An R.I.P Poem

I can’t find a reason why this should’ve happened. What can grow from of all this damage? What did you need that you didn’t quite have yet? How could you do this? Betray your family. The one thing you’re known for is your loyalty, an undying need to protect those you call family.
I think some days the anger was all you had left. Your soul so stained, tainted, depressed. But there was always a light regardless of your darkness, I just think you were blind to the beauty you harnessed. Your heart was gold, but the world is cruel kid. You found your vices and threw out the blueprints. You never were the type to follow a plan, you’d say “fuck it”, start buckin, and be your own man. But was the price of your life worth that lack of a plan? I know if love could cure an addict, you’d still be out here, goin’ at it and none of us would feel this pain that’s left in the wake of your absence.

I remember that day by the water, we were so young and free. Completely unaware of how it’d turn out to be. What would we have done if we knew this was next to come? I never knew you’d die, using a drug as a gun.

R.I.P. Joseph Shultz

June 2, 1992-June 23, 2016
by Ashley King

© All Rights Reserved 2017


Ask Me Anything Monday

This is a little fun exercise I used to do last year that fell into obscurity between working and being pregnant. Soooo, I’m giving it a shot again. If you’re interested, ask away 🙂 

Submit any questions, queries, or random wonderings you may have! 🙂 As always, it can be a personal question about me or my life or it can be completely random. And I promise to answer it as completely and honestly as I can! There are no rules or limitations. Let’s go! 
Much love,

Ashley King

© All Rights Reserved 2017

Grief is A Cunt

June 24th of 2016 I was sitting on the balcony of my love’s parent’s beach house and I got the call. The call that every person who has ever loved an addict dreads getting. It was my mom and she asked me if I was sitting. I know what that question means. I expected to hear that maybe an aunt I didn’t really know or someone I went to school with had died. That is not what came out of her mouth. When she told me it was you I just sat there for a minute. I asked her if she meant YOU you, praying that she was talking about some other Joey, any other Joey besides my little brother. Anyone but the man who had a one year old at home, who had gotten clean before and was happy, who just one year prior had talked me off a ledge when I was freaking out. But she was talking about you.

You were found dead on your best friend’s couch, overdosed on heroin. My heart broke for him having to find you like that because I know that nothing in the world will ever scrub that image from his mind. My heart broke for your mother who just lost her youngest child, her baby boy. My heart broke for your brother who you idolized, followed, modeled yourself after, because I know that on some level he will always blame himself.  My heart broke for your son. Your beautiful one year old son who’d just been so prematurely robbed of all the amazing qualities you had to teach and pass on to him. Now he will only hear the stories…of how his father was as loyal as they make them and would go to war for any of the people he loved, how you were sometimes impulsive and reckless and would go to jail if it meant defending one of your own. He’ll only get to hear about your laugh that could light up an entire room, your smile that could drag anyone out of a dark place, your wild nature but soft heart. There are so many things that made you who you were, some good, some bad, some in between; but they were you. And I know you would’ve been an amazing force in that little boy’s life.. had you not died. THAT breaks my fucking heart. I’ve cycled between being in denial, devastated, depressed, angry, enraged, accepting, and then devastated all over again.

This month is dedicated to devastation. December 23rd marked the 6 month anniversary of your death and I’m stuck in the dreaded place of “what if?”. I sit in these meetings, the same meetings we went to together, and I feel like someone’s gutted me every time I hear the chairperson ask “Is this anyone’s first time at a meeting?”, “Is this anyone’s first time at this meeting?” I can’t wrap my head around why you can’t magically pop up in the back and say, “My name is Joey and I’m an addict.” I would kill to hear those words coming out of your mouth again. But you just had to have “one more”. And now you’re just fucking gone. No magic, no wishing, and no amount of praying in this world will ever bring you back. Your absence has just left this giant fucking hole in the lives of those who loved you. Your death had me staring at that last sentence trying to figure out if “love” or “loved” was the proper way to write it. “Loved” because you’re gone, “love” because the care people have for you didn’t die with you. I just left it the way it is because I couldn’t decide.

