***My sisters and I are pleased to have Arielle Butler here on See the Happy, sharing her story of hope in our See the Happy Series.
First, I never thought in all of my 29 years I would be writing this story about finding hope through heroin addiction. My name is Arielle Butler and I am a recovered heroin user. Recovered, rescued, redeemed and restored. I am here with the battle scars and the testimony to prove it. No one ever expects to wake up one morning and say, “I want to be a heroin addict.” I certainly did not. By the time I was saying it, I had stolen almost $9,000.00 from my mother, alienated myself from anything good, and was pregnant with my first child, my son Aiden.
The reality of my addiction didn’t come to a screeching halt even after being revived twice in a 24 hour period at the same hospital, I had lost control.
My heroin addiction became everything to me in my life. Feeding my addiction became the focus of my life. More than food, family, and friends. I had lost all my self-confidence and the desire for anything good in my life.
After my son was born my mother went to court and took custody of him. Losing custody of my newborn son didn’t stop me. My son’s father was an addict, and the last thing he wanted was for me to get sober! Being resuscitated twice in 24 hours, being totally isolated from anything praiseworthy in my life hadn’t moved me to sobriety. Honestly, there didn’t seem like there was much hope that I would even live another year. If you add the self-hate and loathing I had for myself to the picture, you have the poster child of a “junkie”, which I finally was able to look in the mirror and admit.
My last hospital visit in November 2017 is one that I will never forget. I had been beaten up and left for dead and locked in a shed. I was rescued by the sheriff’s department and brought to a nearby hospital where my parents were notified. I was badly bruised with lacerations on my face. Had I not seen the pictures I would not have believed not only that it was me, but that my boyfriend did this to me knowing that I was pregnant with what would be our second child! I had been in denial about the pregnancy and the realization that I was carrying another child and was in the hospital yet again because of drugs and bad choices! When was I going to grow up and face my life and the mess I was making of it?
That answer came when I saw a sonogram of my baby girl. I knew I had to do something with my life in order to be able to give my children at least one parent! I decided to quit heroin and make certain I was around for my children.
Calling and praying to my Heavenly Father wasn’t easy to do. My mom always told us to pray, and that was the first thing I had stopped doing a lifetime ago. Whenever she asked if I was praying I always lied and said yes. Praying was hard at first, and I can honestly say I don’t even remember that first prayer. I do remember that the more I prayed to the stronger I became, even going through a painful, frightening withdrawal experience. I know my Heavenly Father was with me through the hallucinations of needles flying towards me, that I needed to be assured were not there.
It would take months to get stronger physically and mentally. Going back to my church’s truths helped with that. The members there know that I wasn’t always like this and prayed for me, fasted for me, and physically wrapped their arms around me in a Christ-like fashion. They did not judge but invited me into their homes. They offered transportation and help with babysitting as I made my way through court dates, doctor appointments, whatever else that was needed for me to stay on the sobriety path.
Fast forward to today. As I am completing this final draft, I am sitting in my state DMV office preparing to have my driver’s license reinstated, free and clear of any warrants, flags or fines unpaid! I am working as a Master Control Operator for one of our local stations. I was cast as a model for an up and coming fashion designer. I am successfully co-hosting The Attitude Shift and Under the City Lights: Louisiana with my Mom, my biggest supporter. Both shows allow me, as we all as viewers to share their light and shine their positive attitudes, which is definitely what helps me continue on my journey of sobriety. I have also recently founded HEROES to help those that are struggling with opioid addiction, to become the Hero that is inside of each of us and fight for sobriety.
Finally, I have my family! I have custody of both of my amazing children now 2 years and 9 months old. I attend church regularly. It is the hospital that helped cure me! Heavenly Father’s hands provided the healing comfort that only He can give. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. He has listened, heard and pulled us from hell itself and redeemed me. He did for me what AA, rehab and any detoxification couldn’t do. I show my gratitude by paying it forward and speaking to educate, inform, and empower those who want to break free of addiction of opioids. I have traveled to Florida to speak, as well as locally in Louisianna.
Life is a real-time journey. We are operators of our soul’s cars. We need to hold on, steer and maneuver to take control.
August 31st is National Overdose Awareness Day, please know that there is always hope and help available to those who are struggling with addiction and those who want to help those close to them going through the struggle with addiction.