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How Life Has Changed My Cousin For The Better

This post was written by Tamara E. Citrowske.

Hello everyone, my name is Tamara E. Citrowske. I am here to share my personal story of a family member who suffered from alcohol and substance abuse, and ultimately got the help she was looking for to live a sober life. This person who suffered from alcoholism and drugs is my cousin who is now 24 years old, living a happier and healthier lifestyle. 

During her childhood she had many complications between her parents and was not in the greatest household for a child to grow up in. Some of my family members would take care of her and tried to give her the same lifestyle my other cousins and I had; however, as she got older she developed deviant behaviors. She started to experiment with drugs and drinking at an early age. Most of us had no idea what was going on and didn’t see the severity of her substance and alcohol abuse until she was about 20 years old. 

As the years progressed, my family became more worried, and she went deeper into drugs. She started to act differently around us and most of the day would be drunk or high. Her issues became larger, such as getting into car accidents, fights at the bar, and barely eating all day. These are only a few examples that ultimately brought her to hit rock bottom. 

However, one event that made her realize she needed to turn her life around is when her boyfriend passed away. For a time she felt resentful for not being there for him the day he died. Her abuse of drugs and alcohol worsened until a month after his passing, when she told my uncle to get her the help she needed. 

My cousin was checked into a rehab center where she stayed for a few months and had little to no communication with her friends or family. She said it wasn’t easy being alone or even trying to stay sober, but she pushed through all of the temptations to be where she is in life now. 

She always mentions, “You never completely heal, but you can always try to move forward and never look back.” My cousin has been sober for 3 years now, has a new relationship, a dog that she adores, and is an assistant manager at a clothing store. She wants anyone else who may be battling with drug or alcohol abuse to never give up on themselves. Anything is possible as long as you set your mind to it.


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