I’ve told myself that you’re not in pain or struggling anymore, I’ve tried to reason with the grief that everything happens for a reason, I’ve written about you, talked to you as I was falling asleep, replayed so many memories through my head in an attempt to celebrate your life instead of mourn your death. But you know what? It doesn’t fucking work. Grief doesn’t give a fuck that you’re not suffering anymore. Talking to you at night doesn’t magically give you the ability to talk back. Looking at your prayer card on my mirror every morning is not the fucking same as you being here. Death is unforgiving. I had only known I was pregnant for a month when you died and I was still in that place of not telling anyone because I was so afraid of losing her and god knows you weren’t always easy to track down. My brother died without ever knowing that I was blessed with the one thing I always wanted. You’ll never meet my baby or get to hold her. You’ll never sit back with me and watch our kids play together. You’ll never hear her laugh or get to make fun of me trying to make costumes for some school play some day. I’ll never get to punch you for busting my balls about being a stay at home mom or a housewife. There’s so much that you’re not going to see, that we’ll never get to share now, and I’m angry. I’m fucking angry because you got so close. You got that time clean two summers ago and you were happy. You had learned enough that you were actually able to help me instead of me helping you. I remember how amazed I was at how much you had grown in the months you’d been clean. You were living your life far away from the world of active addiction and you had this light in you that could actually match all the darkness you always seemed to carry with you. But that darkness won in the end, I guess. We all have it, that darkness; but you were always so sensitive to it. It just dug its way into you on so many different occasions, pushing you over the edge at the worst possible time. You would do good for a short while, but you always were your own worst enemy. You’d get so close to your life getting better and you’d hit the self destruct button because you didn’t know any other way. It was brutal to watch, enraging to try to talk you out of, and heartbreaking to see how badly it hurt you even though you always did it to yourself. You were never perfect but you never pretended to be. You owned your flaws, even if sometimes a little too much.

I never thought you would die.

You were my invincible little brother.

And you fucking died. And I can’t do anything to change it.

I handle hard things well but I can’t seem to find a way to swallow this one.

You’re supposed to fucking be here! To raise your son, to talk shit with me, to meet my beautiful daughter, to go fishing and rafting and swimming. You always had this light inside you and the world just isn’t quite as bright without you in it. I know that’s cliché and you’d kick me in the face if you were here to hear it, but it’s actually true with you. You’re supposed to be here, laughing and learning, loving and living. When people say that life isn’t fair they always forget to mention that sometimes it’s just outright fucking cruel.

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016

Addicts ARE People Too!

They deserve to die. It’ll teach them a lesson. They have to be held accountable for their actions. They’re all scum bags. They shouldn’t get medications for the withdrawal; let them suffer. Fuck them. Ew. They’re not real people.”

As many of you know, drugs (specifically heroin), are killing more people today than probably ever before. Statistics say that there isn’t one person who isn’t somehow connected to a drug addict, whether by blood or some other relation. The days of thinking drug addicts are dirty junkies living under the bridge with a needle in their arm are over. We (addicts) are your children, your waitress, your accountant, your school bus driver, your lawyer, your tattoo artist, your doctor. We come from amazing homes full of love where we want for nothing. We came from crack houses and lives riddled with abuse and poverty. We went to Ivy League schools. We dropped out in 9th grade. We’re hardened criminals. We’ve never been to jail or gotten so much as a parking ticket. 

We are everyone, everywhere. 

Addiction DOES NOT discriminate. 

Those sentences I wrote at the top are things I’ve heard or read in reference to addicts in the last week. There is still so much stigma attached to addiction that many people think we’re less-than-human and deserve to die. They think Suboxone and Methadone programs are an easy way out. They think that stopping an addict from dying by shooting them full of Narcan is preventing them from “dealing with the consequences of their actions”. I’ve never heard of anyone learning a lesson after they’ve died but hey, certain members of society think it’s possible. 

While this current trend of anger and resentment against the disease of addiction is understandable, it’s also alarming. It’s very easy to forget that that “piece of shit drug addict” is also a human being, someone’s baby, someone’s partner, someone’s parent. They’re another real person who feels pain, happiness, agony, sympathy, fear, and hopelessness. 

It seems to me that the common thread among those who hate addicts is that they also believe addiction is something you choose. I’ve argued this before and I’m sure I will for many posts to come. Does a person make the choice to take that first drug? Yes. Haven’t you? Have you ever smoked a joint in the locker room in middle or high school? Have you ever had a beer with friends? Maybe tried a little coke at a party? See that’s how “that first high” happens 90% of the time. It’s some young person just trying something for the first time. For those of us who have a predisposition to addiction that first high creates a phenomenon in our minds. It’s like we’ve finally found the answer to that hole in our souls. Many addicts report always feeling an emptiness inside them that they just couldn’t find an answer for. Drugs numb that aching hole. Some of us were looking for a reprieve from mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, or bipolar. Some of us were raised by addicts and saw this as the “normal thing to do”. Some of us were looking for a mental escape from abusive homes, bullying, loneliness, stress. Like I stated before, addiction does not discriminate. It happens to every shape, kind, class, and color of person. 

