I am a young, healthy, vibrant, talented, intuitive, sensitive young woman with an entire life to live. Having only lived 35 years it feels as though I’ve already lived a lifetime. My truth is easy. I have spent many years living in a prison of addiction. Each and every choice I have made has been my own. For years I’ve been told to write my story. Well, now I am. My story begins at age 9 when I lost my special someone, my best friend, my soul mate, my grandmother. A part of me died with her. A child doesn’t understand that pain and for many years I didn’t. Still today the memories flow as tears. My upbringing was perfect. I would venture to say privileged. After Nanny’s passing life went on. At age 13 began the cycle of antidepressants and what I believe began the confusion of brain chemistry. Our family Dr. thought it best to prescribe a child, me, a variety of them over a period of time. I experimented with Zoloft, Paxil and Desyrel to only name a few and so the downward spiral began. I spent my teenage years trying to find myself. I floated through life like a butterfly on a breeze. I laughed. I loved. I cried. I lived. At age 23 I became ill briefly resulting in a Cholecystectomy and was routinely given Hydrocodone for pain as I recovered. At this moment my relationship and love of opiates began. When I was 24 I was arrested for prescription drugs. I was ashamed and embarrassed. In an attempt to save her youngest daughter my mother packed up the hollow shell I’d become and fled our hometown leaving behind our family, my destruction and warrant for arrest. For 30 days my devastated, broken but hopeful mother nursed my soul back to life. I knew I would change and for a short time I did. My search for an altered state of mind was apparent. I like it. I loved it! I could escape. In these moments I found freedom. Freedom from myself. After opiates I found alcohol, my 2nd love, and the marriage of the two were Heaven on Earth. In 2009 I was arrested for DUI. OK. No big deal. It happens. I can recover from this (“thankfully the other drugs in my car weren’t found” was one of my 1st sober thoughts after the fact). In 2012 I was arrested for my 2nd DUI and as a penalty, aside from the many thousands spent on my behalf, I stayed 10 days in an inpatient rehab facility. I have not driven in 4 years. I’m unable to do the simple things that most take for granted. My husband drives me to work everyday just as my father drove me to school when I was a child. I cannot grocery shop without an escort. I wait most evenings for a taxi to bring me home. I pay that taxi $15 per ride. I don’t participate in social activities. I depend on others everyday to aid me in doing the very small things I once did for myself. I know my weaknesses and issues all too well. In past years I’ve sought help. I’ve seen more therapists than any young adult should. I’ve been prescribed Topamax for alcohol dependency. Years I have spent attempting sobriety for opiate addiction by taking Suboxone. We are taught that our doctors are all knowing meanwhile aided in my demise. I found Kratom by accident. While healing from a surgical procedure on my wrist I was desperate for pain relief. I simply googled “natural pain reliver”. Kratom was 1st on the list. Filled with hope I began to research. I started reading every article I could find and spent countless hours consumed with learning about the miracle herb. Pain relief, addiction, depression, anxiety…THIS IS ME! I am able to write this testimony today with a smile. I am hopeful. For the first time in many years my mind is clear. I am now able to live a normal life as a productive, contributing member of society. I was looking for pain relief but found so much more. I am no longer my own worst enemy. I have a life to live. I am drug free. I am ALIVE. I am FREE!