My name is Dawn Summers, and I am a recovered alcoholic and drug addict. My struggle with addiction started 20 years ago when I was 12 years old and my friend and I broke into her dad’s liquor cabinet. I can honestly look back and pinpoint my battle to that one moment when I first tasted some of his Jack Daniels.
I had so much trouble in high school, I got expelled from my high school. I would do every drug I could find, and I even started selling drugs to the other kids. At first it was just weed, but I started selling cocaine, crystal meth, and even heroin when I was in my twenties.
One night five years ago, I hit my bottom. I watched a good friend of mine overdose on heroin. He didn’t make it. I was so distraught that I got behind the wheel even though I had been drinking and smoking pot, and I ended up totaling my boyfriend’s car and getting arrested for my second DUI. It was at this point that my parents cut me off, my brother stopped talking to me, and my boyfriend kicked me out of his apartment.
I had literally lost everything. This was the first time I thought about getting sober. It took me two more relapses to finally get sober for good. I went to rehab. I slowly but surely repaired my relationships with my family. I put my life back together.
Now, I have been sober for two years, I received my GED, and I am enrolled in community college, working towards an associate’s degree. It’s been a long road for me. It has been difficult, and I have had to get through a number of challenges.
If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing. In my struggle with addiction and my eventual road to recovery, I have learned who I am. I have learned how strong I am. I have learned how to have a faith in God that I never had before. I have learned how to have healthy relationships in a way that I never had before.
If you are battling with addiction, I encourage you not to give up. When you get sober, you start to see the things in life that really matter. And you start to realize that it really is always darkest before the dawn.