When we act as if addicts are just a cancer to society we dehumanize them. We turn them into the sick or rabid dog that needs to be dragged out back and shot. We turn them into objects, afflictions, things, “less-than-human”. And when we do this, when we strip away a hurting soul’s humanity, we also give away a piece of ours. 

I saw a police officer openly admit on Facebook that when they report to overdoses they would rather hang out and “tie their boots” than administer the Narcan that could save the addict’s life. Their reasoning was that so long as we use Narcan on addicts they are not truly “paying the consequences of their actions”. But I have to wonder, what has happened to us as people, if we’re okay with sitting back and watching someone die? Do some of us only become police officers to help the ones that we like or deem worthy? Do addicts somehow rate as being “less than” or subhuman? I have to wonder what kind of person would sit back and watch another human being die while that addict’s saving grace is literally in their hands. They may be addicts. They may have overdosed many times before and not learned their lesson BUT, that is not our call to make. 

There is no way of knowing if “this time” will be the “last time they use”. Maybe that last overdose will be the thing to push them to get clean. Maybe it will scare them just a little bit more last one. Maybe getting shot full of Narcan by that police officer who hates them will be the one thing that saves their life. Maybe they’ll catch a charge and be put in a jail or institution that gets them clean. Maybe someone saving them will actually save them. Who are we to take that away? Who are we to decide who gets to live and die?

We are not gods. If we were, addicts wouldn’t exist. 

It’s always been easy to judge those who don’t live the same way that we do; it’s the human condition. We can only ever see things from our own perspective. So for a healthy person or police officer it must be impossible to understand why a heroin addict uses. But, we have to consider the fact that all of us have things about us that other people don’t and maybe can’t understand. And we all have an addiction of some kind whether it’s heroin, sex, work, or cleaning. The difference is, no one is going to let you die because of the bad choices that you’ve made. So why should addicts die for theirs? If they die as a natural result of their addiction then that’s on them but someone sitting back and letting them die? Now that is less than human. 

Being mean and saying “let them all die” is not tough love. It’s not the hard choice. It’s the easy way out. It’s swiping the problem under the rug and pretending it will go away. Many of these people who condemn addiction do absolutely nothing to educate themselves or even better, the public at large. They don’t donate money or time to rehabs. They don’t try to reach out and help the next person. They’re just full of hate. 

I understand what it’s like firsthand to be the victim of someone else’s addiction. I know the darkness that that can breed inside of your heart. I know what it’s like to put your faith in someone who disappoints you time and time again. I however chose to blame the drug. The person is sick. I’ve seen people who truly did not want to use drugs ever again use them because they didn’t know any other way and their brains have been rewired to tell them that it’s the only choice. I’ve seen people who knew that they were going to go to jail or lose their children if they got high again and they used anyway, even in the face of those consequences. This is not some logical thing that you can categorize as good or evil, light or dark. It’s a disease. A disease that effects the best and the worst of us. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy and if you’ve read my other work you’ll understand how big of a statement that is for me.

All I’m trying to say here is that we need to stop letting the stigma attached to addiction push us towards being uncompassionate and hateful people. The drunk guy begging for change outside the gas station is no different than your 17 year old popping Percocet to get through the state volleyball championship. The junkie shooting dope under the bridge is no different than the highest powered CEO on Wall Street sneaking away from meetings to hit his crack pipe. We are no different than you. You are surrounded by us, served by us, married to us, parenting us. All we are is a collection of beautifully unique souls put in this place to accomplish something and the addict is just as much a part of that as the priest is. Stop letting the ignorance and fear and pain control you. Don’t let it turn you into a nasty person. Cause I’ll tell you something, I’d let a junkie into my home long before someone who watched another person die when they could’ve stopped it. THAT is in humane. THAT is cruel. And it is outright insane to think that we should have a say in who lives and dies. 

If that addict, any addict, was your child, your sibling, your best friend, or your parent, how differently would you treat them? Would you hope someone said those nasty things about them? Would you be okay with a cop letting them die? Would you view them in the same way you view other addicts? 

WE ARE ALL PEOPLE, so long as we don’t lose sight of that. When we start viewing our fellow human beings as nothing more than wastes of space and sacks of meat we have become savages. 

