I Was a Lost Girl, Stuck in a Cycle of Pain and Hurt. Today, I Know My Self Worth.

I Was a Lost Girl, Stuck in a Cycle of Pain and Hurt. Today, I Know My Self Worth. - #VoicesProject

My name is Melissa and I am an alcoholic and a drug addict in recovery and that’s the best thing about me.

I’m writing to share my “experience strength and hope”. I like to start with hope because I like hope. My sobriety date is April 12th, 2006 and I do a lot of things on a daily basis to keep that date, but I should qualify first:

I used to refer to myself as “The Big Lie” until the day I got sober. There was the me behind closed doors and the me I wanted everyone to see, I’m not sure I knew the difference. Behind closed doors I was sad, full of fear and anger. I created a fantasy world where I was adored, fun, talented, and smart while lying in the fetal position. When I was out in the world, I had enormous fear and if you looked closely enough you’d find out that I was a fraud – and a phony.  It was a very painful place to live. I believe if I hadn’t found drugs and alcohol I probably would have killed myself. My head was a terrible place to be and it was only getting worse.

My first drink was a fuzzy naval, I was 11, and I loved it. It didn’t all happen at once, but it was happening. I added prescribed Ritalin, I learned to sniff it, pot, and boys. “The Big Lie” wasn’t tormenting me and I figured maybe I was going to be OK.

I wish I could say I got help when…. the school didn’t ask me back, the team didn’t want me anymore, several friends were forbidden to hang out with me, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case, in fact, it fueled my use. I became angrier and more detached – THOSE people had problems, not me.

The line “it’s them, not me” became my theme song. It’s how I justified every lowdown rotten thing I did over the next 20 years. I squeaked through high school while discovering cocaine, ecstasy, acid, pills and much too old for me boys. I especially loved the kind of boys that didn’t love me back, they were a special weakness of mine. That’s how it went, I was barely squeaking through life periodically pulling myself together proving I was fine. I even managed to graduate college, albeit my 6th school over 12 years. That brings me to the end, the finale. I had another failed attempt at getting “him” back via stalking, harassing and hacking. I was unemployed and unemployable with nothing on the horizon my only coping mechanism took over; drugs and alcohol finally had me.

My story isn’t unique, I was a lost girl. Desperate and willing to do what was suggested and after a family intervention, I agreed to treatment where I spent four months. I moved to a recovery home, got a bicycle, a job, clung to my support group, and I began to recover. I discovered I’m a hard worker, I thrive on a schedule, I’m dependable and honest.

I didn’t just get sober and poof my life got better. I’ve made tons of mistakes along the way, I’m still human. The difference is I’ve learned to share openly with other people what’s going on and I’m eventually willing to right my wrongs.

I work diligently to ensure my insides match my outsides. I’ve gotten an incredible life, a true do-over. My favorite words to live by are Maya Angelou’s to Oprah, “when you know better, you do better” and I think I do. Most importantly and above all else I’m not ashamed of my past, I was never a bad person. I am an alcoholic and drug addict in recovery one day at a time.

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