Hannah Miles never really felt comfortable in her own skin. She always felt the need to stay busy or do something, out of fear that she’d be alone with herself and her thoughts. Even at home, Hannah always felt different than everyone else, especially her family. She felt like an outcast but wasn’t quite sure why. As a young child growing up in the Dallas area, Hannah’s parents divorced very early in her life. After a brief stint of spending every other week with each parent, she ended up living with her father permanently. Her first encounter with drugs was in middle school when she started smoking marijuana. “Even then I noticed I was different,” she says. “My friends were socially smoking, but for me, it immediately turned into a 24/7 thing and I was the only one freaking out when we started running out.” Throughout high school, Hannah lived in what she calls a “party phase,” heavily drinking, smoking marijuana, and doing all sorts of party drugs like ecstasy and molly. After a difficult breakup, Hannah decided she needed a change, so she left Texas and moved to Oklahoma to live with her older sister. She had been depressed, couldn’t seem to get along with her family members, and she felt like everyone was just sick of her, so a fresh start appeared to be the best option. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse in Oklahoma. “That’s when my drug addiction really spiraled out of control. I was introduced to meth there, took a lot of pills … it all just happened very rapidly,” Hannah says. “It was a really small town and going from Dallas to that was a huge change. Small towns like that are just infested with drugs.”
Years of Rehab Hopping
While she was living in Oklahoma, Hannah’s drug abuse quickly took over her life. She was arrested twice for drug-related incidents, put on probation, and forced to go to rehab. Despite the treatment she received, Hannah continued to struggle with her addiction, bouncing in and out of rehab centers and sober living homes. This cycle of treatment and relapse stretched on for weeks, months, and years. After a few years of her descent further and further into addiction, Hannah finally reached her lowest point. For her, “rock bottom” wasn’t a physical state, rather, it was an emotional one. “I relapsed for about one week and that’s when I started shooting heroin. I was doing it for the full week and was pretty much homeless. I didn’t want to live anymore, and I had hit an emotional bottom,” she says. “Although there were things that had happened throughout my addiction that weren’t good, there was never a big traumatic event for me. I’m pretty good at minimizing things. I tend to just stuff everything down, but my emotions really got to me this time.”
Learning Not to Run
Hannah’s solution had always been to run away from her problems. She had never fully stopped to face them or to face herself. She relocated several times, made new friends, and even started over at a new school, thinking something was going to be different, but it never was. “I always thought everyone else had a problem with what I was doing so I would just run, but it turns out I was the one with the problem all along,” she says. After going to the same rehab center four different times, Hannah finally ended up at Nova Recovery Center, where things started changing. For the first time in her life, Hannah started to feel comfortable in her own skin. As she began to face her fears and insecurities, she uncovered pieces of who she was without the influence of drugs and alcohol. “At first, I thought I was too young, and my stories weren’t as crazy as other peoples’. I always compared my situation to others’. But my RS really helped me by asking me why I felt like I had to go through all those things to get sober. Instead, at my age, I can be helping other young women who are in the same situation.” Without her treatment experience at Nova, Hannah says she believes she would have already overdosed and died. To date, she’s been sober for one year and two months. “I could never get over 90 days sober, so I definitely never thought getting a year was even possible,” she says. “Ever since I left Nova, the obsession to use has been lifted from me. Since then, I turned 21, got evicted from my Oxford house, and my girlfriend relapsed. Normally I would just be like, ‘Screw it’ and get high, but at the end of the day, I choose not to get high over it. It’s not even appealing to me anymore.” Hannah continues to be a part of Nova’s alumni community by participating in monthly activities for women who have completed the rehab program. “I could easily be sitting back in rehab if I don’t keep doing what I’m doing,” she says. “But it feels really good to be with those girls. That’s the high for me now.” If you or someone you know needs help overcoming their drug or alcohol addiction, please call Nova Recovery Center today. Our admissions specialists are ready to take your call.
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