Abbi – P.E.A.S.E. Academy Junior

Abbi was 12-years-old when she and two friends decided to raid the liquor cabinet in the kitchen. They drank a little and decided to get wasted. Abbi says, “At first, I wanted to be cool and have the experience. I wanted to drink more than my friends to see what would happen.

And, when I did it, I felt like I was on Cloud 9.”

Abbi moved on to mixing alcohols, and the good feeling suddenly led to feeling sick and vomiting. “My friends took a video of it, and I watched it,” says Abbi. “At first, I thought it was funny, but then, I saw that I was non-responsive, and I felt like I was dying.” Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t stop Abbi. To her, the sense of not having a care in the world was worth the rough aftermath. So, she found people to buy her alcohol, and drank bottle after bottle, drinking herself to the point of vomiting and passing out, in addition to smoking marijuana.

Midway through 2017, Abbi went into treatment because her parents caught her multiple times, getting drunk, smelling like alcohol and not being able to walk up the stairs. “My parents grounded me for a month,” she says. “I didn’t care. I just counted the days until I could get drunk again. I thought I was Superman and didn’t care that I was getting punished.”

Abbi’s addiction led to taking Xanax, landing in the hospital because she couldn’t breathe, and attempting suicide. She refused to admit that she had a problem, telling her parents that it was just an experience, but as a recovering alcoholic, her dad recognized her addiction.

Abbi went to inpatient and outpatient treatment and eventually had what she describes as a spiritual awakening. “One day I was coming into treatment, and I felt really good without drugs and alcohol. I had a clear mind and control of my thoughts, feelings, and who I wanted to be.”

Out of treatment and back at school for three days, drugs and alcohol didn’t tempt Abbi, but the bullying she had experienced in there started again, leading her to attempt suicide again. She returned to inpatient treatment and soon after, entered P.E.A.S.E. Academy, where everyone was welcoming, unlike her old school. “They knew what I needed, and they wanted to give it to me. PEASE is an amazing community,” said Abbi. “The kids and teachers are welcoming and kind. If you need support, you can come here and get it. No one minimizes your problems and says you don’t matter. When I first came here, I felt like I had worth. I didn’t feel like an outcast. There are no levels of popularity here. Everyone just wants to love and cherish each other.”

Abbi no longer thinks about using every day. She thinks about feeling better because she’s sober. She looks back at her addiction and sees a person she no longer is. “I remember everything now and cherish every moment. I can be myself at P.E.A.S.E. Sometimes I’m shy, but I realize that’s okay here.”

Abbi has been sober since November of 2017. She plans to get a license at Aveda Cosmetology School that covers all areas of beauty because she wants to experience everything!