How Nature Helped Heal My Addiction Issues

10 months ago
David Marcu/Unsplash
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

I am one of the 23.5 million Americans that has a drug or alcohol problem. I hit rock bottom about two years ago, and I didn't think I would live to tell my story. Many people wonder how my addiction started. I grew up in a good home with great parents, who provided plenty of love and support. My parents were happily married, and we lived in suburbia. I always had plenty of food, wasn’t abused, and went on family vacations. Yet, I found myself in some very dark places. Mostly because I was curious and wanted to experience a high with other teens. I was rebellious, and I tried marijuana as a dare. I loved the high I felt, and the euphoria it gave me was addictive. Then, one night at a party, a friend introduced me to heroin. It was heroin that became my friend and enemy at the same time. I was addicted after just one try.

 

Spiraling Out of Control

 

Addiction ran strong in my family history, though my parent's escaped its grasp. I have no excuses for the things I did. I started using drugs at 15 years of age. I put my parents through a private hell. When I was 18, everything changed. My addiction became more severe, and drugs became my reason to get up in the morning. I prostituted myself to get money to pay for the drugs. I stole from those who meant the most to me.

 

My looks began to change too. I wasn't so pretty anymore. My hair was brittle, dry, and falling out. I had sores on my face, and my teeth were decaying. As if that wasn’t all bad enough, on December 15, 2013, the heroin I bought was laced with something that nearly took my life. I lay in a hospital room for three days’ barely responsive. My heart stopped, and I had to be resuscitated by EMS workers. If my little sister had not come into my room when she did, I may not be alive today.

 

Getting Help To Take Back My Life

 

When I got out of the hospital, my parents immediately took me to counseling. They wanted to put me into a rehab program. Being a druggie, I knew all about these programs. Many of my friends had been through these recovery classes with little luck. Sure, they would clean up for six months or so, but then they would be out doing the same stupid things over again. Drugs had a real hold on me, and I was determined to break it.

 

Heroin, my drug of choice, is synthesized from morphine. This highly addictive drug can be snorted or smoked, and I did both. One counselor told me to find my happy place mentally and build from there. I flashed back to childhood and spending days on the farm with my grandparents. I could almost feel the gentle breeze rush over my face. When I told her how I longed for the peace and serenity of the country, she told me that wilderness therapy is an alternative to traditional recovery programs, which may be beneficial to me. I am so glad I met someone who thought 'outside the box.'

 

Nature Provided The Healing I Needed

 

Addiction recovery centers were not the path I choose. I wanted to get back to nature and restore that innocence I had as a child. I wanted to get my head out of the clouds and back into reality. For me, the fresh air was very healing. The tranquility I felt being out in nature was sensational. I learned to appreciate the small things, like sunshine and flowers. I learned that air is an indispensable healing agent. It helps to heal by assisting with the development of new tissues and blood vessels. It gives clarity to the mind, boosts concentration levels, and increases the brain’s function.

 

I found myself detoxing in nature and then learning to live again. The whole process worked for me. For two years, I haven’t touched a drug. That doesn’t mean that I don’t get tempted to go back to old ways, but I just go outside and breathe in the healing oxygen. I have learned to meditate on all the good things in my life, and there have been some very good things happen to me.

 

Starting Over Again

I recently met someone who I want to spend the rest of my life with. He knows about my past, and he doesn’t care. He loves me for being honest and open. Right now, we are working with Utah home builders to construct our dream home. Our home will sit right in some of Utah’s most serene areas. I look at my life and wonder what it could have been like if I didn’t get help. I didn’t want to take a medication to combat my problem, I wanted to face it head on. Seems like ‘the great outdoors’ really does do great things for people. I am loving life, and I am taking back my health one day at a time.

Tagged in:
wellness

More from health

Health & Wellness
by HelloFlo N/A | 18 hours ago
Health & Wellness
by HelloFlo N/A | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Claire Gillespie | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 5 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 5 days ago
Health & Wellness
by HelloFlo N/A | 5 days ago
Health & Wellness
by HelloFlo N/A | 6 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 6 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Sara Lindberg | 6 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 7 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Kristin Chessman | 7 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Sara Lindberg | 7 days ago
Health & Wellness
by HelloFlo N/A | 8 days ago
Health & Wellness
by HelloFlo N/A | 9 days ago
Health & Wellness
by HelloFlo N/A | 10 days ago