started having to be chased. We noticed when we were starting to crave the high, when it was not as fun as it used to be.

Get out before you have no choice. Look at the headlines- all the people who OD, who get diseases and who go to bed and never wake up. All the drug users who lose their kids, kill their kids or go to prison. Get out before you ruin your life.

Life is better sober, it’s better clean and living is better when you can fully experience it. Money is better spent on experiences, not drugs.

You are the ones left out of the drug battles- you don’t need rehab, you can quit anytime. You haven’t robbed, don’t steal and still work. You buy your own drugs. Leave the life before you are so caught up it takes everything you have.

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I’ve been dealing with the aftermath of severe trauma for almost 10 years now.

Now, I don’t panic when I hear a man screaming at someone but I do cower when someone is screaming at me.

Now, I don’t have the flashbacks when something reminds me of the abuse, but I do still have vivid memories that hit at random times.

Now, I don’t automatically believe everyone hates me but I do have periods, however brief, where I do feel like everyone puts up with me and doesn’t actually like me.

Now, I am not always watching my back but I still panic if I think I see him.

I no longer believe I have damned near every mental illness in the book, but I still question myself at times- despite those who know me best saying I’m fine.

I no longer panic and lash out when something triggers a memory, but I will freeze and still can’t defend myself physically.

Every day is getting a little better. I’m slowly reverting to who I was before we met. I have almost completely gotten myself back but I know I’ll never be the same as I was. I could never be that young, naive, outgoing girl I used to be. The one who would sit down with strangers at school and make friends like I did in college. The one who would talk to everyone. The one who was told she made people feel comfortable in new situations.

I am getting better at talking to people, but my brain freezes and I either talk too much or clam up.

10 years ago, a decade, I was 20. I had just left college and got in my first adult relationship. It lasted almost 2 years. I started healing almost as soon as the final break up. Almost one year to the date of our break up, I met the man I ended up marrying. We have been together almost 8 years now with two beautiful kids. I look back and not only do I hate who I was, I hate who I became right after. I have slowly been changing myself and like I said, every day gets a little better. When we broke up, I lost a lot of my stuff. I was homeless and didn’t have a car. I pretty much lost all my friends with a very few exceptions and very few people even believed me when I did try to say something.

I started down a bad road- with drugs, alcohol and jumping in and out of living situations. That only lasted a few months until I woke up one day and realized I was wasting my time, life, and money so I moved back in with my parents to detox. I still had a drinking problem but I got and held a job, got a gym membership and got into boxing then ran into an old friend. I was with her when I met my husband. We hit it off fast and within a few months we were married. He has never been into drugs nor alcohol so he has helped me get and stay sober. Now, I may drink one glass of something one or two times a year but outside of that, I don’t drink. There was one time I said that I would smoke til the day I die- now it’s been 8 years since my last hit.

If anyone reading this has just gotten out of an abusive relationship, just keep in mind. It’s hard, yes but it does get better. Every day you’ll be a little stronger and every year will get better. You have to take it day by day, month by month and year by year but at some point, you will be healed enough to move on with your life and you will be stronger than you thought you could be.