Addict mother who breastfed her daughter while high turns life around

Addict mother who would breastfeed her daughter at parties while high on drink and drugs turns her life around after meeting husband at a recovery meeting

  • Ashley Doherty, 29,  from California, became hooked on drink and drugs as teen
  • Fell pregnant at 21 and would breastfeed daughter Rylann while high at parties 
  • Met fellow recovering addict at support meeting and the pair helped each other
  • Married Jack, 35, and the pair now have a son Jackson, 1, as well as Rylann, 7 

A mother who would breastfeed her daughter whilst high on painkillers and hosted drug-fuelled parties while she was in the next room has turned her life around after meeting her husband during a recovery meeting.

Stay-at-home mum, Ashley Doherty, 29, from Riverside, California, grew up watching her mother go in and out of rehab after her parents split up when she was seven. 

After first trying alcohol at 13 she fell in love with the feeling of being drunk, claiming that it helped her forget her worries.

Before long, Ashley was skipping school to get drunk, and attended parties where she was introduced to weed, cocaine, ecstasy, meth, cough syrup and painkiller pills. 

 When Ashley fell pregnant at 21 she managed to stay clean until giving birth, but soon found herself drawn back into a life of addiction – until she met a fellow addict in a recovery meeting. 

After marrying Jack, 35, the pair welcomed their son Jackson, now 1, and live happily with Ashley’s daughter Rylann, seven.

Ashley Doherty, 29, from Riverside, California, would breastfeed her daughter whilst high on painkillers at drug-fuelled parties, before turning her life around

Recalling her journey, Ashley said: ‘My parents split when I was about seven years old and my mum was also in and out of rehab. Assuming those things had taken a toll on me as a little one, I grew increasingly angry and insecure as I got a little older. Alcohol and drugs helped me to numb all of those unwanted feelings and emotions.

Remembering her first sip of alcohol at 13, she added: ‘After that first drink, I couldn’t stop. I drank myself into a blackout that night. The next day I couldn’t wait to do it again. I loved the warm, numb feeling it gave me. And from that moment on it was downhill.

‘After I was in a bad car accident in 2011 I was prescribed Norco from the pain and I fell in love with the feeling they gave me. From then on, my addiction began to spiral out of control.’ 

Ashley found herself in a string of toxic relationships where she was taken advantage of and abused by men. 

At 21, she fell pregnant with her first child, Rylann, now seven, but found the strength to ditch alcohol and drugs for the duration of her pregnancy. 

The stay-at-home mother met husband Jack, 35, seen right, at a recovery meeting and the pair now have a son Jackson, 1, as well as Rylann, 7,

After first trying alcohol at 13 she fell in love with the feeling of being drunk, claiming that it helped her forget her worries (Ashley at the height of her addiction)

But after giving birth in August 2012 she was given painkiller Norco for pain and she became hooked once her prescription ran out. 

She said: ‘It was a miracle that I stayed away from alcohol and drugs that entire time. As soon as I gave birth to her and they gave me pain meds, it was back downhill again. I started abusing pills when she was two months old and continued breastfeeding the next year and a half while taking them,’ she said.

‘All the while her dad was smoking OxyContin and heroin. I was breastfeeding at the time but just told myself I’m only taking a few so it can’t be affecting my daughter through my breastmilk, though I’m sure it was. I felt guilty and felt like a sh***y mum but of course I continued to take them.

‘That toxic relationship came to an end pretty quickly. I moved into my grandma’s guest house with my best friend because I couldn’t afford to be on my own especially with my daughter. They made sure I always had a job or was in school.’

Before long, Ashley was skipping school to get drunk, and attended parties where she was introduced to weed, cocaine, ecstasy, meth, cough syrup and painkiller pills

Pictured: shley at the height of her addiction as her drug and drink problem spiralled out of control

Ashley found herself in a string of toxic relationships where she was taken advantage of and abused by men

At 21, she fell pregnant with her first child, Rylann, now seven, but found the strength to ditch alcohol and drugs for the duration of her pregnancy

But the new mum started to go to a dealer to get the pills and convinced herself that she wouldn’t be causing her daughter any harm despite breastfeeding. 

Shockingly, Ashley ended up taking up to 40 pills a day, drinking, doing cocaine and using other drugs in order to help her wean off pills.

Speaking about her daughter, she said: ‘If someone couldn’t take her, I would just bring the party to me. My daughter would wake up in the morning to find me still loaded from the night before and random strangers around the house. I thank God to this day that she was too little to remember any of that.’

Depressed and feeling guilty for not being a good mum, Ashley’s weight dropped to just 6st 9lb and after being kicked out of cosmetology school, she begged her dad to help get her into treatment, which he did. 

Shockingly, Ashley ended up taking up to 40 pills a day, drinking, doing cocaine and using other drugs in order to help her wean off pills

Ashley whilst pregnant with Rylann, when she managed to stay clean and sober

Jack and Ashley on their wedding day in August 2018

After 45 days in rehab, Ashley came out feeling like a new person but after getting back with an ex-boyfriend she soon started drinking again.

However with her family’s encouragement to attend support meetings and get a sponsor, Ashley became sober again for the sake of herself and her child. 

Ashley said: ‘I forced myself to be strong for once and cut out the toxic people I had always surrounded myself with because I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t stay clean. Doing so changed my entire life.’ 

It was at an alcoholics and narcotics anonymous meeting that Ashley met her now husband, Jack, and they fell in love and have supported each other throughout their respective recoveries. 

‘My husband and I met each other at a meeting shortly after we had both got out of rehab. Technically you’re not supposed to date for a year so that you can focus on yourself and the 12 steps but the connection we had was undeniable and the best thing I had ever felt,’ she said.

Ashley has been clean and sober for over two years no

It was at an alcoholics and narcotics anonymous meeting that Ashley met her now husband, Jack, and they fell in love and have supported each other throughout their respective recoveries

After marrying Jack, 35, the pair welcomed their son Jackson, now 1, and live happily with Ashley’s daughter Rylann, seven

‘We both make up where each other is lacking. We would attend meetings every single week and would spend time with our group of friends in recovery. 

‘Our relationship is so loving and so beautiful it’s something I’ve never experienced before. Neither of us could even imagine picking up a drink or drug because we know it would completely ruin every amazing thing we have going for us.’

After getting married, the pair welcomed a child together, Jackson, 1 and Ashley is now a healthy 8st 3lb and hopes to be able to inspire others with her story. 

Speaking about her life, she said: ‘I now have a life I would have never imagined I’d ever have. I believed you couldn’t live life without alcohol or drugs. I now have been clean and sober for over two years and I love my life. I met my husband at a meeting in recovery. We had a baby. I got accepted back into cosmetology school and got my license.

‘I finally have confidence and I’m finally proud of myself. I’ve never felt so peaceful and so happy in my entire life. It would have never happened if it weren’t for recovery.’ 

She added: ‘Your life is more important than what others may think. Make friends in recovery. That is what helped me stay clean. You have to cut out the negative influences and toxic relationships in your life or there’s no way you will stay clean and sober.

‘The friendships you form in recovery will be such an important part in helping keep you clean and sober because we all understand one another and offer one another inspiration and motivation.’

 Ashley has been clean and sober for over two years now and hopes to inspire others

shley whilst pregnant with Rylann, when she managed to stay clean and sober

After getting married, the pair welcomed a child together, Jackson, 1 and Ashley is now a healthy 8st 3lb and hopes to be able to inspire others with her story

Ashley and Jack on their wedding day in August 2018

 

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