On Wednesday, a Reddit user who goes by the username DisregardThisOrDont posted two side-by-side photos of herself to celebrate having been heroin-free for 1,000 days.
"You might not be able to see the difference but I can," she elaborated in a post about the photos. In the pic with me with blonde hair I was miserable. I had just left my fellow junkiw [sic] boyfriend and was withdrawaling [sic]."
She explained that her mother had taken the photo on the left, writing, "I remember being so shitty to her, even though she was just happy to see her daughter."
"My drug addiction at this point had fully taken over any thought that came through my brain," she wrote. "I had cut off all my hair and bleached it to a crisp. I had picked and plucked until my eyebrows were about gone and I had sores the size of dimes. I isolated myself and hardly ate (hint at how thin I was)."
But the photo on the right tells another story.
"The picture on the right is a whole different person completely," she wrote. "That's a person who loves herself."
In another comment about the photos, she said that she wanted to share her story in order to encourage others to seek help if they need it.
"My message to those still going through it: never be afraid to ask for help," she wrote. "Not all will understand why you have done the things you have done, but we love you and we want to help. Please let us help you. We can't help you until you ask. Getting help is fucking terrifying. But dying or living the rest of your life in jail is fucking terrifying too. We love you. The help you get won't always be exactly as you imagine. But in the end we want you better."
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines recovery as "a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential."
While recovery may mean different things to different people, we're glad that this Reddit user has, as she wrote, become someone who loves herself.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.
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