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Hayley Does Cocaine While Working At The District Attorney’s Office
In this episode of Stories of Addiction, I will be talking with Hayley about her addiction and her recovery from addiction. Hayley is a client at The Gault House Sober Living Environment in Santa Cruz, California. Hayley is 28 years old and has been addicted to cocaine and alcohol. Hayley is from Sacramento, California and has 40 days of clean time. Congratulations and welcome to the podcast, Hayley.
How did your addiction start?
I was born in Glendale, Arizona and adopted by my parents who are from Sacramento. I had a good upbringing. My parents gave me anything and everything I could ever have wanted and set a good example for me. Throughout high school, I never partied. I never did anything. I was a good girl. Right after graduating from high school, I was seventeen years old and my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer right before her 50th birthday. In going through that, taking her to her doctor’s appointments, seeing her sick as a dog, I didn’t want to see that. I didn’t want to feel that anymore. I started off with smoking a little bit of pot here and there. Get rid of those feelings and that led to drinking, going out. I was always a blackout drinker. Drank until I blacked out. One at the party who’s making a fool of themselves, not remembering what they did the next day, passed out on the lawn. Not attractive at all. Soon after that, I did get involved with cocaine and all of that to bring me out of my shell. Still not wanting to feel those feelings. Even after my mom went through treatment.Doing Cocaine while working at the District Attorney's Office. Click To Tweet
After that whole year of going through that. Just continue down that road of using here and there, drinking often with friends and even at home before I was 21 allowed to have wine with my parents. That was always acceptable in the house. They never knew about my cocaine addiction. They knew I smoked pot every once in a while, but not very often. I turned 21 and I had a job. I thought everything was under control. I was going out to the bars every single night until 2:00 AM. Drunker than a skunk calling my parents to come pick me up or even driving myself home, which scares me to death now. I was still going, getting up and going to work the next day. I thought my life was still manageable. I still had everything going for me. I got involved in the medical field. Had been doing that for the last ten years because of my mom when she was going through breast cancer. That’s what prompted me to go to the medical field.
In 2013, I had a day off work and went to my doctor’s appointment in the morning and at 10:30 in the morning on my way home, I was T-bone by a drunk driver. At that same time, I was moving away from my hometown. At 23 years old, that’s hard to lose all of your so-called friends who weren’t my friends, just my drinking buddies. People I got loaded with. I learned that very quickly when you’re down, you’re out. You have nothing and you need people there for you. You can’t walk, you can’t drive, you can’t even shower or change by yourself. You need help and nobody’s there for you. These people that you thought were your friends, they’re not there for you. That was hard on me. I started drinking more, taking pain pills along with it. Surprisingly, I never continued that down that road of pills, which I’m thankful for that. I was at that time using them heavily. Alcohol was my main escape. That was my way to forget about everything. In a sense it was like when I blacked out, I didn’t remember. It never happened, forget about it, don’t worry about it and keep rolling on.
In going through my physical recovery from my car accident, I got a settlement from the accident and I bought my own house. That’s when my addiction picked up. I was by myself and drink by myself, used by myself. No one knew what I was doing or how much or how frequent. It started a couple of bottles of wine a night. Then I would go to the store and buy another one. Calling in sick to work a lot. Coming up with all these excuses. I worked for this wonderful company, a private practice. I messed it up. I did. I called in. I was buying a lot more cocaine and they go hand-in-hand because the more coca did, the more I could drink. I could keep going down that road.
I was detaching from my family, from my friends, isolating myself. Often on with my high school sweetheart for years afterward having him constantly telling me that, “You’re an alcoholic. You drink too much.” Hiding the cocaine behind his back and not telling him that I was doing that. I knew I could get away with it. Who’s going to think? I had met a new guy. We started dating and moved in together about eight months after dating. He’s an addict as well, he’s into pills. Again, that’s not my thing. It’s not what draws me in. He took care of me financially. I was able to use my money for my drug of choice, drinking every day. If I had a good day, I would drink. If I had a bad day, I would drink. Anything to drink every single day, that’s what I did.