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016

A Letter to my Self-Centered Addict Mother

Dear mom,

I wanted to write you a thank you letter. A letter detailing all the ways in which you made me the person I am today. I was going to thank you for disappearing on crack binges for 3-9 days at a time. It taught me that I could survive anything, that I could stand on my own, and function under immense amounts of pressure whilst being suffocated by fear, disappointment, and anger. I was going to thank you for having shitty taste in men  because they taught me just how much pain and abuse a person could survive. They taught me how to take a hell of a beating and always get back up. They taught me what sick men look like and what red flags to look out for. I was going to thank you for always disappointing me and proving me wrong when I told people “Fuck you, she’s going to get it this time. She’s not going to relapse.” I wanted to thank you for this because it taught me to never put my faith in something as volatile and unpredictable as other human beings. It taught me that we are all fallible (even our parents) and people will always let you down. I know people in their 50’s still struggling to learn this lesson. I was going to thank you for always leaving me to pick up your slack and care for your children. It taught me to mother, to nurture, to protect, and how to have compassion for others. Even when they lash out at me because of damage or pain someone else caused. I was going to thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn more about myself and my own abilities than most people will ever have the opportunity to, and all by the time I was 14.

I was going to thank you, but now I’m not. It took many years for me to realize that my past did not “make me”. It is nothing but a series of events that I overcame. No one goes through everything I did and comes out clean on the other side; but, I am a functioning, sane, healthy human being today. I have successful, loving relationships. I am a good daughter, employee, partner, and person. I help other people whenever I can and I have experience in such a vast array of areas that I’m able to help many, many different kinds of people in a large number of situations. Dealing with you did teach me not to help people who won’t help themselves. But no, you did not make me. I simply am and this person I was born as just inherently had all the qualities I needed to survive the cards I was dealt. You did not give me my strength or my apparent never-ending ability to survive. It was however that ability that made me able to function at 8, 11, 13 years old when you disappeared for days on end because you were stuck chasing the next high. You constantly disappointing me didn’t grant me my resiliency. I always had it; you were just a constant way to exercise it. You didn’t give me my compassion, although you like to say you did. I was born a kind, loving, and empathetic person and it was these gifts that made me able to soothe your children’s fears when they hadn’t seen you in days and were starting to get scared. It was that love that made me able to not lash out when my little sister took her fear and anger at you out on me. It was that empathy that told me when it was time to mother them and time to let them be alone because they needed space. It was my drive to survive that never allowed me to quit or give up.

The issue here lies in that dark place between all these good attributes I have and the damage you caused. I can survive anything but I’m not so good at turning the “survival mode” off. Because of this I have struggled to slow down and truly enjoy my life my entire life. My ex boyfriend’s often wondered why I never showed happiness when I said I was happy. See I learned that happiness is fragile and a weakness. I learned that if you truly love something you keep it close to the chest and never let anyone know about it, for then they can tear it away and use it to destroy you. This isn’t good for relationships as I’m sure you can imagine. I have trust issues (big surprise there!). I’ve kept almost everyone at bay my entire life thus far. Very few have truly known me and the ones who do don’t generally understand how I’m still alive and not a psychotic mess of a woman. Even you asked me once “How do you do it? How do you go through all of this and survive?” I hadn’t given it much thought before you asked me and the only thing I could think to say was “I don’t know. I just go to bed at night, wake up in the morning, grit my teeth, and do it.” It was a crude explanation, but it was true. I don’t have a special method or way, just a very high tolerance for pain. People give up so easily, as you often did when you relapsed or dove into another pot of self pity and Bacardi. Well I simply never had that luxury. As a child and preteen if I didn’t pick up where you left off D and J wouldn’t have gotten fed, they would’ve missed school, CYF would’ve gotten involved, and we would’ve been split up. So I had to keep it together. When I finally ended up on my own at 14 if I didn’t go to work the bills didn’t get paid, I couldn’t get high and pretend to have a normal life, and I couldn’t keep going to school so again, CYF wouldn’t take notice to a 14 year old with no parents and my life would’ve been taken away.

