My name is Tori, and I’m a former drug addict and currently trying to recover from self-harm. My story is nothing unique, but I think it’s one worth telling.
I was born into an abusive alcoholic family, with my mother and father being neglectful towards my older brother and me. At two years old, I was abandoned in my father’s car after he took my brother and ran off after my mother was knocked unconscious. I learned years later that she was attacking my father and in his attempted to push her off him, he knocked her out and ran away with my brother to get to a phone to call for someone to come pick my brother and me up. After that, my father was taken away, and my grandparents legally adopted me.
I went through life being bullied because of my mother being the town drunk and being the only girl in my grade whose father was not in her life. As I grew up, I did learn not to care what people thought of my family live, and only paid attention to what people thought of me.
I had started self-harming at five years old, and by middle school, it was a constant occurrence. I would cut myself almost daily, which landed me in a psychiatric ward for a week, furthering the bullying that I faced in school, as one of my ‘friends’ told a few people where I was that week.
When I got to high school, things seemed better. I had lost all of my friends from middle school besides my best friend (who is still my best friend) and because of that, made friends with seniors. Everything went well until my sophomore year, where my life ultimately fell apart. I ended up in a severely abusive relationship, and was beaten and raped and mentally abused daily. I attempted suicide seven times. I became addicted to sleeping pills, painkillers, and cocaine. I would leave class with a razor to cut myself and any medicine I could find to relieve me of stress for the rest of the school day. I went sent to rehab, where I slept with nurses for them to give me extra medicine for me to sleep without nightmares. However, my last few days there, I realized that I needed to change, or else I would die.
From that moment, my fight for recovery began. I went upstage at an assembly about depression and told my whole story to my school, who all seemed to be amazed by the things I had done to myself. I took my sweatshirt off and unveiled my scarred up arms, and told everyone that I blamed no one but myself for my pain. I know I could have been stronger, but I chose to stay vulnerable and afraid. From that day on, the bullying primarily stopped, and I received more respect than I could ever imagine.
The drug addictions and worsening self-harm were all when I was 16. I’m 22 now, at almost six years clean from drugs. I’m grateful for every day that I’m alive and well because I so quickly could have died at a young age. I now work at a foster home for mentally disturbed children, helping them avoid living the life I did. I’m on my way to getting my associates degree in psychology and addictive behaviors.
All I ask is for is for people to try. Try to reach out. Try to get help. You’ll be amazed how far you can get if you just try.
Thanks for listening.