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From Tweaking to Complete Turnaround—Candace Speaks Out!

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Many deal with meth addiction and some are fortunate to come back to tell it. Many go from what we call tweaking, to completing turning their life around and getting clean from it.

There’s been some that inspire me through this journey with many different substances and comebacks, but for the first time on this website (Besides my review on Tweak) I feature for you a remarkable comeback story of meth addiction to a beautiful recovery. This is truly a Beautiful Recovery as Candace goes by that name in her pen name; it’s a perfect fit! This is Candace’s “Beautiful Recovery”:

“Tweaker, addict, junkie… I was labeled by society as hopeless. Meth forever changed my life but so did recovery. This is my story. This is my journey.

I grew up in a traditional, American family. I was active in my church youth group, co-captain of my high school cheerleading squad, and attended private schools. My parents showed me plenty of love and are still married after 36 years. I’m a pastor’s daughter, a sister, and a mother. I often wondered how someone like me with so many opportunities in life became an addict, but I’m proof addiction does not discriminate.

My family moved. A lot. I changed schools nine times before I graduated from high school. I worked hard to fit in at every new school and make new friends. I struggled with fear of rejection with every new school change, but I would not realize rejection was one of the roots of my addiction until I was an adult.
After I left home at eighteen, like most sheltered kids, I began experimenting with alcohol and weed. College parties and clubs became part of my nightly routine. I stopped going to church, and my relationship with my family dissipated.

I was introduced to meth at nineteen years old. I had never experienced anything like it before. I thought it was great. It was so great; in fact, I used every day for almost two years.

The shock of my life came when I sat in the bathroom one night staring at a positive pregnancy test. I stopped using immediately, but I struggled to stay clean. I was surrounded by cocaine and meth while living with the baby’s father. Eventually, we split.

Two weeks later, I delivered a healthy baby girl. Three months after my baby was born, I was back on meth again. My family gained custody of my daughter.

Fast forward three years later… I had been clean about one year in an attempt to regain custody of my daughter, and I met this awesome guy. I had a pretty good job in customer service management with a great apartment. We got married.

In May of 2006, I gave birth to a beautiful boy. Two years later, I gave birth to another beautiful boy. I was staying at home, raising my sons, active again in church. By all appearances, life was good. I began taking prescription medication for post-partum depression, and eventually my demons of addiction began to creep back in again. My husband and I split up. I was heavily addicted to opiates and Xanax.
Single parenting is tough. My pain pill and Xanax use was out of control. My pill addiction led me to begin abusing Adderall to work longer hours and operate on less sleep. Yep, you guessed it… Over time the pills were no longer enough to kill the pain of my failed marriage and the wreckage I had caused. After nine years since I was using meth again.

My original plan was to use for a few days while my kids were with their dad for Christmas holidays. Meth has never been recreational use for me. Within two months, I went to jail. I lost my car, my house, my children, and my material possessions.

Losing my children drove me headlong into my addiction. I stopped showing up for jobs. I started learning how to cook methamphetamine, and I fell into the nightmare of I.V. drug use. I was homeless and hopeless. I wanted to get out, but I didn’t know how.

I spent some cold winters with little or no heat, no running water, and very little food. I remember one January washing off outside using the neighbor’s water hose. I never took my shoes off at most places I stayed because they were usually filthy. I would pray for God to help me. I didn’t believe He was listening.

I called my dad in the middle of the night last spring, paranoid someone was trying to kill me. That had become my thought process, daily. I lived in constant terror for months after a friend of mine was found dead from overdose. My dad picked me up at a gas station. I lay on the couch for seven days and detoxed off of opiates, benzos, and meth… cold turkey.

During this week, my parents convinced me to go to rehab. My dad begged for me to tell him what he could do to help me. He knew this problem was bigger than all of us. They couldn’t find a bed for me fast enough. I was tired of being dope sick and detoxing. I left and walked fourteen miles to get high. I lost my spot in rehab.

Three months later, June of 2014, I was at an all-time low I had never reached before and a slave to a needle. I hadn’t seen or talked to my children in nearly a year. I was exhausted from the worrying of where I was going to sleep, when I was going to eat again, or when I was going to get a hot shower. My days and nights were invaded with paranoia of dying or getting busted. I couldn’t separate fantasy from reality anymore. That was my rock bottom.

I called my dad again and asked him to help me find treatment. When he knew I was serious, he came and picked me up. I left for rehab the next day. God had heard my cry for help.

I spent almost four months in rehab learning about myself, learning how to live again and learning about forgiveness. I learned how to love me for the first time in years. I made up my mind to surrender my will and my life to the care of my Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

Today, I have joint custody of my boys. My daughter is happy and healthy living with my family. My life is dramatically different. In less than one year of getting clean, I went from a homeless junkie to a working college student. I regularly attend church and twelve-step meetings, and I work a full time job. I’m chasing after recovery as hard, if not harder, than I chased after dope. I found a new “playground” with new “playmates” and also have had the privilege of connecting with a few people I used with that are also in recovery. Life is good. Life is beautiful.

Addiction and recovery taught me the same thing: anything is possible!”

Candace went through struggles, but she made efforts to become more than her struggles. Candace pushed through adversity and when all of life was pushing on her, she pushed back! I commend Candace for this courage to not only tell me this story, but bless me by developing such a great relationship in this recovery journey. I’m grateful to have such a story to listen to and a friend to tell it to all of us, as well as you should be, too! From Tweaking to a complete Turnaround Candace Courtesy of postgradolescence.com tweaking From Tweaking to Complete Turnaround—Candace Speaks Out! your story matters picis a remarkable recovery story. Thank you for your bravery on spreading this message and we all wish you speed and hope to your recovery, as you grant it to us with telling this story to us!

To find Candace go to her Twitter: @CandaceSoddu

PEN NAME: “Beautiful Recovery” as her recovery is truly beautiful and inspirational. Thank you for being of service to those who need to hear this Candace. Thank you!  I’m very proud of you!

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