I am not the same broken woman who walked in these doors

My life has been difficult.  I have the typical story of many an alcoholic/addict.  I was no stranger to abuse and trauma at a young age.  However, these things pale in comparison to the abuse which I inflicted upon myself while I was using.  I did not respect myself.  Over the years the consequences of this horrific disease piled up, and I have been using since I was fourteen.  As you can imagine, this has been a long journey for me.

I have lost both of my children to this disease.  I gave my daughter up for adoption and terminated parental rights to my son.  I have trashed a scholarship and both my civilian and military careers.  I can probably never drive again for the rest of my natural born life—which is ironic because I have spent altogether almost a year, homeless, sleeping in my car.

I was spiritually bankrupt.  I had lost my dignity, self-respect, and any semblance of hope or faith I have ever had.  I was walking around without a soul.  I was not afraid of dying, but I was scared to death to live.

My journey at Grace House, or my attempt at sobriety, began over a year ago.  Although relapse is not a part of everyone’s story, it is a part of mine.  I am definitely of the sometimes slowly variety.

I decided this July that I still had some experimenting left to do.  It is so true that you start right where you left off, and sometimes worse.  My significant other passed away from an overdose in August, and that was my green flag to use, no holds barred.  By September I was homeless, sleeping at the bus-stop on South Broad.  I had blown past everything I said that I would never do and graduated to things that had never even entered my wildest dreams.  Ironically, I am eternally grateful for those three months.  They gave me the gift of desperation.

When I contacted Grace House, they welcomed me back with open arms.  So did my higher power.  Today I choose to call him God.  I didn’t find him.  He found me.  I just finally had to surrender.  I had to learn how to live again because my way wasn’t working.   I had to follow a few simple suggestions.  That meant admitting that my life was one big shipwreck, and I could no longer captain my own ship.  I had to believe that God could steer my ship, and then I had to let him.  This took reconnecting with my hope and faith that had been extinguished so long ago.

Today I am not perfect, but I have peace.  I seek God’s will in my life and pray for confirmation that I am on the right course.  I am becoming aware of how my actions impact my relationships.  I turn my character defects over to God in prayer and strive to do the next right thing.  Though, when I make mistakes, I remind myself that all God asks of me is progress, not perfection.  I am trying to make amends to the people who have been effected by the fallout of my addiction.   When I make a mistake today, I admit my fault to God and myself, and try to rectify things.

When I become overwhelmed, or depressed, or anything, I have the tools that I have learned to get out of my head.  I know that “this too shall pass.”  One thing that I have found to be invaluable is my support system.  When I need help I reach out and ask for it.  Or look for someone else who needs help.  This is the value of community.  We all have something in common that holds us in unity.  One addict helping another.

I have come so far in just a few months.  I am not the same broken woman who walked in these doors.  I am free from the bondage of addiction.  I have regained my identity.  Today I can hold my head high because I am becoming the confident strong survivor that God has intended for me to be all along.  Today I am reclaiming my place in the human race.


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