Addiction – Maria’s Story

For many people, the definition to overcoming an addiction may be the avoidance of behaviour you were once addicted to. However I have learned that overcoming an addiction successfully is in fact understanding the reason I needed to self-medicate.

I was 17 finding my feet in the aftermath of my parents separation, I found myself in a relationship with someone ten years older and within a matter of months we had moved in together. Moving out of home brought just the kind of freedom I needed at the time, away from the pain of estranged parents and the pressure of remaining neutral. It was a new existence for me, independence, constant parties and an introduction to drugs.

It’s a lifestyle I hold myself accountable for, my parents nor my ex-partner were ever to blame, it aligned with a time in my life where I needed to ease the emotional pain of traumas from my past. When my relationship ended with that person, my journey with drugs continued.

After years of battling with my mental health and diagnoses, I knew it was time to address my addiction. I met someone new who made me want to live and I didn’t want to take myself away from them.

I stopped taking drugs but my world became very small, I avoided all instances of potential exposure to hearing the word drugs or being around anyone who may be taking them, I couldn’t listen to music I loved that reminded me of those days. The triggers were debilitating but I refused to succumb to that life again.

I thought I’d tried everything until someone from Trauma Research UK delivered the breakthrough I needed to hear which was…
I took drugs to get me through a painful time in my life. If I encounter anyone I suspect is under the influence of drugs, it’s getting them through some kind of pain, they are not to be envied or resented, they are simply going through something, just like I was.

This new understanding helped me overcome my triggers and I have since achieved things I never thought I could. If recovery is possible for me, it’s possible for everyone.