Dejah Hall was 17 and living in Arizona when a party she attended one night turned her life upside down. Until then she’d been a gregarious high school student with a fairly “normal” life.
But someone at that party offered her some illicit pain medication and by accepting it, Dejah unknowingly plunged herself into a long, whirlwind nightmare. “I took a pill for the first time and due to stress and issues at home it just went downhill from there.”
The teenager started consuming drugs more and more regularly. Soon she was taking the equivalent of six prescription pills at a time, every single day.
Three years later and just 20 years old, Dejah decided to try to get a grip on the addiction. She couldn’t keep living like this. She started a rehab program but shortly after beginning, she got some sad news: a close friend’s mother had died. She felt she needed to leave for a couple of days to be with her friend and attend the funeral. The program didn’t allow this however and as a result she got kicked out.
She was determined to manage on her own, but it was harder than she’d ever imagined.
“The withdrawals were horrendous and after eight days it became physically debilitating — I couldn’t move my hands and it was crippling. I was constantly throwing up.” Dejah wished she could find a healthy environment to go through this in, and supportive people to help her. But she wasn’t close to her family now. She had nowhere nurturing to turn.
And she kept meeting the wrong people at the wrong time. One ‘friend of a friend’ was particularly bad.
“I was throwing up and I remember he was smoking heroin. I told him it was disgusting and to stop but he was telling me to take just one hit to stop the withdrawals. The addict side of me came out and I said I would just take one but one wasn’t enough. By the second hit I fell in love with the high. It was numbing.”
With his help, Dejah now became a heroin addict. It only took a moment but her descent into hell sped up exponentially. Her whole life just turned on one thing now: drugs. From heroin to meth was a short step. All she wanted was to escape her memories, her life, and life itself.
“I was a monster in every way. I didn’t care who I hurt – I didn’t care about anything anymore. I didn’t have anyone else or family to look to at that point.”
It didn’t matter to her now whether she lived or died. Although she was hardened with indifference she also felt strangely invincible: “I was feeling like a superhero.” She’d started selling drugs and had lost so much weight herself, she was practically skeletal, weighing only 94 pounds. Then in December of 2012, something happened to penetrate through the steely shell she’d become: she went to see her grandfather.
He’d especially asked for a visit. He’d always loved his beautiful, vivacious granddaughter, but seeing her like this shocked and deeply saddened him.
“Don’t worry, I’m going to be okay,” she gave him her word before she left.
Literally hours after her visit with him, she was arrested for possession. Two weeks later, she was headed to jail and — much worse — her grandfather died. She had promised him, but now she was headed downhill on an even steeper slope and he was gone, forever.
Something snapped inside her.
“I quit cold turkey in jail. I had a choice — you can still get drugs in jail — but I was done.”
Throughout her prison term Dejah resisted the temptation to do drugs again. She was fueled by a completely new determination. When she was released, she was a different woman. Looking at pictures of herself before, she said, “I can only see a broken person who has given up.”
Her newfound strength stayed with her. Today Dejah is working, she has a child of her own, and she even has bigger plans underway: “I am becoming a minister as well and hope to one day have my own church.’”
Recently she published a before-and-after picture on Facebook that shows the extreme change, and will give hope to anyone who’s down and out: it’s still possible to get your life back!
“There are avenues and outlets and it’s so important to ask for help. People are not mind readers,” she reminds addicts and others struggling with a problem.
“Don’t give up if you are fighting for sobriety,” Dejah says. “I am honoured that my story is reaching people and I am open for people to contact if they need help.”
Watch the video to learn more about her story:
It takes so much strength and courage to escape the vicious and painful cycle of drug addiction. Her grandfather may not have lived to see it, but his love clearly also helped her tremendously.
It’s remarkable and inspiring how Dejah managed to transform her life. Good luck, Dejah — keep on going!