I love being alive today

I am 36 year old alcoholic and addict, and I am in recovery thanks to Grace House. Drugs and alcohol played a big factor in the way that I was raised by my family.  Both of my parents were alcoholics and addicts.  They used regularly, and we always had parties going on at our house.  I truly believed that it was normal for everyone to drink or use drugs—it wasn’t until I moved to Iowa that I found out that this is not how the majority of the world lives their life.  It was just normal in my dysfunctional life.  My parents sold drugs and eventually my dad was sentenced to ten years in prison.  My parents then divorced. My childhood was no joke.  I had to grow up young, and I was physically, sexually, and emotionally abused.  I moved from house to house, and I never developed a solid foundation.  I always prepared for the worst and hoped for the best.  I was a scared little girl, but I could lock myself in my own little world where nothing could touch me when I got loaded.

There weren’t enough drugs or money to fill that huge gap that was inside me—my life was horrible and I had lost all hope that I could ever change as a person.  I had three engagements (never married), a beautiful daughter (who I lost custody of), been in prison twice and in numerous jails and institutions, overdosed many times, and lost any and everything that ever meant anything to me. I had my own spiritual awakening after losing all of my relationships with others, overdosing, ending up in a mental hospital, and almost losing my mind.  I was finally at my bottom.  As I lay in that mental hospital bed, finally sobering up, I saw a whole new life and peace flash over my mind.  For weeks, all I could think about was Grace House.  I just couldn’t get it out my mind, so I called to get on the list.

I ended up getting in the next day. I was scared because I knew I would never be the same person again.  I would soon start a real life with commitments and responsibilities.  The change in my life is beyond what I could have ever imagined—I have that sparkle in my eyes, a smile, and a freedom that no one could ever take from me.  That indescribable light that shines through me is sometimes overwhelming.  I still have to remind myself that it’s okay to relax. Today I live a life of dignity.  I follow suggestions, and I remain open, honest, and willing.  My time at Grace House wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies—I kicked and screamed and wanted to leave many times over, but my willingness to become a better person outweighed the excuses to want to leave.

It’s not always easy to want to change my defects of character, something I have used as a protective shield my whole life.  I’ve learned how to receive guidance, pray, and talk about any major decision. Today, staying clean is the most important thing in my life.  I am involved in my life, and I am constantly learning to be a productive member of society.  I have ups and downs, but I know that I have no reason to use again today.  I love being alive today, and to have had that awakening was worth everything to me.  Thanks to Grace House for opening the doors to show me a better life today.  Today I am worth loving, and I can now return that love to others.

Sheri B.

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