Amanda Cook's Story
Recovery means my life has meaning and I get a daily reprieve from the misery of addiction. I was given every opportunity to succeed in life. I’m a classically trained musician. However, I remember living in constant fear from an early age. I witnessed and was subject to physical violence in my own home. Cops were called on multiple occasions however my mother was too fearful, to be honest, leave, or get us help. I started using and drinking around the age of 13. It was all I could think about, it became my main motivation in life. While at the same time I held very good grades, member of the national honor society, volunteered at the veteran’s hospital, and practiced piano every single day. I went to a competitive University and graduated with honors in 4 years. Then went on to get my masters. All while partying as much as I could. I moved to a rural ski town to begin teaching at a University at the age of 28. I then got married and had kids at 30. At this point, I was able to regularly get opioid prescriptions from local doctors. It was easy, I didn’t look like a person with a substance use disorder, whatever that means. After having 2 children, at the age of 34, it spiraled out of control. I discovered poppy seed tea and quickly became addicted, both mentally and physically. I simply couldn’t stop. I didn’t want people to know my secret. I ended up also getting addicted to cocaine at this time. After 4 brutal years, I was able to find a doctor to prescribe me suboxone. I had to drive 2 hours each way for my appointments. It was a massive stretch on our finances. I became willing and ready to die. It was at that time my husband at the time and my therapist intervened and essentially forced me into inpatient. It was over, I surrendered to save my life for my children. I was oh so resistant but was so grateful to be given the opportunity. I got off suboxone, got healthy. I am now a “card-carrying member” of my local aa home group and am now the treasurer. I help others, I’m now a single mother and recovery is just a part of my everyday life. I thank God for giving me my life back. I’m now helping to fight opiate addiction in my rural community with the help of our public health services. I suffer from bipolar so that remains a struggle however I’d never be as stable as I am now if I wasn’t sober. Thanks for reading. I only share this so that other people with substance use disorder and loved ones know there is a way out.