Give yourself a break.
My addiction started at the age of 12 when I smoked marijuana for the first time. A couple of years later, I had my wisdom teeth removed and the surgeon gave me painkillers. I instantly fell in love with opiates and the way they made me feel. At the time, I had no idea that a doctor’s prescription could kick off a disease that would completely change my life.
I constantly felt hopeless. It felt like it would never be possible for me to live a life of recovery.
My addiction led me down a horrible path of self-destruction. Drugs and alcohol destroyed every relationship I had including family, friends, my higher power and myself. I had no conscience and disregarded any help that my loved ones offered me.
When things finally got bad enough, I found myself checking into multiple detoxes and treatment centers without any success. Looking back, I realize why recovery didn’t stick those first few times. I stopped working on myself as soon as I got out. After my last time in treatment in 2008, I decided that this time around I was going to continue working on myself every day. I am still an active member of a 12-step fellowship today, and I don’t plan on stopping.
Recovery is being at peace with one’s self.
I feel that I am finally free from my addiction. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought isn’t spent wondering how I am going to get high today. Being clean gives me the freedom of choice. Addiction is predictable, but recovery is not. The longer I stay away from that life, the more I appreciate life and the gifts of living a better life.
I have found myself and a sense of peace and happiness that money cannot buy.
Being clean has given me the opportunity to become the person that I’ve always wanted to be. The progress that I have made in these few years never ceases to amaze me. I went back to school and graduated with my nursing degree in 2015 and purchased my first home a year later. I earned my associate degree, and I am now a Certified Addiction Counselor. I’ve been able to repair all the financial damage I caused and make amends for the emotional damage I’ve caused as well.
I plan to continue my education and help as many people as I can by pursuing my master’s degree in social work. I want to become a licensed clinician and combine my personal experience with my education to help people find a new way of life. I also plan to continue attending meetings and helping others. I have a duty to and give away what was so freely given to me.
I am a woman of integrity today and recovery makes that possible.