“When I was younger, I was bullied all the time for my weight. I always felt alone. I was always the butt of everyone’s joke, and I always had low self-esteem. When you are told ugly things about yourself for so long, you start to believe those things about yourself. I had tried killing myself so many times in my life, and I was a cutter [POTJS note: Cutting and other forms of self-harm are medical illnesses that occur when patients hurt themselves to help deal with deep-set emotions or distress http://
“He had been using heroin and he gave me my first bag. I wound up getting hooked. In the process of using I did things I never thought I would do. This past January I OD’d. My heart stopped and it took 4 shots of Narcan to bring me back to life. I had OD’d before, but this last time was my wake up call. My kids were taken away and sent to my brother.
“I kicked heroin on my own at home. I came to this program everyday sick, but I didn’t give up, and I kicked the habit. I did it for my kids. I put them through a lot, and I worry everyday that they will one day get into drugs like I did.
“My self esteem is a lot better now coming here. I have a clearer mind now. I am starting to see I am a strong woman. I was only supposed to come here twice a week, but I come here everyday. I love it here. I can tell my counselor Eli anything. The people I have in my group – the other ones also in recovery – we all genuinely care about each other. We actually have a bond. If you walk in with a sad face, right away they want to know what is wrong, and they reach out to you outside of here as well. It means a lot to me. I have 4 months clean tomorrow, and I have my kids back, and I am doing so much better. This place is my safe haven.”
(POTJS Note: This is the third installment of a 5-part series on a rehab in Perth Amboy that is doing great things to help people leave lives of addiction. These are the stories of the people who are helped, as well the those who are helping them.)