Jennie A. | A #WeDoRecover Story
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Jennie A.
We Do Recover

Give recovery a chance, even if you are afraid. You are worthy of this chance to make a change and live a sober life.

I was 12 years old when I had my first taste of alcohol. I snuck a bottle of Old Grand Dad out of the house to bring sledding with friends on a cold winter’s day. All I wanted was to fit in. I remember how it burned my throat and, while I didn’t like the taste, I loved the effect. I wasn’t afraid to be myself anymore.

For a while, drinking was fun. I felt great when I was drunk, not a care in the world other than to spend time in the bar with my friends. I felt like I could finally breathe, but it was only a matter of months before I became a daily drinker and found the substance that became my nemesis.

Active addiction was horrifying, tormenting and an utterly endless cycle of the need to get more. It was always an attempt to stuff any feelings, especially when I was filled with guilt, shame or remorse. My family was always worried about me. They held several interventions for alcoholism, but I was hard-pressed in my denial. For the next ten years or so, many traumatizing events occurred until the day I made the best decision of my life and entered one of the best alcohol treatment centers in Florida (Ambrosia).

One of the first things I learned from a counselor was “If you stay grateful you never have to drink or use again.” This statement remains an anchor in my recovery today.

My treatment center gave me the gift of being in a safe place for long enough to get a glimpse that there was hope on the horizon for a new and better way. It was just the start of my journey to happiness. True sobriety comes from working the 12 steps and learning about the reasons I picked up in the first place.

Facing myself was gut-wrenching, soul-searching hard work, but with love and support, I did it.

My therapists told me that they could see a change in me, like the shell had been cracked. I had worked excessively hard in following directions, and I continue to do so today. I wanted to stop more than anything. So, here I was faced with another choice, I knew in my heart that if I didn’t change everything, it would only be a matter of time before I’d be drinking and using again. Once I turned my life over to a power greater than me, things really began to change.

One day at a time, the future unfolds exactly the way it is supposed to. More will be revealed.

Recovery feels amazing. I can honestly say I feel happy, joyous, and free. Now that I am sober, I can feel, deal and heal. I have a host of friends and I can be helpful today. I am a productive citizen. I do not regret the past nor fear my future. I live entirely in the present, and most importantly, I get to live.

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