My name is Amy and today by the grace of God I have 8 years in longer term recovery from opiates. Oddly enough, I had enough nerve to grow up thinking I could change the world, until the world changed me. At the age of 27 and In a matter of 18 months, I systematically began to lose everything I had ever cared about as I fell into an addiction that I could not control. I was even placed in jail for the first time in my life in late 2008 after just over a year in full blown addiction. In 18 months I lost everything that I had ever cared about including a desire to live and my pride refused to let me surrender.
Having spent time in multiple rehabs, with countless overdoses, on top of jail time looking at prison time it took losing everything for me to finally hit my knees and say ‘Ok God. Have Your way. My spiritual experience led me back to God and Jesus and thrust me into a new way of living that involved no more alcohol, drugs, and a desire to try and live differently. I had made my mind up that there was more to life than where I was and that one day I would rise more beautiful than before. My 3rd step prayer and conversion are the foundations upon which I have rebuilt my life today in recovery.
This life is a roller coaster and everyone wants the same things such as answers, peace, joy, and love and perhaps the most elusive of all FREEDOM. It’s been my experience that it’s in the dips and valleys that we find these things. I have learned more about myself during affliction and pain than at any other points in my life. These so-called dips hold the answers if we’re open to receiving them. It was only during tragedy and sorrow that I learned to appreciate happiness and joy. Allowing my ego to be deflated and surrendering to God humbled me and forced me to set my pride aside.
Turning my back on all the past and the pain of my mistakes won’t make them disappear just like pretending I’m perfect will not bring the healing I so desperately need. I have learned that no matter what I am faced with whether it be death, divorce, or prison I still deserve to be free of guilt, shame, and fear and most importantly I DESERVE TO BE FREE FROM ADDICTION.
I had to learn new ideas, attitudes, and emotions and I needed a complete overhaul in my thinking. I had to concede to my innermost self that I needed help and no matter what happened there was no excuse ever to pick up a drink or a drug again. Perseverance was my goal. I wish that my mother and 2 siblings whom we lost to suicide had realized this before they died. I believe that just because we still “feel” the fear and pain doesn’t mean a thing.
This concept of freedom came in bursts as I continued to live clean and sober one day at a time. I lost another brother to suicide 3 years into my recovery and this was one of my reservations early on in my sobriety. When the tragedy came and I was able to stay clean and did not even have a desire to get high or drink was when I knew once and for all that the obsession had been lifted once and for all. God delivered me. My work is not done however and I must stay vigilant for the enemy walks around like a roaring lion. I stay close to accountability partners, recovering people and I simply try to live the principles that I’ve been taught.
Bill W’s words echo in my ears….’trust God, clean house, and help others.’ As long as I do these things and stay open to perfecting and enlarging my spiritual life then God will continue to work miracles in my life and continue to return to me tenfold what I had before. Today I am a state government employee working for the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addictions and I’m able to take my brothers’ suicides and bring something positive out of it. God is not finished yet. So long as I don’t drink today and wake up tomorrow and do the same thing again and so on and so on then my life will continue to get better. Today I am grateful.
Thank you God.