My drug of choice is alcohol. My stepdad and father are both in the military so growing up, we lived overseas in England. Drinking is fairly lax in England – if you can see over the bar in England or Germany, then generally they’ll serve you. I was always drinking with my friends and out partying. This one night when I was 14 years old, I went to a party with my friend’s brother. I was hanging out with this guy smoking hash and before I knew it, he called two other guys in and they tied me down. They took turns raping me. I was a virgin at the time and was so ashamed. It took years before I could muster the courage to tell
anyone what happened. I just kept masking the pain with drinking. My mom thought I was going through a rebellious stage, but really I was fighting some demons inside. I was getting bullied at school for the rape. Kids were saying it was my fault. I would wake up and go to bed thinking about the rape. I was just disgusted with myself. A couple years later – right before my senior year of high school – we were transferred to New Mexico. The bullying continue into this new school as well. Kids would start rumors that I had aids or was pregnant. Horrible things, which enabled me to keep drinking. In addition, I always had a weight problem, so when I was 14 years old I started making myself throw up. It got so bad to where I would black out. I would miss family events and activities. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere or do anything except drink. After high school I went on to college and my drinking continued. I would wake up and drink a 6 pack of beer, plus shots of fireball in order to get ready for the day. I couldn’t function without alcohol. I would wake up shaking and not able to move, sick as a dog. It got to a point where I kept alcohol next to my bed, ready for me when I woke up. It was disastrous. I was in and out of bad relationships and I had ended contact with my family because of my drinking. My only support was my best friend, Matthew, who was in recovery. I was living in Colorado and knew I needed help, so Matthew flew to Colorado and helped me move to Fort Worth, so I could get sober. We got an apartment, but soon after Matthew relapsed, so I started hiding my drinking again. The drinking and the depression got so bad that I wanted to end my life. I was so tired of the depression and loneliness and not being able to fix anything. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I stole a gun from my neighbor and was going to end my life when Matthew found me. He called the police, who arrested me and took me a treatment facility. It was so scary and I was really ashamed, but it felt like a sense of relief that this is where I needed to be. I remember sitting in that chair, looking over Fort Worth watching the sunset and I thought, ‘Something has got to change. I can’t live like this anymore.’ When I left the treatment facility, I spent a week drinking. Matthew had told me about Nexus Recovery and I knew I needed to go, but I kept putting it off. They swabbed my mouth and took blood and told me they would have to put me on detox for 8 days because my alcohol levels were so high. I started detox and going to my classes and it BLEW MY MIND. It was the first time in my life, that I knew I would never have to feel alone again, because I’m not the only person to have gone through this disease. There is always someone who will be there for you to talk to you to reach out to, so you don’t have to go through it alone. It made everything better and made me want to fight for my recovery so bad. When my time at Nexus Recovery was up, I had the opportunity to move to Dallas 24 Hour Club or to an Oxford House. I was accepted into Oxford, but knew I wanted to check out Dallas 24 Hour Club. I just had a gut feeling that I wanted to be at The 24. I discharged from Nexus Recovery on August 28, 2018 and came to The 24. I’ve become part of this 24 family. At first, I didn’t realize it was co-ed, but having the men has been really amazing. Now I have big brothers that have my back and protect me. The 24 has also been a great opportunity to get involved. I went from loneliness to now I’m heavily involved in my recovery and have a family-like fellowship that is untouchable. I don’t have any family in Texas, so when I moved to here I felt alone. The 24 and the people here have changed my life forever. The 24 has helped me grow as an adult. Nexus Recovery helped me get sober, but The 24 helped me learn how to fix my credit, open bank accounts, structure and time management, plus so much more. If it wasn’t for The 24, I would probably have relapsed because the fellowship I found here not only helped me work on myself but it helped me build with others as well. So it definitely helped me grow as a woman. Amanda will successfully discharge at the end of February after 6 months at Dallas 24 Hour Club. At that time, she will move into an Oxford House.