How I Overcame Addiction

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I have struggled for awhile with what to say or how much to say, but in the end, I decided that in order to do the most good, I must share my story. I hope that my story and the stories of others can help end the stigma of addiction and promote recovery for those who are struggling. I became addicted to prescription pain pills in college at the end of my Master's Degree. My rationale at the time was "if it is prescribed to someone by a doctor, surely it wont matter if I just take one or two." This started the downward spiral that lead to a variety of other drugs and other ways to do them. It was a gradual process that slowly took me to a place I never wanted to go and left me with no way back to safety. I was with a person who was also a drug user, and he was both mentally and emotionally abusive. He fed my habit on a regular basis. I made dozens of bad decisions based on my need to get high, my need to forget, my need to be numb. These decisions not only affected me, but my family and friends as well.

Once I hit rock bottom, homeless and broke without two dimes to rub together, I decided to go home to my family. There were other contributing factors, but rock bottom is what it is. I went home to my parents house and began the long journey of recovery. Cold turkey. I participated in psychotherapy and began taking yoga classes as often as I could. Often after yoga, my body would tremor, or I would feel emotional. I would have flash backs of events or things that happened. I would cry or laugh or get in my car and scream as loud as I could. What I did not realize yet was that my body and mind were healing because of my yoga practice. When I had days where my cravings were out of control and all I wanted was to be numb, I had yoga. When my grandfather passed away, and I was crippled with grief, I had yoga. Even if my practice consisted of weeping in child's pose, yoga provided a tool kit for me to use to cope.

As of today, I have been clean and sober 6 years and 7 months. I have not had any issues with relapse, I have grown my personal yoga practice, and I finished my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Giving back to someone in need is very important to me. My sincere wish is that I can help someone else like me recover through the healing practices of yoga.

- Ashley

FeaturedJessica Mishu