Addictions are hard to talk about. Most people pretend they never happen and rarely bring it up in conversation. But a woman named Kira Torres wants to change all that. Changing your life and beating an addiction, whatever it is, means changing everything…even the way that you think. This is her shocking story.
I have 5 years clean from heroin today. I don’t know the exact day I got clean because I didn’t think I was gonna stay clean but it was narrowed down to this week, 5 years ago. I was living on the streets sleeping on the subway or at the airport or in abandoned buildings when I met my husband.
I met him through a friend and she ended up getting locked up shortly after. Berto asked if I would babysit his kids while he was at work and take them to and from school like my friend did and he would pay for my methadone in return. He said I could stay at his place too. So of course I said yes, because winter in Chicago while homeless is no joke. All I had was a suitcase with one pair of clothes in it that I never wore that I dragged with me everywhere. I was a gutter junkie. The kind you see nodded out in an ally by the garbage dirty and grimy.
Berto ended up asking me out and I ended up falling in love with him. He asked me to get clean and I told him I would but I didn’t and would just go and get high while he was at work. All of his friends said he shouldn’t be with me because I’m “a junkie and will never change.” His boy saw me at the dope spot one day and called Berto to tell him. (I live 5 minutes from the dope spot) so when he started calling me I jumped on the bus, ran home and answered the phone and turned the shower on. He asked where I was and I told him I was just getting out of the shower so he could hear the shower. So he didn’t believe his boy who saw me at the spot.
Shortly thereafter Berto was hit by a car and off work for four months and I had no choice but to get clean. Those were my first four months clean. He babysat my ass. All I talked about was dope because for 10 years that’s all I did was dope. I was still obsessed with dope, I just wasn’t getting high because Berto was with me every second of the day.
I was a mess. I was happy with Berto but at the same time I was depressed and obsessing about dope because dope was the love of my life. Basically Berto kept on loving me until I could love myself and I was starting to become happy and enjoying life without dope. When it was time for him to go back to work I decided to give this clean thing a try for a bit at least until summer because winter sucks with a habit. I kept popping Xanax to get through dope cravings and one day ended up stealing a pair of earrings from Payless. Security flagged down some police on the chase and they grabbed me. My misdemeanor retail theft was bumped to a felony because I just did a year in prison for retail theft. Then they bumped it to a robbery, I was looking at seven years in prison.
When I got to jail I found out I was pregnant with Sophia and that was when I made my decision that I wasn’t going to go back to dope. Ever. I had already lost my oldest two children due to my addiction and I refuse to lose another. I made a promise to God that day that I would never steal or get high again. God must’ve heard my prayers and believed it because I beat that case even with the guy there testifying against me. I walked free at court at my first court date and have kept my promise to God to this day.
I have not stolen or done heroin in 5 years. I quit Xanax as soon as I got out and promised that I would never get another Xanax habit either, I would only take them if I had a craving for heroin or if I had an anxiety attack after I had my daughter. Me and Berto got married and have gone up in life ever since. I went to college to a degree in psych to be a drug counselor which was the first goal I ever completed. I was able to stay clean when my dad died as well. I eventually kicked the methadone after having my second baby.
The end of last year was very difficult. The most difficult time that I’ve had since getting clean. But I didn’t give up. I was able to start a business 2 years ago and I was able to have two children I finally was able to get a house (rent but I’ll buy one soon just wait and see). 5 years. It’s been 5 long years with no opiates at all. I take it day by day. My children are what keep me clean. If I have a craving I hold my babies tight and I talk it out with my friends. Talking about it is what keeps me clean.
You cannot bottle everything up because one day you will explode. You see there’s one thing you have to change in order to get clean,and that one thing is everything. Changing my thinking was the hardest thing to do but that’s what you have to do in order to stay clean. A lot of people ask me how I got clean so here you go, here’s the story. If I can do it so can you. But only the strong survive. It’s a lifelong battle and lifelong struggle. Learning new ways to cope is how you stay clean.”
Warning others, sharing stories, and encouraging one another to be and do better in life can go a lot farther than anyone could imagine. She shared her story with family and friends…but now, thousands of people have been inspired by her words. Maybe she didn’t expect thousands and thousands of people to read her story, but she has made a huge impact, and hopefully the inspirational words will continue to affect everyone who may be struggling in their own life.
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