Many who struggle with addiction die or go to prison. Yet, sometimes miracles occur. These are the stories of modern day miracles
Paige Warren Tells Us How She Found Recovery
My name’s Paige Warren. I’m 30 years old and I’ve been sober for four years.
Oh man. It got pretty bad. I burned every bridge throughout the about nine years of my active addiction. My mom would barely speak to me anymore. My dad practically disowned me. One of my brothers, the last thing he said to me was, “I don’t want to talk to you until you’ve been sober for a year.” I lived in my car. I had nobody and nothing but beyond the materialistic, like car, house, place to live, things like that. I was so broken and so tired. I had lost a fiance from a heroin overdose, and that was the last person that I really had on my team. And I was just, I was miserable. I trusted nobody, not even myself. I was running from the law. I was already a convicted felon. And then actually it was my higher power showing up in the form of my probation officer. That’s how my transition into sobriety started.
I overdosed at least 10 times that I can remember in which the paramedics had to come revive me. I’d say at least half of those times I was so pissed off that anybody had revived me. I just wish they’d let me die and get it over with. After the loss of my fiance, I injected about four grams of the same heroin that killed him. And literally it was, “Peace out world. I’m out. This is it.” And then I woke up and I was absolutely miserable and could not believe that I was still here.
that’s fucking gnarly
I feel $10 worth would make me very nauseous.
The syringe barely moved. It was so thick.
I had tried going to treatment before. I had been to detox before. I had tried therapy and moving away. The geographical, that was my favorite. I went to Colorado. The reason I’m in Arizona was from a geographical, but my addiction actually went so far downhill once I got to Arizona. It’s not so much that I didn’t think I could get sober it’s that I didn’t think I’d ever want to. And that was the hardest part for me, because I didn’t understand how people were happy and okay sober. I didn’t think it was something I wanted coming into treatment this last time around, I made a commitment to try working through a 12-step program because I wanted to prove to everyone that it didn’t work. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was unique, that I was different. It wasn’t going to work for me, and then once I tried that everyone would just get off my back and let me run my life into the ground even further.
The change that took place within my life. It was a gradual thing. I did have one of those aha moments, but like I said, my last high was in the waiting room of this treatment center, in the bathroom, while my mom’s beating on the door, the BHTs are checking on me to make sure I’m still alive. I can’t find a single vein in my body, but I know this is at least the last time I’m going to get high for 90 days. Because that’s how long my mom made me go to treatment for. I thought my PO said I needed to go for 30. My mom was like, “Fuck that, we’re doing 90.” And honestly, I did not want to go to treatment at all. I didn’t want to be sober, but something inside of me, when my mom said we’re doing 90 instead of 30, I felt there was something inside of me that felt relieved.
I don’t know if it was like, maybe there’s a chance or maybe I do want to be sober. I think it was just if I could get 90 days of just a break from life, then maybe I’ll be okay. I was so tired at that point. I walked into this treatment center high as a kite, and there were all these girls that were laughing and smiling, all women’s treatment center. And I hated every last one of them. I thought they were full of shit. I thought this was a waste of my mom’s money. I thought it wasn’t going to work.
And then after about seven days of me isolating in my room doing my detox and they finally forced me to go to group, something just started to change over time. I got a sponsor in a 12-step program and I started doing the things that they asked me to do. There was a big part of me that just didn’t want to go to prison. So I figured if I can do this and stay sober long enough to get through drug court, get through my probation, then I can do whatever I want after that. I got off probation almost three years ago and I haven’t had to get loaded since, and I can’t exactly pinpoint an exact moment where my life changed. It was kind of just a journey, a transition, but I do remember each day becoming a little bit easier each day, feeling a little bit happier.
My first job in sobriety, God, it was awful. I worked at a commercial cleaning company and it was third shift, middle of the night, usually about 10 hours a night. We’d be pressure-washing kitchens, cleaning bathrooms, carpet cleaning, just the most brutal, disgusting work I’ve ever had to do in my life. But I am so thankful for it. It taught me the real meaning of hard work and physical labor and the value of a dollar. Because I’m a spoiled kid, I never really experienced that growing up. And I had to work really hard for the little amount of money that I received in the first year and a half of sobriety. But thank God for that. It taught me what it meant to work hard. And that’s why I feel like I’ve been able to become a successful tax-paying citizen who’s self-sustaining and just bought my own home.
I was telling some people earlier that 2020 has been a rough year for a lot of people, but honestly it’s been one of the best years of my life. A lot of materialistic blessings have come into my life in 2020. Like I said, I just bought a home, actually closed maybe an hour ago.
Thank you. I got an incredible new job that I love waking up and going to. There is a lot more of the materialistic things, but most of all like what my life is like today is almost every day after work or on the weekends, I’m involved in some recovery-related situation. Whether that be the women that I work with or attending 12-step meetings or being part of a volleyball fellowship or whatever that may be, I finally feel a part of something.
I feel a part of something bigger than myself and I’m happy. I’m like an old lady, I go to bed at like 10:00 PM and I go to bed knowing that I did my best. I don’t feel this overwhelming guilt and shame and disgust about myself. I wake up, I pray, I meditate and I start my day. And in each moment of my day, I tune into a higher power that’s so much greater than me. And as for guidance and direction, because I can’t do this thing myself, I’m not the person I am today because of me, I’m the person I am today because of my relationship with a higher power, this fellowship, the people around me and the spiritual toolkit that I learned along the way.