I grew up close to my grandmother, she had always been my best friend. I knew growing up that she would go to these meetings and that is how she met my grandfather. I never knew what these meetings were, but I went with her sometimes and I thought it was just old people sitting around drinking coffee and talking. Little did I know that those meetings would save my life one day…and so would she.
I began drinking and smoking when I got out of high school. I would go to work, party, go to bed, and repeat. I ended up getting pregnant at 20 and having my daughter at 21. After I had my daughter, I started to change into someone I didn’t know. I went back to smoking, drinking, and on to harder stuff. I had lost custody of my daughter and so did her father, my parents had enough of me, and I had given up on myself. The only thing I knew was drugs and pain. My grandma never gave up on me though. Everyday she would show up to take me to a meeting, I always refused. I thought I could do it on my own. I could never get past 24 hours. Finally at 22, I got a “nudge from the judge” courtesy of my grandma and I went to treatment under a Marchman Act.
It has been a little over 5 years since then. I have not taken a drink or a drug since. I got a sponsor in those meetings, met women who taught me how to be a mother in recovery in those meetings, and worked the 12-steps. In these 5 years, I got custody of my daughter back. Through the court hearings, the visitation, the classes, and drug tests it felt like a never-ending cycle. Many times, I thought I would never get her back no matter how hard I tried. My sponsor would always tell me do the next right thing, trust the process and my Higher Power, and that I GET to do all these things today. I GET to stay sober. I GET to show up and be present for my daughter. I GET to have custody of my daughter. I GET to help other women who have been down a road not so different than mine. Through working the 12-steps, I have been able to get through the guilt and the shame that once held me down and back.
My grandmother is still my best friend and has been a driving force in my recovery. We attend meetings together, AA functions, and go to Women’s Day every year since I got sober. In the grips of my active addiction if you would have told me my life would be like this today, I would have never believed you. Today, my daughter’s father and I share 50/50 custody of her. One day at a time, I GET too.