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When I used alcohol or marijuana, I seemed to feel more normal." As she began dating, Lintz said she always focused her attention on others.
"I was always trying to take care of someone else," including those she dated, she said.
When he heard, Lintz said, he said, "Thank God," relieved that his daughter was having a baby, not relapsing, she said. While she was pregnant, her grandmother passed away; losing her grandmother was the thing she'd always feared would send her spiraling back into addiction.
But while she was pregnant, she stayed clean, for her baby, and did not use drugs.
"I was able to work, make money, get back on my feet." Earning a 4.0 average and clean for almost three years, Lintz said she still wasn't fully "working the program.
The whole spirituality aspect wasn't kicking in." A new, short relapse led her back to church, where she found solace and healing at the Living Faith Christian Church in Farmingdale.
The memories yet to be made mean everything to Lintz, who spent years battling a deadly heroin addiction.
"I'd get out of rehab and be in worse shape because I wasn't doing anything for my recovery — I wasn't doing anything in place of taking drugs," she said. Lintz said her devastated parents and grandfather worked to find the funds to pay her bail.
"The 'medicine" wasn't there and I had nothing to help me cope with life, I was left to my own devices. "My family is a huge part of my story, my recovery." Out of jail, on top of trying to stay clean with no outlets and no meetings, Lintz said she "begged the court" to send her to rehab as a condition of her sentence. I really just needed help, someone to say they would send me to rehab." That moment, she said, was what ultimately led her to begin speaking on addiction in order to shed light on the realities that are faced by addicts who are trying to find a way out of the darkness.
Lintz, who lives in Hicksville, has a story that echoes across Long Island and the United States: She was, she said, raised in a good family with parents who loved her and her three younger sisters.
And yet she always struggled with ADHD and anxiety. "When I first started drinking in excess, at 14 or 15, I was always just trying to get out of myself.
I wasn't taking the suggestions from meetings or looking for spirituality." Lintz said she later met another man with whom she used drugs. But because her charge was robbery- and not drug-related, that option was not considered. Lintz said she was sentenced to five years of probation after her violent felony charge and her driver's license was revoked.