My name is Emily. I have been in recovery since February of 2006.

For the majority of the first two thirds of my life I felt like something was missing; it was as if I missed the day everyone else got the handbook for life. Despite coming from a loving and supportive family, and being a smart and outgoing young person I just never felt quite right in my own skin.

This sentiment tortured my existence and sent me searching for relief wherever and however I could find it. Initially drugs and alcohol seemed to be a perfect solution to my problems, but not long after I began using did I begin to experience consequences. I damaged personal relationships, my own self-esteem, and quickly found myself in a cycle of drug abuse treatment centers and trouble with the law. When I was 18 I used heroin for the first time and thought that the quandaries of life had been solved.

I was wrong.

What followed was a brutal and all consuming addiction that lead to supreme sacrifices. I no longer valued my self in any sense. I quickly found myself utterly alone and without any semblance of hope. I was as close to being at peace with being found dead by a stranger one day as any human could be.

Then something happened that could easily be described as a miracle. One day a seed of hope took root in my spirit and pulled from from the grips of addiction and into recovery. It was hard, by how worth it it has been.

I am a member of the lives of people who I love dearly, and who love me in return. I am comfortable with myself and have been able to chase the dreams I abandoned during the darkest of times. I was able to attend college and earn a professional degree. I am working in a field that I am passionate about and that allows me to be useful to people. I can use my trials and tribulations to help other women recover from the same state of hopelessness from whence I came.  Giving back to others still suffering from addiction gives me purpose and hopefully I can be an example that recovery is absolutely possible.

My life is abundant and truly wonderful. I feel a sense of immense gratitude and joy in my everyday life, something I never imagined possible.

Heroin addiction tried to kill me. But the power of recovery was far too great.

If I can do it, anyone can.