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Success Story


The Early Years And Beyond

I am Nicole Lawrence. I am 27 years old, a Registered nurse, and a grateful recovering drug addict. I come from the most supportive family a girl could ever expect to have. No one in my immediate family is a drug addict or alcoholic and this just goes to show the disease of addiction does not discriminate. It does not care how intelligent, how rich or poor, or how well raised an individual is.

I had a wonderful childhood. I was involved in sports and danced from ages 3 to 18. I received the All State Heisman Award in softball. I was in the top of my graduating class, receiving honors throughout high school. After I graduated with an ASN degree from Gordon State College, I began working as an Emergency Room Nurse.

I Would Like Help

The Road To Recovery

I had become completely codependent in the relationship I was in at the time. When the relationship ended, I thought my life had ended as well. It was a very drawn out breakup that began the turmoil in my life.

The rebellion that had been growing in me over all the years of my life had been unleashed. At the time I pretty much had my life together. I had a great job, my own place, and my own vehicle, but I was just not ready to grow up. I quickly fell into the wrong crowd of people. The complete destruction I was experiencing inside was covered up when I was introduced to snorting opiates. I quickly figured out that the opiates numbed my every feeling, the good ones and the bad ones, and that is just what I needed to get through each day.

I started dating a guy who had been in the drug scene for many years. We started trafficking Methamphetamines together. I lost my job at the hospital allowing active addiction took off as my life started to quickly spiral out of control.

I was in a very abusive relationship, and my parents knew I wasn’t myself. They picked me up from my apartment and took me home with them. A family friend who is a recovering alcoholic picked me up and took me to a couple of NA and AA meetings.

I felt like I was losing control of my freedom, or at least that was what my disease was telling me. I felt like all the chaos and destruction I had caused was my problem, and I was the one who had to fix it. I told my parents I got myself in this mess, and I had to get myself out. I left my parent’s house walking after being there about 2 days only to bury myself deeper in my addiction. The violence in the relationship I was in got more intense each day.

After several weeks of using I had numbed myself so much from all the shame and guilt. I was an emotionless being in existence. A guy that I was dealing to put a gun to my head over twenty dollars, and it didn’t even slow me down. I buried the event with more drugs acting like it didn’t happen. I decided to end the relationship I was in, and the guy did not take being asked to leave very well. The first night after I asked him to leave he woke me up staring at me. The second night he woke me up choking me.

At this point my self-esteem and my self-worth did not even exist. I kept snorting meth and opiates to cover up my feelings and emotions. Several months later I started smoking meth and hanging out with a whole new set of drug addicts.

I put on a facade around these people making them believe I had my life together. I even believed myself that I was getting my life back in order. In reality I had only deepened my emotionless existence. Towards the end of my active addiction I was drugged, rapped, and robbed over a hundred dollars by a guy that I had been hanging out with. I didn’t want to acknowledge that this had happened to me, but it brought me to a bottom that I could have no way even begun to prepare for. I wanted to stop using drugs at that point, but the vulnerability and emotions got the best of me.

The Difference At Shining Light

About 4 months later, I was arrested with 14 felony charges. My Higher Power sat me down in jail for 19 days before I made my arrival at Shining Light. I was scared and broken when I walked in the door. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I was welcomed at Shining Light with open arms. Through trauma therapy, counseling, the many various classes offered, and NA I have only began to get to know myself. I know today that I am worth it, and I am mending the broken relationships of people who do love me for the person that I really am. I no longer fear being my real self. The greatest things that a person could ask for have happened to me because I have done the work. I came into treatment determined to get my life back and to get to know my real self again. I have renewed my nursing license and I am working as a nurse at Southern Regional Medical Center in the ER I am grateful today that I have walked down the broken road of addiction, and that I never have to look back as I begin my new journey.