The Greatest Gift
My addiction started at a young age. I am the only person in my immediate family that struggles with addiction. I grew up in a great family. My parents have never divorced and I have two older successful brothers. I was addicted to heroin and crack cocaine. My addiction was very powerful and dark. It started out as me using drugs to boost my self-esteem. After getting involved in an abusive relationship, a deadly traumatic car accident, and the deaths of my closest friends- I began using to numb any and all feelings. I lost all my self-worth. My days consisted of finding a way to get money through prostitution to buy my drugs.
Each day I did the same thing. I didn’t care that I was constantly in and out of jail and getting arrested. I thought the drugs would keep me numb. However, my problems only got worse. I was completely miserable. I feared sobriety because I had to face all the trauma, guilt, and shame. I had to face the guilt of my parents reporting me missing because I was MIA on a crack binge. Having to face those things terrified me. I was sentenced to drug court, I ran, and I obviously couldn’t stay sober alone. I needed help. I went back to jail and waited for a bed at Grace House.
Here at Grace House I have grained back my self-worth. Today, I love who I am. Today, I have real, healthy relationships. Today, I can get through each day sober. The holidays are a beautiful time. Last Christmas in my addiction I remember the look on my family’s faces when I walked in the house completely impaired. It broke their hearts and mine. This year, whether I’m physically present or not, I will be sober and joyous and free of my addiction. That to me, is the greatest gift to have been given. My hope for the future is to show my family this gift I have been given and to show others that the holidays can be a joyous time. We have the power to let it be. -Laura L