My name is XXX. I grew up in a middle-class family. From the outside looking in, the world may have seen me as an alright kind of girl, but from a very young age – I battled with depression and anxiety. From the time I was an infant until I was 6 years old, my older sister and I lived with our grandmother. My mother was battling with her own addiction throughout her young adult life, which I didn’t know at the time was the reason I was living with my grandmother. My mother came in and out of my life until my sister and I went to live with her when I was six, when my brother was born. Looking back now, I realize that all the mental, physical and sexual abuse I endured while my two siblings and I lived with my mother and her boyfriend was probably one of the main results of her ongoing addiction. As the years went on, all of the abuse progressed intensively. There were times when my sister and I had to be absent from school because “mom” didn’t want teachers or other classmates to see our marks and bruises. One day, my sister was beaten so badly as I was forced to watched, and it just went too far. Luckily my sister lived, but very shortly after, DYFS had placed us to live with our grandfather, my mothers’ dad. I came to find out that my grandfather and his wife were dealing with some major addiction issues. My step grandmother was an alcoholic and my grandfather had a meth lab in our basement. I don’t remember hearing “I love you, XXX” once growing up. Instead I would handed money or bought material things. Fast forward to high school. This was a period of extremely low self-esteem and depression. I was nearly 400lbs. I became so self-conscious. I started with a bad bulimia habit that lasted until I was nineteen. I smoked weed, and partied – until I found heroin. Heroin was the worst drug that I ever placed in my body. Here I was, 24 years old, sleeping on the streets of Wilmington, prostituting, not showering and living for one thing only – HEROIN. In a short synopsis – I have now found my recovery and I can’t explain the joy I feel today. I came to the atTAcK addiction house on June 3rd, 2016. It was probably the best decision I’ve made for myself since I don’t know when. This program gives me the opportunity to feel safe while building my life back, with the support of some really great people. Ashley, the director, is such an amazing person. She takes the time to listen and tries to understand me, even though we haven’t been though the same situations. With Ashley, and the support of the other women I’m finally beginning to feel good about myself and my life. I’m excited for the future and my recovery today. One day at a time…