Jennifer Childers | A #WeDoRecover Story
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Jennifer Childers A #WeDoRecover Story

I was drawn to anything and everything that took me out of reality.

I remember laying on an air mattress that didn’t inflate anymore, in 80-degree weather, no air conditioning, empty vodka bottles laying on the floor and feeling absolutely miserable. I watched as my family slowly slipped into hopelessness right along with me. It was the worst ten years of my life. I had nothing and no one left towards the end of my addiction. I drained anybody that cared for me of everything they had.

I remember the feeling of just wanting to end it all. I envisioned what it would be like when I finally got the nerve to take my own life. I pictured my father, who had died earlier that year, taking my hand and telling me it was all over. As constructed a plan to take my own life, I heard a voice clear as day that said, “You’re better than this.” I sat straight up and looked around my room, only to find that I was hallucinating. But I couldn’t shake that voice. It sparked something inside me, and I immediately knew what I had to do. I mustered up every ounce of courage, hope and sanity I had left and texted my mother, “I NEED HELP!” That was all she was waiting to hear. I was on a plane heading to treatment within 48 hours.

I knew I had a chance that not a lot of addicts get. I knew I had the will to fight. I knew I had to get sober.

I went to detox and a 90-day program at a treatment center in South Carolina. When I left, I thought I was ready to be on my own. I got an apartment and relapsed a day later. I continued to use for about two weeks until my mother intervened and told me I had to go back to treatment. Something was missing from my recovery. I kicked and screamed, but eventually gave in. Not because I didn’t want to be sober, but because I was so angry at myself for relapsing. I broke down and went to Ambrosia, ready to forgive myself and work harder than ever before.

If you put as much work into your recovery as you did into using, you’ll have a strong foundation.

The best part of being sober is looking in the mirror and being able to say I’m proud of myself. I have the freedom to live life without worrying about my next fix. When I lay my head on my pillow, I can smile because I know I was the best version of myself that day. And, I know that tomorrow I get the chance to be an even better person than I was the day before.

Recovery feels better than I had ever imagined. It’s the most empowering and freeing feeling you’ll ever have. My biggest accomplishment since getting sober is being able to rebuild my relationships. I can pick up the phone and call my mom, my sister or my stepdad and have a genuine conversation, and that’s the best feeling in the world. Even though I don’t have their total trust back, I have much more than I had before. I have friends now who want to spend time with me without any ulterior motives.

I worked hard and didn’t let the tough moments take me down. I kept on keeping on.

My goal is to stay sober by taking baby steps through life. I’ve got to where I am by being patient and letting my higher power lead me to where I’m needed next. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I know that as long as I stay sober and let my higher power lead the way, I’m going to be just fine.

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