I had fallen off cocaine for a little while and got back onto it. He was doing it with me. I was doing more than he knew. I had our dealer and then my own personal dealer. It was so messed up. I was that person who hid things all around the house. I had my baggy in my pocket. I had my bag and the couch pillow cushion. I had my bag in the bathroom, my bag in the bedroom. Wherever I was, I could have my fix and he never knew. Until I came here, I finally admitted to how much I was using. At that same time, I had left my job, the medical profession. I got a job with the District Attorney’s Office in Sacramento. I was using there. I brought it to work. Again, who’s going to think me? I never thought anybody would ever know and nobody did. I was doing lines in the bathroom. Then I’d come out and talk to the officers like it was no big deal. That was a good job. Solid benefits. I had it going for me. I had my condo still. I was living with my boyfriend in West Sacramento. I just let my house go. I wasn’t paying my property taxes, I wasn’t paying my bills. It was all going up my nose.
At that time, I did not care. I didn’t care because I was so deep in my addiction. I didn’t care about work, I didn’t care about my family. I didn’t care about my house, my house was going into foreclosure. Thank God, my mom stopped by my condo and saw the sign on the door. It makes me feel terrible because my parents did nothing to deserve what I put them through. They bailed me out. I quit my job and didn’t tell them. I didn’t tell my boyfriend. I would get up in the morning and get ready, pretend like I was going to work. I would go do coke all day. Sit in my car, go to the park, hang out. Go to the bars, drink, do coke. My drinking started to get bad too. I would go out with my friends and at one point, I went out with my good friend from high school. We went out, we got into a fight and I walked off. We were downtown Sacramento. I was blacked out drunk. Thank God I called one of my mom’s friends out of my mind and she called my mom, who then called my boyfriend. I told him I was getting an Uber home and he had to drive around Downtown Sacramento and find me on the sidewalk with a bum taking care of me.
This man was an angel. He had six children, six girls of his own. I could have been raped. I could have been killed. My higher power and my angels were watching over me that night. I don’t know how many times they continue to watch over me. They do and they saved my ass so many times. That didn’t stop me. I tried to stop drinking for a month. I was still smoking weed every day, still doing cocaine. I thought I was clean. I wasn’t drinking. I was good. I was doing it. Then it started again, “Why can’t I have one glass of wine?” That led to two glasses of wine at night and then I was back to the bottles. Wine was my drink of choice and that’s what I always drink. Then when I would go out, it would be shots of whiskey and then that’s it. Call it a night. Give me a wheelchair, you can’t do anything. I’m done.
The last time before I came into realizing that I needed help, I’ve known I needed help for a long time. I didn’t want to admit it and I didn’t want to stop. I wasn’t ready. I pretended like I was going to work. I got up, I got ready. I went out. Had lunch sitting at the bar and made friends at the bar, drinking, shots, the whole thing. I got my car and drove across the parking lot where I would meet my dealer. I parked my car and fell asleep in my car. They had to do a wellness check on me. They didn’t know if I was alive or if I was dead. I came out of my blackout in an ambulance. Then I came too again and I was in the hospital with my boyfriend standing over me saying, “How did you get here?” My answers were always, “I don’t know.” I can’t ever answer the question of what happened or how I got there or anything like that. I don’t know. I hate that feeling because I can’t answer the question.I have no shame in where I've come from because I can only move up. Click To Tweet
My parents and all my loved ones, they don’t get the answers that they want either. I stopped drinking again. I was still smoking weed. I was doing cocaine. That lasted about two weeks. I was trying to go to AA meetings, but I would drink before I went to an AA meeting. I would have a glass of wine so I could walk through the door and be comfortable going in there. I still raise my hand, “Hayley, alcoholic, three days. What the are you doing? You had a glass of wine.” That’s how much I did not want to stop. I didn’t want to stop at all. Again, I drank and blacked out and that night I told my mom. She came and picked me up and I said, “Tomorrow, I need help. Tomorrow, I am going to recover. I need to go to rehab. I need to go to inpatient.” I woke up that next morning and she was like, “Do you remember what you said last night?” She was like, “You wanted to go to rehab. Do you still want to go?” I said, “Yes, I need to go. I’ve used up all my nine lives. I can’t risk my life anymore. I’m going to lose everything.”
