I struggled with a severe poly-substance use disorder for over ten years. In my years trying to get clean, I was taught that I wouldn’t find sobriety unless I went to 12 Step Groups, got on medication assistance, and went to rehab. Those were the solutions I was given from professionals, from my family, and from the sober community. Those solutions though didn’t work for me, which led to more failed attempts at trying to get clean. The constant failed attempts I had at trying to get clean only led to a deeper, more destructive addiction. The day finally came where I lost everything; my immediate family, my friends, my daughter, my partner, my home. I didn’t have anyone telling me what to do anymore, because at that point, everyone lost hope and gave up.
Losing everything was the best thing that ever happened to me. There was no more pressure to get clean, no one telling me what I had to do, and how I had to do it, because like I said, everyone had given up. The only thing I had left to deal with was me and that’s when the breakthrough happened. What did I want? What was I doing? Most importantly, was I going to keep living the way I was for the past ten years, or was I finally going to be the person I knew I was capable of? I choose the latter.
On July 20th 2015 I went to detox. I was done using and I knew it. From detox, I went into a 6-9 month mother and children’s program with the hopes that my partner would allow my daughter to come with me. I made a few goals for myself while in rehab; 1) I was staying the full 9 months, 2) I was going to go back to school to finish my Bachelors, and 3) I was going to stay sober no matter what.
In the first 9 months, I was arrested at a job I got for a past warrant, and I was served custody papers from my parents and boyfriend, and found out my boyfriend was talking to another woman for some time, but I stayed clean. I knew as long as I stayed clean it would all be okay and it was. I didn’t lose my job, I took care of my legal issues, I didn’t lose custody of my daughter, and my boyfriend and I worked out our issues and became a family again. I went back to school January 17th 2016 like I said I would. I completed rehab April 8th, 2016 in my 9th month like I said I was going to. My boyfriend and I got an apartment and started new.
Once in our apartment, I found the art of Mosaics. This is was my therapy. Putting together the broken pieces to create a beautiful end result. What a metaphor for recovery! I also decided to go to Connecticut’s Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) Recovery Coach Academy, Ethics, and Spirituality training. I started volunteering at CCAR’s Recovery Center as a Recovery Coach. I volunteer with Facing Addiction as an Ambassador of Recovery. I will be done with my Bachelor of Science degree in Social and Behavioral Psychology in Spring 2018, and I am looking at Grad Schools.
I got a job as a Per Diem Case Aide at a men’s co-occurring facility. I am a mother today to my daughter and step daughter. I pay my bills, and paid my past debts off. I am a girlfriend, a friend, a sister, an artist. Today, I am an awesome, independent, recovered woman.
Today, I am almost 2 years clean. A feat no one thought I would ever accomplish. I found my recovery by having humility, motivation for change, putting in a sustained effort, and finding meaning and purpose in my life. I allow myself to be a hero to myself. I forgive myself. I tell myself I am awesome every day. I believe in myself. I found out what my purpose in life is and I am going for it.
I’m not perfect, and I still have a lot to do, but today I am taking the steps and putting in the work. I put myself on the front lines of this amazing recovery movement, because that is my purpose. Addiction leads us to isolation, but recovery brings us back to the community.