I met a woman who saved my life because of your mistakes. She was actually your sponsor and when you disappeared again and I called her days later she came and got me and took me in. You’ve spent so much time since she became my “Mommy” being jealous that she had the more adoring name, that I spent more time with her, that I was closer to her. You were so preoccupied with trying to show that I was yours that you failed to recognize that she was exactly what I needed to heal from this world of shit without turning all the pain inwards and destroying myself. I’m sure it is incredibly painful to watch your child call another woman mommy but after all you’ve done and not done don’t you think you owed it to me to let me heal in whatever ways life offered me? This woman was and is the dose of unconditional love I needed. She was there when you were not. When I kicked, screamed, lied, and stole to push her away she pulled me in. When I had had my fill and couldn’t make one more adult decision at the tender age of 13 she swore to always fight for me and do what was best for me, even if it wasn’t what was best for her. And she kept that fucking promise. She refused child support from you that she really needed to raise me because she knew I would never trust her if she was getting paid to have me. She told me exactly how it was; no lies or games. She never sugarcoated or lied. She treated me as the mature child that I was. She let me exercise that freedom that I was used to when I needed to and gave me boundaries and rules where I needed them. When she asked how I was doing she actually listened to the answer without interruption and she didn’t follow it up by ignoring what I said and talking about her newest boyfriend. She talked to me about my life. Fuck, she taught me how to live it. She put me first, she protected me, she mothered me, she nurtured me, she valued me. That is why she is Mommy and you are mom.

Now I know you’re human and an addict. As an addict myself I now know how insidious this disease is. I could forgive you being an addict. What I have trouble with is all the times you should’ve protected me and failed to do so. YOU could’ve saved me a world of pain. Why couldn’t you defend me when your piece of shit husband was trying to convince me that I was stupid and useless and not worthy of the life I was given? Was that because of the drugs? Why did I get shipped off to Alabama away from my brother and sister because your husband was so abusive? Why did I have to leave when I was a good, loving child and he was a narcissist hell bent on breaking me because I wouldn’t roll over and die the way you did? Why didn’t you report me being molested until 6 months after you found out? I understand needing to be sure before you ruin another person’s life, but had you talked to me about it after I initially told you then the “absolute proof” you needed to report it would’ve been told to you a lot sooner than it was. I’ve heard you say it was all just too much to bear and you were in a lot of pain. I understand that. But how do you think your kids felt? WE’RE THE ONES IT HAPPENED TO! You’re supposed to protect US and deal with yourself later or at least at the same time but what you do not do is fall into a bottle or a crack pipe for 6 months while your kids get next to no therapy and everyone pretends like this horrible thing just didn’t happen. The kids are always supposed to come first. But you didn’t even try to talk to us about it outside of 2-3 times over that 6 month span and every time I’ve brought it up since you’ve always asked me not to talk about it because it hurts so much or you cry until it stops. I’m not a sociopath, I know it hurts you too. But you can’t put your own shit aside long enough to let your abused child talk to you about it? Jesus. I feel like the perfect sentence to describe our entire relationship is “What about me?” I mean really, who finds out their children were molested and then doesn’t ask about it again for months? If that were my child I would’ve gotten every single detail I could without further hurting my child as soon as possible. I would immediately report it and let the courts sort out the rest. Furthermore, who in their right mind starts writing their child’s abuser 13 years after the fact and doesn’t even let the child know? I walk in your house one day and there’s letters from that pedophile fuck on your table and you say nonchalantly “Oh yeah, I started writing David. He says he’s really happy you found a career and a man that you love. There’s a letter just for you if you want to look at it.” Now THAT is too much to bear! Did you even think about how much it would re-traumatize me to know my mother gave my molester personal information about my life without my knowledge or consent? Did you even stop for a second to say “Hmmm, it might not be normal to start a friendly correspondence with the man who permanently damaged my daughters and left one with severe PTSD”? You tried to tell me that it was a part of your amends process but being as I’ve been involved in a 12 step program for years I know that you aren’t supposed to make any amends if doing so will cause more harm than good. And I’m pretty sure once a man tries to fuck your kids anything you’ve done is forgiven. Plus none of that excuses the fact that you then tried to sideways guilt trip me into going to his next parole hearing and recanting everything so he didn’t have to spend the rest of his life in prison. You even said “He’s already been in for 15 years Ashley, That’s a really long time.” And when I said it was nothing in comparison to what he did to me you said, “He’s gotten three kinds of cancer and you know jail isn’t kind to child molesters.” The hint was in that sentence right there. “CHILD MOLESTERS.” When they do what he did they go down for a long time for a reason. They don’t deserve to live in our society. You were the one who told me if I testified when he wouldn’t plead guilty that he would never be able to hurt another little girl. And now you want to let him out because you feel bad?!?! Again, WHAT ABOUT YOUR KIDS? Had that guilt trip been successful I would’ve been coerced into undoing something that took everything my 8 year old mind had to do in the first place. When I told people that story I would’ve had to end it with “Oh yeah but I went to his parole hearing when I was 21 and recanted everything so he could get out because my mom felt bad.” Have you lost your fucking mind?! Out of all the things you’ve done I think that one takes the cake. It’s always been all about you and your men and how you feel. It will always be about you. I rarely speak to you now and when I do you always tell me about the new guy you’re with and how you want me to meet him. You always sing his praises. But you sang the rest of their praises too. And every time I’ve warned you about a new one because I have this sickly accurate intuition what do you do? Tell me all the reasons I’m wrong until I’m proven right and you come to me for pity. And I do feel bad for you. But I’m done with any men involved in your life.

