Sarah | Denver, CO

“When seeking help, you have to be vulnerable.”

I am Sarah. I first experienced addiction after coming out as a lesbian and facing social rejection from my friends. I tried marijuana and immediately knew that drugs would be a way to cope. In and after college, I had a series of knee surgeries that gave me access to opioids. My usage got heavier and heavier until I hit a point where I was spending $3,000 a month on opioids and benzodiazepines online. My combination of drugs gave me blackouts, which is actually what led me to recovery. I was driving in the middle of a blackout, and I rear-ended someone. I’m still grateful no one was hurt. The incident led to my arrest, and more importantly, an ex-girlfriend visiting me and convincing me to seek treatment.

When I went to treatment, I was convinced I didn’t have a problem. I thought if I cleared my system of drugs, I would be fine. After a few weeks in treatment, I realized I did have a problem. In some ways, this was relieving; I understood why my life looked the way it did. More importantly, I knew there was a solution. It took me months of treatment and years of introspection, but I’ve now been in recovery since 2013. Treatment and the recovery community introduced me to so many essential relationships. I found people I could call on and people who would help me. My work helping others struggling with addiction has enhanced my life and given me extra purpose. Through my own journey, I have come to realize that addiction is not just a personal battle, but a societal issue that requires compassion and support. As I continue to walk this path of recovery, I am constantly reminded of the power of human connection and the impact it can have on someone’s life. It is through these relationships that I have learned the true meaning of empathy and the importance of extending a helping hand to those in need.