Depression and addiction do not discriminate

by Tiffani Borello

Trigger warning: Suicide method mentioned briefly

On the left: When I was using. On the right, me in recovery.

As I’m writing this, I have tears falling down my face. I lost my best friend, Charles Rogers, to suicide while he was withdrawing from opiates. It’s been a little over three years since Charles died and it still eats me up inside till this day that I missed his call before he died by hanging.

We lost another good friend, one of Charles best friends, Mike Stewart, who also died. They pulled the plug after an unfortunate accident and we don’t know whether it was intentional or the result of his addiction. We may never know.

Being in and out of rehab since I was sixteen is tiring. It feels like I’ve wasted six years of my life, one of which was spent on Rikers Island, the toughest jail in the country, due to my actions during active addiction.

I got my GED in jail at twenty one and am now enrolled in beauty school and trying to turn my life around. I’m proud of that accomplishment. It might not seem like a big deal to most people but that was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

I came from a good family but my dad was abusive so when I was twelve, my mom wasn’t emotionally stable enough to take care of us so I dated older drug dealers who would use me to carry and do drugs. I was arrested at seventeen and again at twenty, looking for love in all the wrong places and even joined a gang trying to find a “family.” I was clean after going to The Family School with Charles until some boy was mad that I wanted to leave a party and broke my jaw. The pain medications led me right back to my addiction.

I know God made me go through these difficult times to make me a strong independent women and I’ve been living on my own since seventeen.

I have always felt there’s a void in my heart that needs constant filling. Temporary gratification only lasts so long until I fill the void again. I cry a lot and want want people to know they aren’t alone and it can always get worse. I always ask myself, why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I control myself? And why can’t I feel happy?

I put a smile on every day and realize depression and addiction do not discriminate and I am blessed to be alive. Although things are better since I started beauty school, it’s an everyday struggle to try and stay the course.

Seeing so many of my friends die I have to wonder sometimes why I’m the lucky one.

I want anybody reading this to just know you are not alone in this battle. Regardless of the stuff in your past, we are survivors and deserve to live a healthy, happy life. Some days I feel like giving up. And when I feel like giving up, I take a minute or as long as I need to remind myself I deserve to be here.

It will take time, I struggle everyday but everything good in life takes hard work. If I hadn’t gone through the crap in my life, the strong wise person I am today would not exist. When taking it a day at a time seems to long, take it minute by minute.

Somebody loves you, and if you haven’t heard that today my fellow addict, my love for you runs deep.

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Sometimes it still doesn’t seem real to me that he’s gone

 

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.

15 thoughts on “Depression and addiction do not discriminate”

  1. Dear Tiffani,
    What COURAGE it took for you to share your story! I believe others will read it and you will have a positive impact on their lives. You have been through so much and you still have the strength to keep going~please give yourself credit for that. You are learning that your past does not have to define who you are today. Reading your story I know that you are an independent young woman with wisdom, a caring heart and a goal to finish beauty school. Though we may never meet, know that you DO matter! Wishing you the strength you need today and everyday.

  2. This was so heartfelt, raw and honest. Your journey has brought you strength, faith and confidence. God has a plan for you and your story is an inspiration. Stay the course and keep being you. You absolutely deserve to be here. You already have and will continue to make a difference in the lives of many! ❤️

    1. Honestly I almost didn’t want Anne to Publish it because I was scared of what people would say about me or think about me but the feed back I’m getting back is full of love and positive messages it inspires me even more to share my story because if it helps even just one person I know I did my job! Thank you so much 💕 much love xoxo

  3. As a Mom of a son with a substance abuse disorder, this warms my heart to read. I am so sorry for the loss of your friends and the pain you have been thru, but it gives Mom’s like me hope that you are still here. Keep up the hard work it takes to win the difficult battle against addiction. People like me that you don’t even know need you to be here and make it. Thank you for being raw, honest, and mostly for being YOU!

  4. This is the best thing I’ve ever read. You are so brave and real. Being honest isn’t always easy!

    Getting your GED is an amazing accomplishment! You should be so proud because it took perseverance.

    You have a gift here and you may not even know it; but your writing is so raw and true that I wish you were someone I knew.

    I hope good things for you. I wish you peace. You are beautiful and bright and have so much to give to this world.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us sweet girl.

    1. Thank you so much! I was such a manipulator before it was hard to keep up with my own lies it’s best just to be honest and true to myself I realized thank you for all the support you women don’t understand how much it means to me!!!! And like I said before I almost didn’t want to post it but god told me to go for it and the feed back is amazing thank you guys so much I love you all xoxoxoxox

  5. I am the person who took a child in to my home because her family didn’t want her. They literally signed her over to us, legally. In fact, her brother attended the family school as well. She, too, had addiction issues (although not to opiates). She had to learn to love herself before she could even think about a road to recovery. Although she will have an uphill battle for the rest of her life regarding addiction, loving without conditions, etc., she has made huge strides and I couldn’t be prouder of her. She is back in touch with her family, but on HER terms. She got through high school, and even graduated from college, and is a mom to a beautiful baby girl. When she first came to us, I was frazzled and didn’t quite know where to turn. She had an assignment in school to read a novel. I gave her the book about Jacie Dugard (the little girl kidnapped and held captive for 17 years). At the end of reading that, she realized that there is ALWAYS someone who has it worse. You will survive. You will make it. And if you ever get to the point where you are feeling on edge, go help someone who may be struggling even more than you. Continue your uphill climb…..there is something about a beautiful blue sky (or even a gray one), the warmth of summer and the chill of winter , that has so much to offer you in the way of peace and love. Keep on keeping on.

    1. Wow!!!!! She’s amazing! I would love and be honored to hear her story she sound remarkably awesome. Tell her to keep up the good word, great things are possible ! And that gives me hope. Thanks so much for sharing with me. God bless you and your family you have such a big heart taking In your daughter even if she was a little difficult at first but she just needed some guidance love and a family to remind her she’s worth it and now look at her she sounds like an amazing mother. Both of you sound like amazing mothers. So inspiring thank you for sharing ! All my love

  6. Please pray hard. I am happy to talk with you and lend support. Email directly. Have been thru addiction with my own child. She is now in long term recovery.

    1. Would love your email mine is tiffanixx10@gmail.com could never have enough support. Congrats on your daughter being in long term recover it’s not easy thank god what a blessing ! Again thank you for reaching out. Anne really is inspiring me to write more it was so therapeutic. Again thank you xoxox

  7. Tiffani, you are a caring and wise young woman. You are on the right path. You have a wonderful goal that I know you can make. I admire your reaching out to others to give support. I will be praying for God to bless you and give you strength and peace. Much love to you.

    1. I almost didn’t want Anne to post it I was nervous of people thinking nasty things but I realized this is my story and this is who i am. I had to go through the darkness to see the light! And I thank god and people like Anne for helping people MULTIPLE people out without being judge mental I appreciate you and taking you time writing me comments full of love ! God bless

  8. Don’t you ever give up! You are on a great path right now with an exciting future ahead! Thank you so much for sharing your journey so far. Your story WILL help and inspire others. I am so sorry for the losses you have endured but you have become stronger. Best of everything to you and keep pushing forward my friend.

    1. Thank you so much! Everyday I am trying! It took me a long time to realize that no fairy god mother can save me only me myself and I and of course help of rehabs and therapists and meetings and staying away from people places and things. Thanks so much for the support it’s so overwhelming!! Thank you and god bless xox

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