Jennifer ClevelandWe Do Recover

I am proud to say that I’m the mother I always wanted to be.

Like so many others, I started drinking as a teenager with my friends. It started out innocent, but before I knew it, I had formed a relationship with alcohol that was going to take me to places I never imaged that I would go.

When enough was enough, I knew I needed help. I came to treatment completely unmanageable and feeling broken. The worst part was that I wasn’t present in my daughter’s life. I knew it was time to stop making excuses and start making a change. Being in treatment gave me time to heal and come to terms with the damage I had done to myself and my family. After I got out, I kept going to meetings and started working a 12-step program every day. That’s what helped me get sober and what helps me stay sober, one day at a time. The best part about the program is getting to see the process work for other people. When it happens, you can see and feel the transformation.

It’s a miracle seeing the light return to someone’s eyes.

So much has happened in my life since I have been sober. Sobriety is like a completely new adventure. I recently got married for the first time and my husband is also in recovery. He’s been clean for two and a half years now, and together we’re able to help each other stay accountable. I’m able to be present for my friends and family on a regular basis and I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I think about how much has changed.

I am currently working on my certification to become a Certified Recovery Support Worker, which I should be finishing up by the end of 2019. I live in New Hampshire, where there aren’t a lot of resources available for addicts and alcoholics. I want to get into the treatment field and use my experience to help people find a new life, the same way people helped me when I needed it.

My biggest piece of advice is to stay away from people, places and things where you drank and get active in a recovery program. Getting sober isn’t always easy, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

Find a power greater than yourself, get a sponsor and surround yourself with good people who can help you. Most importantly, just don’t pick up.

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