Welcome to another episode of Stories of Hope. After we posted the first episode we’ve had several others reaching out to us wanting to share their story. So, if you are interested will be looking to feature some of your stories on this show. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For Episode II we’re going to be featuring Amanda Nichols. For this Part I she’ll be sharing her story of how bad her addiction was and the path that it led her down and then in Part II she’ll tell her story of hope. I don’t know but out of all the people that are interviewed for the documentary “Gateway to Hope: Overcoming Heroin” I think Amanda’s story really hit me the hardest. Not so much as we were filming but as I was putting it together. It just it hit me really deep and I don’t know if it’s because I have a daughter and she has blonde hair but her story is very, very remarkable. So, check out this first part and then subscribe here if you haven’t yet to be notified whenever Part II is posted. Thank you!
Amanda Nichols: “After high school I just gave in to the pressures of everybody that was around me. I started college and I started drinking and it was a completely normal thing to me. I went to frat parties. I went out to bars and I got drunk and that was when I was 18 and one of those times when I got drunk I was at a bar in my hometown and that night I was slipped a date rape drug and that night I was raped. And to me as an 18 year old girl that was my worst case scenario.”
“I had no coping skills I didn’t know how to deal with it and so I just continued to drink because it numbed my emotions. And one time when I was intoxicated a guy that I knew was using drugs and I was already intoxicated so I just used drugs for the first time. And I didn’t really think anything about it because I was just partying it wasn’t a big deal and then all of a sudden something that started out as a partying thing that was a random thing became an everyday thing and I don’t really remember when that switch occurred from just a party thing to a complete addiction, but I know that one day I couldn’t remember the last time I went a day without a drug and I knew I was bound and I was hopeless.”
“My addiction took me places that I never thought it would. It made me a person I never wanted to be and I felt just completely hopeless and bound to this drug addiction. I needed it to wake up I needed it to go to work I needed it to talk to people and I was sick without it. I went through physical withdrawals anytime I tried to quit. That was the lowest point for me is when I could see the hurt on my family’s faces they found out about my addiction my mom would cry herself to sleep. She begged me to quit and I just I couldn’t. I wanted to. I didn’t want to be an addict you know as a little girl I had hopes and dreams and it was never to be a drug addict but here I was and I was completely bound and so at my lowest point I knew that in every bad situation in my life was me. I was the common factor and I wanted my family to be able to go on and have Thanksgiving and Christmas and to be a happy family but I was the problem.”
“I can’t really even put into words how hopeless how I was at that time in my life. I just was in a place I never thought I would be. I was a person I never thought I’d become and I hated that person and I didn’t want my family to see me like that. I didn’t want my friends to see me like that and I didn’t want to be like that. But I didn’t see any way out other than taking my own life and so that’s what I tried to do and it wasn’t this really well thought out plan. It was just a hey I’m gonna do this and this is how I’m gonna do it and so I took a 18 Adderall 20 milligrams and I ate them all at once and it was completely miserable because by the time we got to the hospital was too late to pump my stomach so they had to just let everything take its course on me and so my heart rate was over 200s.”
“Only one person in my family could come into the hospital at a time and I remember my dad very well during that first 24 hours because the medicine took its toll on me there’s not a lot that I remember and my mom tells me stuff I said and I don’t I don’t remember all of it but I remember very well my dad sitting on my hospital bed and he was holding my hand and he just said “why do you want to kill my baby you can’t kill my baby I don’t want you to kill my baby.” And he cried and he’s a grown man my dad the strongest man I know and here he is broke down at my hospital bed just crying.”
“And that’s the point that I got to that’s where drugs took me and like I said it just started out as a partying thing it was never supposed to take me that far.”