I figured I would make an "introduction" thread in order for us to tell our stories about addiction and what led to the decision to finally put the addiction to rest. I started doing cocaine when I was 16. It was easily available to me. I started off just doing it at parties. It ended up leading to needing it in order to get things done, then in order to go to school, and eventually it got to the point that I needed it just to get out of bed in the morning. One day, at the peak of my addiction, I woke up feeling very dizzy and nauseous...more than I normally felt. I got out of bed and immediately fell on the floor. My nose started bleeding profusely and when I looked at myself in the mirror, my eyes were extremely red (popped blood vessels). My mother had to drive me to the emergency room. My blood pressure was 188/111 which is dangerous for a tiny girl like me. I spent over a week in the hospital because they were afraid I was going to go into cardiac arrest. I don't remember much from that time, however, I do remember getting out of the hospital and knowing I was never going to touch the stuff again. My life was more important than an addiction. Its been a tough road for recovery. I've been around it and the temptations were awful. However, it DOES get easier. I go more days without thinking about it now and I don't feel the need to talk about "those times" anymore. It was quite the lesson to learn when I was sitting in that hospital bed, feeling useless. Its been over 3 years since the last time I touched the stuff. After some hard times, it was hard not to go to it as a crutch, but I occupied myself with other things to cope. Find your coping method. Working out, reading, writing, hiking, ANYTHING! Mine was reading and writing...and being around people I love. I hope my story helps some of you in your road to recovery. Just remember that your choice to END your addiction is also your choice to LIVE a better life.