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Since my university days, I was a party animal. It started off with a couple of friends and I going to student nights at clubs a couple of times a week; eventually, I was out several nights a week and had the art of juggling classes, tests and partying down pat.
In my final year of university, I dated a guy who introduced me to recreational drugs. I had gotten a taste, and I liked it. After beginning to experiment, I became aware that so many people I knew were taking some form of drug. This only led to me using more frequently. My experimentation escalated into a habit.
Fast forward five years to early 2014. I had graduated from university, obtained a postgraduate diploma, and had a good job with a promising career path. My habit slowly began to diminish my productivity, and I was saw myself becoming more exhausted with each passing day.
It was at this time that I began to date the guy who became my boyfriend — PT. PT and I had been in a class together way back in our first year of university; however, we had never been friends or hung out in the same circles. After many years of not speaking or seeing each other, we ran into each other at a club one night, and things progressed quickly after that.
Both PT and I used certain recreational drugs, and before I knew it, we were using together pretty much every time we were together. As we began to spend more time together and the cracks in our relationship soon started showing. We argued all the time, mostly because he had developed the nasty habit of disappearing and being unreachable. I could no longer trust him and eventually realized that I shouldn't have ignored my gut: he had cheat on me with his ex-girlfriend. The cheating and constant arguments culminated in a breakup.
Two weeks later, I found out that I was pregnant. Despite advice to do the opposite, I told PT about my pregnancy. Being in an extremely vulnerable state and still grieving from the betrayal, I was not thinking clearly when he begged me to take him back. We ended up getting back together, but before long, the old issues began to resurface. His ex was still contacting him, and despite my objections, he secretly maintained contact.
Approximately 13 weeks into my pregnancy, I miscarried. Neither of us took it well. We cried about it once and never mentioned it again, as if that would change the fact that it happened.
After that, we partied more than ever. This was the beginning of the end for me. I was drowning my pain and insecurity, and not confronting the issues at hand. Neither of us was. Inevitably, I sank into a deep depression and could barely function or be productive. Life had become unmanageable, and I had lost focus of everything important. I had lost the will to get out of bed in the mornings. I had lost the will to live.
One morning, I woke up and just knew that I had an important decision to make. I needed to decide whether I wanted to live or die. I desperately wanted to live. I knew that life could be good, but not along the path that I was on.
I decided to book myself into rehab for a four-week program. PT tried to get me to delay it, but I was adamant. Once he realized that I was not going to change my mind, he became nasty: he accused me of neglecting him and our relationship, claiming that I would forget about him and that he'd be all alone.
The day before I checked myself in, he barely spoke to me. On the day I got there, he didn't even bother calling me, knowing that we wouldn't be able to communicate at all for the first two weeks.
Those first two weeks dragged and felt like two years. When I was finally allowed to make a call, I called him. I could hear that he was high; his tone was arrogant and his words hurtful. He told me that "rehab is for quitters" and that I was a coward for abandoning our relationship, but that he still loved me. Each word broke my already-broken heart into even tinier pieces. At that moment, I knew that a relationship between us would never, ever work. I knew that at some point I'd have to break it off for good.
A week later, I decided to extend my treatment by two weeks. For this last stretch, I had my mobile phone, but was only permitted to use it in the evenings and early mornings. I woke up one morning to drunken and abusive voice messages from PT. My gut told me that I had to put an end to the toxic situation then and there. I'm a firm believer in ending things face-to-face, but I believed that my situation warranted a telephone break-up.
Once I had done it, I spoke to my counselor, who guided me through the torrent of emotions that I was experiencing. That was the day something in me clicked into place. While I still had a long way to go in my journey of healing, I knew that I had just taken the most important step. I felt empowered.
The next few months were difficult, to say the least. Acclimatizing to normal life was challenging, but I had the support of my family and my closest friends. PT tried to contact me many times. While part of me was tempted to talk to him, I knew that it would only take me back to the hell that I had just come out of.
No matter what, I need to remember that I am a beautiful and worthwhile human being, and I deserve to be happy and to give yourself a chance.