Recovery Bytes

Losing Everything, Gaining So Much More, by Lisa F.

In 2010 my life started to spiral out of control. I lost my job, my daughter, my apartment, my car, my family and friends, my dignity, respect for my myself and my morals – so basically, I lost everything. Nothing mattered to me but getting high and being completely numb; I didn’t know how to stop. I was on probation, I couldn’t stay clean, I continued to fail drug tests and I was eventually sentenced to treatment. I successfully completed the program and I somehow managed to stay clean for 15 months. During that time I was able to see my daughter again, my family was in my life, I bought a car, I had an amazing job and I was living in a halfway house.  Then, I started dating a man.

Very quickly, things started to spiral out of control. I moved in with the man I was dating, I had a miscarriage and he relapsed. At this point, I was no longer going to meetings, I was not doing step work, I was not calling other people in recovery or utilizing my sponsor. I was staying clean, but that was about it.

I thought I could do it by myself. I thought drugs were my only problem. Boy was I wrong! I thought I could use one more time. My boyfriend was using and I decided to join him. I thought this time would be different. I thought I could control my using. Boy was I wrong!

I began stealing from my job and was arrested again, adding more charges to my record. I lost everything all over again! I became homeless, I was in and out of jail and detox for the next year. At my court hearing, I was sentenced to 1 year of Community Control followed by 4 years of felony probation. It only took me 3 weeks to violate the terms of my probation and head back to jail. I remember waking up in jail and thinking, “Is this going to be my life? Why do I keep doing this? Why can’t I stay clean?” I decided I was going to do things differently this time. I was going to take all those suggestions that those people in those meetings kept talking about. The day I went to court, I asked the judge to send me back to treatment, and he did!

When I entered treatment, I found out that the man I was dating was in the same treatment center and we ended up getting pregnant while in treatment. This was unplanned and definitely not suggested, but honestly, being in treatment was the best place at that time. At this point, my family was not in my life; who could blame them? Because of this, they had no idea I was pregnant.

In December 2015, I completed treatment and so did my boyfriend. Our son is now 4 years old and he is our saving grace! He is amazing! He was diagnosed with Non-Verbal Autism Spectrum Disorder in February 2019. Having a child with special needs is a huge challenge. It’s exhausting. But it’s also extraordinary and remarkable.

Amazing things have happened to me since I got clean and stayed clean. I’m able to have healthy relationships with others. The man that was my boyfriend for many years is now my fiancé and we are getting married this year. My daughter is back in my life (she is 14 now) and we spend a lot of good, quality time together. We spend weekends together, we have sleepovers, we go to concerts together and we have taken many trips together with friends and family. I am grateful that our relationship continues to grow. The relationships that I have with my mother and sister are the best they have ever been. They actually pick up the phone to call me, because they are invested in my life and I am invested in theirs. The love and respect for myself that I lost is back!

I have a roof over my head today, which is a true miracle after spending many years living on the streets Now, I get the honor of being a stay at home mom. Watching my son learn new things has been very rewarding. The things many people take for granted in their child’s development, we see as huge milestones. He has helped me see the world from a whole other perspective. He has made me a better human being and I am blessed to have him as my son.

I finally completed probation, successfully after 8 long years! I got my drivers license back and I have a car, which has given me back a great deal of independence. I am able to give back to my community in ways I never imagined.  I am very involved in my community, serving on several boards for locals non-profits.  My life is truly phenomenal today! I never knew a life like this existed and I definitely never believed it could exist for me. I never thought I was deserving of a good life. I never thought I would be a good mom, sister, daughter or partner. Recovery for me means freedom. Not only freedom from active addiction, but freedom in ALL areas of my life. I thank my Higher Power everyday for another day clean! My name is Lisa, and I am an addict. My clean date is April 28, 2015 and I’m gonna keep coming back!