I partied for 10 years and cocaine was my true love – but now Im sober Barbie

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    An "ultimate party girl" hid her addiction struggles for an entire decade – but turned her life around after being honest with herself.

    Danielle Megaffin, originally from Canada, has always presented herself with an air of glamour.

    Her Instagram feed showed her letting her hair down at festivals and grinning with a glass of Champagne at brunch.

    READ MORE: 'I was puffy and hooked on booze by 13 – but transformed after going sober'

    She even featured on a date with Pete Wicks on Celeb's Go Dating, where she came across as confident and put together.

    But, behind the blonde tresses and bold pink outfits lived a debilitating habit with drugs and booze.

    Up until six months ago, the 32-year-old was stuck in a vicious cycle of addiction that landed her in countless terrifying situations and morning-afters full of self-hatred.

    Danielle, who has shared her story to show that addiction isn't always apparent to the naked eye, exclusively told Daily Star: "I grew up in an unstable environment but I hated alcohol.

    "I was that nerd at the high school parties like ‘don’t drink, you’ll get addicted’ because I saw one of my parents doing that.

    "So I went to one of my parent’s interventions when I was 17 and two months later after they got sober, I took my first drink.

    "And I say I was addicted from the get go.

    "I remember being at a party and I wasn’t able to stop, an older guy was like ‘hey, slow down'.

    "I remember drinking for 20 minutes and someone says slow down, the first 20 minutes of your whole life when you drink and somebody notices you’re drinking abnormally, do you know what I mean?"

    After watching a parent struggle with alcohol abuse and reach sobriety, Danielle's reluctance to booze did a complete 180.

    She grew up in Nova Scotia, which had a reputation as a 'beerhall on the sea', but it was college that accelerated her next stage of addiction.

    Under the guise of being the fun-loving party girl, Danielle's lifestyle grew to be more provocative to the point she found her "truest love" – cocaine.

    "I went to college and I was a party girl and I was known as a party girl," the now sober student reflected.

    "We were in a party town and when you’re at the age, it’s kinda 'normal'.

    "I moved out to Los Angeles for this programme and that’s when I got introduced to cocaine – which I would say became the love of my life.

    "I had boyfriend’s say 'you choose me or choose the cocaine, it’s Chris or cocaine’ and I’d go ‘bye Chris’.

    "It was my truest love."

    Choosing coke over canoodling was a common practice for Danielle – and she would even attempt to 'steal' other women's boyfriends in her drug and booze induced state.

    Her behaviour became increasingly destructive not only towards others, but towards herself.

    She found herself in dangerous situations – including a time she was 'kidnapped' while stranded at a train station in Romania while backpacking around Europe.

    But, even then, she was in denial about her problem and the negative influence addiction was having on her life.

    "So I moved here [to England] and started to hang out with the boys from Towie, I started dating footballers, I went on Celeb's Go Dating and I was just drinking.

    "The PhD was the last thing on my mind.

    "I was just a shell of myself, I was so empty. I was looking for anything to take my put of myself as I just hated myself – I truly hated myself.

    "Then we approach the rock bottom."

    But around a year ago, Danielle knew things really had to change.

    She was in a car on the way to a concert back in Canada – where a love interest was performing – and noticed that blood was dripping from her nose, something that can be caused by the excessive use of cocaine.

    Danielle claims she was assaulted two women as she hit "rock bottom" – and due to the state she was in, her love interest went pear-shaped.

    "I feel something wet on my face – this just shows the mentality – and I look out of the window " she recalled.

    "I catch myself in the mirror and I see that there's blood pouring out of my nose.

    "Right at that time, I was more concerned that it was ruining my makeup then my severe and crippling cocaine addiction.

    "But in the end, I'd lost my mind. I was shaking. I was so thin, the bags under my eyes.

    "I just was a mess, I was just broken."

    It has now been more than six months since Danielle chose sobriety and entered recovery – something she did herself, without rehab.

    She's now been able to focus on her PhD of Museum Studies and has even had the opportunity to study at Oxford.

    The London-based student is now a self-confessed 'sober Barbie' and still continues to live a glamorous life – but without her addictive vices.

    Along with curating a virtual museum of addiction and recovery, Danielle is sharing her journey to Instagram to help other young women who may be wrapped up in the 'party girl' façade

    "I had no dopamine left in my brain for so long that now I just want to flood myself with pretty colours and pinks, brightness and delights and delicious food," Danielle explained.

    "So that’s where I started to go with my Instagram to be like ‘come to the light side’, there’s such life to live.

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    "It doesn’t have to be all darkness, which is addiction.

    "I could never imagine going back there. I have friends who are still addicts and alcoholics and I wish I could just pull them out with me.

    "I thought I could never have fun in sobriety.

    "I was the ultimate quintessential party girl, I never thought I’d have fun in sobriety and now I’m having more fun than ever and I’m not destroying people’s lives or causing chaos all around me all the time.

    "Still being glam today on my Instagram shows younger girls that you can still dress up and have fun and be glam and extra without all the alcohol and drugs!"

    You can follow Danielle's recovery journey on Instagram here, and you can keep up to date about her museum of addiction and recovery, here.

    If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Talk To Frank for free, confidential advice on 0300 1236600, texting 82111 or visiting their website, www.talktofrank.com

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