Let’s be honest, this isn’t a letter. You’re never going to read it. I’m not so sure I’m going to post it. It’s pretty fucking personal. But who knows? Maybe I should. Maybe it’ll help heal this wallowing pit of resentment I have towards you. This is enough damage for ten lifetimes and it’s not even 1/2 of it. And the sad part is, you trained me to worry about you so much more than myself that somewhere deep inside me I’m worried if I do post it and you somehow find it that this, my deep seeded feelings about things you did to me, will hurt YOUR feelings. THAT, ladies and gentlemen is the kind of damage that is done being raised by the most self-centered person I’ve ever met. I’ve endured all this shit, survived everything. And for what? To still be worried about hurting my mom’s feelings with the truth. Well she damn sure never worried about mine, so maybe I will post it.

But to you mom, none of the good in me ever came from you. I choose to believe that I was just born this way. No child learns in a day how to survive things like this, yet all I remember is always knowing how to. I am empathetic where you only consider yourself. I am compassionate and giving where you’re always out for #1. I am protective of all children and would bend the earth over backwards and fuck it to keep them safe where you’ll risk them to keep your bills paid or your bed warm. I am strong and resilient and a fucking survivor. And I earned the right to call myself those things by myself. You don’t get to claim my good parts as coming from you when so much of what you did threatened to destroy me. It’s sad that in thinking about you saying that I’m “just like you” I can remember hearing the ego in your voice because you truly believe you made me like this. You gave me life and I do love you but I learned at a very young age that you are something to protect myself from. I don’t know what horrible thing happened to you to make you this way. I know you experienced a situation like mine at a young age and have had your fair share of pain but I just don’t believe that that excuses all you’ve done. I’m going to be a mother myself some day and writing shit like this raw, hot mess of a ramble is just one way of healing myself so that I never expose that innocent life to anything like what I’ve been through. My children will never go through what I did. Maybe all of this isn’t on you but at some turn or another you could’ve prevented a lot of it. No one can predict their kids being abused but you do have a choice about what to do after you find out. I could let the waiting slide, but never having a full conversation about it or putting us in long term counseling? That’s just not okay. And putting your own emotions before your kids and not talking to us about it much so you could save yourself some pain while we wallowed in agony? Again, not okay. My kids will never experience that. So that is one thing you did for me. You taught me what not to be and what to protect my children from. So…thanks for that.


Your 1900th priority

3 Years

Today I have 3 years clean. That’s means that I have not used drugs or alcohol in 1,095 days. I would never have made it here without my program and the people who love and support me. It’s incredible. Addicts can and do recover every day and I’m living proof of that. The hope is everywhere if you know where to look for it. I lead a productive, positive, happy life today and that was never possible while I was in active addiction. I am blessed to have lived to see this day. God knows many of my friends did not and many more will die while there is an answer out there. To any addict still struggling: I promise you it is possible to live clean and not be bored. You can be happy. You can live your life instead of just surviving it. To any family members of addicts: They can get help. But the road to recovery is different for everyone and the pain will have to become great enough for them to want to stop. You can’t make them. Pray for them. Love them. But don’t enable. It will not help them. You’ll just be robbing them of the rock bottom they may need to hit in order to bring them to a place where they’re finally done. 

I am truly grateful to be alive to see this day. I never expected to live this long and I was okay with thinking I was going to die for a long time. Today I fight for my life. I fight for my recovery. I fight to stay clean. I fight to be a better person than I was yesterday. I have integrity, am accountable and responsible, and live honestly today. I have come a long fucking way and been through a lot but I didn’t use. No matter what. 


In this life, the greatest things are typically gained one day at a time. 


Me, still getting high in 2009ish

And me with 3 years clean 🙂

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016 

Ask Me Anything Monday

It’s that time of the week again! Submit any questions, queries, or random wonderings you may have! 🙂 As always, it can be a personal question about me or my life or it can be completely random. And I will answer it as completely and honestly as I can! Let’s go! 

Much love,

Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016