Throughout my life, there have been very few decisions that have had such a profound impact on me as my entrance into recovery. Although I had known about the twelve steps from a young age, I never considered that I would be one of the untold many that would find solace in the rooms.
It was a Sunday in November of 2017. Once again, my family was pleading with me to seek help. In my state of drug fueled delusion, I believed that I was just a victim of bad luck and circumstance. Alcohol and various other substances had been controlling my life since I was a teen, and I found comfort in the chaos. It was all I knew. They were always there; unscrupulous companions that would accompany me through any situation. They enhanced a good night out, made the mundane grind of daily life tolerable, and abated my ceaseless depression during the time in-between. I believed that they were the only things keeping me together; they were in reality tearing me apart, mind, body and soul.
I spent most of my adult life trying to convince others that I didn’t need help, but mostly I was trying to convince myself. It wasn’t until I woke up from a blackout in a jail cell, and was given two choices: either I could sit in jail, or I could go to treatment. I would like to say that I entered treatment because I wanted to have a better life or be a better mom, but when I’m honest with myself, I just wanted to get out of jail.
It’s hard for me to put into words what happened while in treatment. I have come to believe that the intervening force was divine, and that my higher power was doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself. With the help of a therapeutic team and a 12-step program of recovery, my eyes were finally open, and I wanted to change; wanted to be better.
In the 60 days that I spent in residential treatment, I developed tools to cope with the many stressors of life without drugs. I learned how to deal with my emotions in a healthy way, and I began to address the underlying issues that I had repressed for so long. I formed relationships with others in recovery, and I began to follow their suggestions instead of relying on self-will. Most importantly, I developed a relationship with a higher power, which continues to grow to this day.
After leaving treatment, I once again followed the suggestions of others and applied the principles to every aspect of my life. To say my life has changed would be a major understatement. Never could I have fathomed how rich and full my life could be. Today, thanks to the program, I am a loving mother who is always there for her children. I have cultivated lifelong friendships, and those around me can finally depend on me. I now have the motivation and drive to create and maintain a happy life for myself and my children. It’s not always easy and I certainly haven’t found “perfection” in recovery. What I can say is that I try to live a life of virtue each day. Although I may falter, as long as I maintain my sobriety and seek help from others and my higher power, I will continue to progress, and my children will grow up knowing that their mother will be there for them always, waiting with open arms and an open heart.