My name is Erin and I am a women in long term recovery from substance use disorder. What that means to me is that I have not found it necessary to use any mind altering, mood changing substance since November 10, 2014.
A lot of people would ask…ok? So what’s the difference? By living a life in and around recovery, I am able to be a better mother, friend, daughter, partner and member of society. Today I can hold a job (and do it well!). My children know they can depend on me. I have the ability to make and keep commitments. My self esteem, self worth and self acceptance, while not perfect, are leaps and bounds better than they have EVER been.
That’s the catch right there. As early as the fourth grade I remember absolutely tearing myself down. I thought my name was ugly, my hair and eye color were boring. Never did I feel smart enough, attractive enough, skinny enough…just not enough. I found later in life it would be the same with my drinking and drugging. I did a lot of both. It was never enough. My addiction caused me to lie, cheat and steal from the ones I loved and that loved me the most. Nothing came between me and the next one.
I’ve been asked on more than one occasion, why did you stop? Were you scared? Was it hard?
Was I scared…hell yes I was, I was terrified. Was it hard? It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I was 34 years old. My children were going to stay with my mom so I could move into a recovery house. I had lost my job. I was getting ready to loose my home. My husband couldn’t even bear to watch me pack. I was in precipitated withdrawal from taking my detox medication a bit too early. I’m not sure hard is the right word. I was devastated.
My recovery journey began at the McShin Foundation, in one of their women’s recovery houses. I was surrounded by women much younger than I was and I immediately started identifying out because of that. However, for whatever reason, I was willing to start taking suggestions. I found a 12 step fellowship of my choosing, got a sponsor and started taking her suggestions. Today I work a program of recovery, every day. I strive help other women seeking the same growth and acceptance of self that I have found.
One of the many gifts of my recovery is my job as Director of Women’s Programs at the McShin Foundation, the RCO where my recovery began. It certainly isn’t always easy but to see the light come back into another persons eyes, to see that they see that there is hope and that they to can get and stay clean is amazing! Recovery has given me a life worth living. It has given me true friends and an amazing network of people who are always there for me. Recovery has given me back my family and my self worth. Recovery is the best decision I have ever made for myself.
In closing, I’d like to say a special thank you to the McShin Foundation for giving me a safe and stable place to begin my recovery journey and for allowing me the opportunity to work with other women seeking recovery. I’d also like to thank them for introducing me to the 12 step fellowship of my choosing which saves my life on a daily basis. I’ll keep coming back!