This story comes from our friends at the Perry County Tribune’s Profiles in Recovery Series.
Her drug of choice – Morphine.
As a mother she lost who she was and her values. “I would lie, cheat and steal from people who were always there for me, stated Cassie Gross. “I did drugs for so long, I had no ambition, I no longer knew who I was or what I wanted from life.”
To avoid hassles from her family she stopped coming around her parents and brothers. “I did this because I was ashamed at who I had become,” said Cassie with a somber look across her face. Cassie says her children had only seen her in active addiction. “So they thought that a sick, angry mom was the best mom ever. They didn’t understand why mommy had to go away and still don’t understand why I can’t stay the night with them or them with me,” she said.
Cassie said when she was younger and growing up she really didn’t know anything about addiction. “I only knew it was bad, but the first time I smoked weed (marijuana) I didn’t even realize I had done anything wrong. My mom asked what me and my friend did while they went to the football game. I told them that we smoked some weed. I know that when I did start smoking it regularly I finally felt like I fit in somewhere and finally had friends.”
While heavily using her drug of choice, Cassie says she didn’t do much of anything else. “I was always in the house. I didn’t like talking to people or going to any public place.”
When Cassie finally went to Stanton Villa, where she says she is finishing up her last few days of IOP, she discovered it was nice to find out that she wasn’t the only one with this problem. She also knew with her continued use, she would eventually have her children taken from her. But, that didn’t stop her. She confessed it also made her feel worse about herself with every use.
Today, Cassie has finally realized who she really is. “I’m not afraid to be selfish and I finally know how it truly feels to be happy. I know what I want to do with my life. I am confidant with myself,” she said with a smile.
When Cassie was asked about what she thinks people need to understand about addiction/mental health issues she replied, “That they go hand in hand. There is no need to be ashamed of it, and there are a lot of people and places that can help. I am thankful for all the new and old people in my life. You are not alone, I guarantee there is someone else out there that has been through a similar experience that can help. Never be ashamed or scared to ask for help.”
As for Cassie’s future she say she wants to become an addiction counselor. “I want to work with addicts in jail/prison. I want to open a recovery community center and I want to help people not be ashamed of their past.” Cassie also says there is nothing she would change in her life. “I believe I was put on this path to make a difference, at least in my community.”
In concluding Cassie was asked what she would like other to know about her. Her reply, “That my name is Cassie, and I am a very grateful recovering addict.”