I Beat My Addiction Three Years Ago!

Narconon graduate

Three years. So many things can change and occur in 3 years. You can travel to Mars and back, walk around the world or complete a degree. While I have not been to Mars or walked around the world, I have made some spectacular accomplishments. But before getting to all the positive achievements, I want you to understand where I came from and how hard I fought to get to where I am. My hope is you find some relief and see that there is a way out.

I smoked my first cigarette at 10 years old. Took my first sip of alcohol at 14 and smoked my first hit of weed at 15. The list goes on and on until my family intervened. I remember looking into their eyes, and I couldn’t quite pin point what was behind the inquisitive “look” they were giving me. Now, I understand exactly what that look was. They didn’t know who I was anymore. I wasn’t the sweet and loving little girl they had raised who morphed into some stranger they no longer knew.

What’s most frightening about those times is I didn’t even recognize I was any different than I had been. In my eyes, they were the crazy ones. They had the fogged perception of what was going on. They were overreacting. They were against me, not with me. Oh, how wrong I really was.

It took about a year or so to really grasp the magnitude of destruction I left in my wake. The venom I would spew with my words was sure to harm anyone in the way. Saying I was selfish is the understatement of a lifetime. But not selfish in the sense most think of when they hear the word. Sure, I was only focused on myself, but not because I loved myself but because I didn’t want to feel anything which spilled over into my not caring about anyone’s feelings. I was running and hiding from anything that was “real” as well as making sure I got my way, so I could achieve the desired feeling of indifference. Indifference towards life, towards friends and family, towards if I lived or died, towards everything. I wanted to stop caring because I felt I cared too much I could be left with was heartache and emptiness. I wasn’t happy with what I had made of my life. I wasn’t happy with the choices I had made or that I became a drug addict. I wasn’t happy with the people I surrounded myself with, or much of anything. But I didn’t know how to stop.

The horror story of my addiction could go on and on. And those of you who are familiar with addiction, whether experienced or seen firsthand, already have an understanding of its destructive path.

Now, three years later. Three years of happiness, family and creating a life I enjoy living in. I have been 3 years sober which no longer sounds like an oddity to me. In three years, I have achieved sobriety, learned to love myself, bought a house, bought a car, got engaged, got promoted, got my family back, adopted a dog, helped save many others struggling with addiction and overall built a world around me that is full of production and pure joy.

I asked my family to share their thoughts and opinions on my journey. This is what they had to say:

“There’s this transformation that you went through where you went into treatment as some person I didn’t recognize. You were a mess, but when you came back, you were the real you. It’s like when someone tries to lose weight. It’s not noticeable at first but after a while you start to see the change. Once I saw the change, I saw the daughter I used to know was back. The biggest thing is that the trust factor is back. I would give you the keys to my house now.”

“During the height of your addiction, you looked like Cori, but Cori was not available. It was like the addiction pushed the real you into a dark corner and took over. As familiar as you are to me, from the first flutter in my belly, I couldn’t recognize you at all. Week 3 of your program, I remember telling my friend, Cori is back. Wherever she was, she’s returned. I was so grateful that you were alive and beyond thankful that you made it back.”

“On the outside, you looked the same, but there was nothing of the Cori I knew since birth on the inside. There was a hollowness and your heart and soul were missing. The void was replaced by a survival mode that consisted of manipulation, cunningness, and deception. Anger and avoidance would erupt, if those tactics couldn’t get you what you needed to exist.”
“My Cori today has returned to the caring, helpful, and loving person I previously knew and loved. You are no longer hollow or shallow. You have filled yourself with heart and soul, and your smile is back in your eyes. You have always been a work in progress, but now you have a purpose. As I’ve always told my family, ‘It’s not who starts, but who finishes that counts.’ Finish Coriander and finish strong.”

For so long, I felt unworthy of a successful and prosperous life. But what’s so insane about that concept is it was self-created. I was constantly surround by a solid and loving support system. Did my family and life have its ups and downs? Absolutely. But it was also full of a group of people who always stood in my corner.

You see it’s not about what background you come from, how well you were raised or what your DNA consists of; addiction can happen to anyone. But there is a way out and let me tell you, it’s much nicer on this side!


Cori Kertis, CIT

Growing up in Nevada, she moved to Hawaii by herself at the age of 16. On a trip home to visit grandparents, she was offered a chance at residential treatment. Now over a year sober, Cori lives in Denham Springs and works at Narconon Louisiana helping other addicts who want a new life. LinkedIn: Cori Kertis Google+: Cori Kertis Twitter: @CoriKertis