135 Years, 135 Stories title image
Breaking a Long Tradition of Addiction in my Family

MIKKA, Kentucky

My life was good until my grand mother died when I was 11. She took care of me because my parents were never around. After she died I turned to drugs. I started smoking marijuana at 11–years old and I was shooting Oxycontin at 14 and meth followed after that. I come from a family that has used drugs for a long time. If I could not afford to buy drugs, I would trade sex for them. Or I’d steal. I would do anything to get high. One day my mother and I got caught using together.

I got sent to detox. I also learned I was pregnant. I hit rock bottom as they say. I got sent to the Florence Crittenton Home for substance abuse treatment and I was there for 23 months. I tried hard to stay clean for my baby and I had many ups and downs. I gave birth to my son and more than anything I wanted to be a good mother.

When it came time for me to leave Crittenton there was no way I could be with any of my own family because of their addictions. So I was placed in a foster home in Eastern Kentucky. I passed my GED, I work full-time for a pizza shop and I’ll be starting at the community college to become a nurse. When I’m having a hard time I still look at the books I got when I was at Crittenton and as the books says I try to “bloom where you are planted.” I never thought I’d say this but the books really do help. I can’t express all that Crittenton did for me the home, the treatment, the staff. Without the time I spent there I wouldn’t be alive and neither would my son.

It takes hard work every day but I am turning my life around for me and for Gavin who is now two years old.