I almost lost my house. My parents were ready to throw their hands up and say that they were done. My boyfriend was ready to say he was done. I’ve done all these terrible things to these people who don’t deserve it. I made the phone call to the camp. They got me in that day by the grace of God. I’m so thankful that I was willing and that I was ready. I can’t live my life like that anymore. I’m 40 days clean and I can proudly say that is the longest clean time I’ve ever had. I’ve never had clean time ever. I’m so excited. I love this person that I am. I truly do. I don’t hear that negative self-talk anymore that says, “You’re fat. You’re ugly. You’re not worth it. You don’t deserve it.” I never thought that would happen. I look in the mirror and I love myself. I’m so happy with who I am now. I know what I want to do with my future. My recovery is the most important thing in my life. I’m thankful for the camp, for The Gault House, for keeping my ass in check. I need that. I need structure because without that, I would go off.
I knew I couldn’t go back to Sacramento. If I did, I’d be on the phone. I’d be calling my dealer. I know I would be. To admit that to myself is huge to me. I’m here. I’m looking for a job. My mom came out to visit me and she’s so proud of me. I’m happy and excited to start to rebuild that trust. I know it’s going to take a long time to get there. All I can do is show her and prove to both of my parents where I’m at and what I’m working towards. Taking this seriously and reaching out when I need it and asking for help. I hate asking for help. I hate it. It’s a sign of weakness but I’m realizing that it is a strength. It takes a lot of balls to say, “I need help. I’m going through some crap and I want to use.” I was faced with it and I was so proud of myself to say, not physically, somebody asking me but it was there. I turned my head and I never thought I would be able to do that. It makes me so happy to be able to do that. To know that I have the support system, people who love me and who care about me but will call my ass out when it’s needed. I’m so thankful to be alive because I was headed down that path. I told my mom, if I didn’t stop where I was and come here, I’d either be in jail or I’d be dead. I’m in the right spot and I thank God every single day for that. He works miracles in ways that I never could imagine. I’m truly blessed.
Tell me what’s your opinion of the Twelve-Step Program?
I’m looking for a sponsor. I am going back and forth. I’m having a struggle with doing the NA or the AA. I’m going to both meetings and there are things that I like in both. I have a lady in AA that I want to ask to be my sponsor. I have a lady in NA that I want to ask to be my sponsor and I’m trying to figure that out. I want to work the steps. I truly do. They’re going to help me. I have a family member who’s in recovery. She has over two years under her belt of sobriety. She’s working the steps. She has a sponsor. She has sponsees and seeing her succeed is making me want to succeed and go through those. Being able to admit my wrongs and work through those and apologize for the people that I’ve hurt. Be honest with myself and with other people. I’ve got to do it.
What do you think works in recovery?
Having that support system, being able to ask for help, admit when I’m wrong and have no shame in where I’ve come from. I can only move up. I saw this quote and I can’t quite think of it but it said something along the lines of, “It’s okay to be knocked down, but it’s not okay to pick yourself back up.” I’m picking myself up and staying down there. You’re not doing anything, people get down but you have to get back up. I pray every day before my feet hit that ground that I’m not going to use now. I have to take it day-by-day. Use the tools that I’ve learned through the camp, prayer, meditation, planting my feet on the floor. Remembering where I came from and using that support system and keep it going. That’s all you can do ten minutes at a time, even five minutes at a time. You have to take it slow.
I have one last question for you. What does your future look like to you?It's okay to be knocked down, but it's not okay to stay down there. Click To Tweet
My future is happy. My future is clean and sober. Having good people around me. I want to be a mother so badly and that could have never happened in my addiction. I could barely take care of myself, let alone take care of another human being. I’m learning how to take care of myself and become an adult. My future is bright. It has a career in the medical field and years of sobriety and helping people and giving back to people who helped me or even didn’t help me. Being a part of the recovery community, I love that family feeling that you get. You’re not alone at all. I was so ashamed. I was so embarrassed to raise my hand and say, “Hayley, alcoholic addict.” When I hear these people talk, it’s all the same. I want to give back to all those people who have helped me continuously every day and push me through those hard times and lift me up when I’m down. Being of service and giving back to my community.
Thank you so much. You are a blessing to us here at The Gault House. I am so grateful for you and thank you so much for joining us. To our audience, we wish you to stay sober and happy.
Hayley is 28 years old female from Sacramento, California. Hayley has 40 days clean from alcohol and cocaine. She is living at the Gault House, sober living environment in Santa Cruz, California. Hayley plans to rebuild her life in Santa Cruz because it is too easy for her to relapse if she goes back to Sacramento at this time.
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