I have been given the gift of a new life

After struggling for years with anxiety, depression and a severe addiction to alcohol, I was led by my higher power to Grace House on April 25, 2014—where I entered into treatment for the first time. My parents divorced when I was five years old. I was raised by my grandmother until the age of eighteen. I began to display addictive and manipulative behaviors at a young age, even before I began using drugs or alcohol. Love was my first addiction—I would manipulate anyone in my life, desperately seeking for their love and attention. My fears of abandonment from the people I loved began with the absence of my parents in my life. I became obsessive and possessive in all relationships. Life with my grandmother was good, but with very little supervision and absolutely no consequences for my actions. Love and attention from my parents had to be earned by living up to each of their different expectations of who they wanted me to be. To please them both, I began to split my personality and become the person they each expected me to be. Learning this ability to change myself to please others was something I was willing to do, so long as they loved me. Loss of myself and loss of who I really was started my addiction to alcohol. Finding comfort in a drink, I drank daily, in excessive amounts, blacking out, and engaging in chaotic behavior. Quickly, I was falling deeper into my addiction. At my lowest point, I could not even remember what it was about drinking alcohol that had comforted me in the beginning. Even at this point of despair I could not stop drinking on my own. I had already been through two stays in detox.  Doctors and nurses told me that I would cause serious damage to my liver and that my body would continue to suffer and deteriorate if I did not stop drinking. This information was still not enough to make me quit drinking alcohol. By my third stay in detox, I knew that I would not be able to continue on without receiving the proper help I needed to get sober and remain sober for good. During my third night in detox and crying for days, I called out and prayed for relief from the pain of my addiction. I knew at that point that I had lost all power and control over myself and my addiction to alcohol. What I had been left with was a broken person and a mess of my life. Making a decision to be honest with doctors and staff about my condition, I began to see that I could possibly end this pain. While in the hospital, I was told about the treatment program at Grace House. My hopes were high. I promised myself that if I were able to receive the help I needed in treatment that I would take full advantage, work hard, and begin the process of healing myself from my addiction. Four months into the program at Grace House, so many wonderful things are happening in my life. With the help of a caring staff, counselors, and a positive community of peers, I have been provided with the skills, knowledge, and tools to change my life. I have been blessed to be working with an amazing sponsor who has helped me to open the doorway to my inner strength and spirituality. I have not only received the gift of sobriety, but I have been given the gift of a new life; a life beyond anything I could have ever imagined through hard work, willingness and honesty. This treatment program at Grace House has allowed me an amazing future to look forward to—one day at a time.

Dawn F.

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