THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Alison R."
Originally posted on June 2005(The author retains all rights to this material)
IT STARTED OFF AS A WEEKEND THING &
TURNED INTO ALL DAY
I am the younger of two kids. All I remember growing up was fighting within my family. My parents fought. I never saw love in my home. Ever since I was a little girl, my father told me I was fat and he always put my on diets. So since I was little, I never felt good enough for my dad. My mother wasn’t always loving and caring towards us. She was involved with her own life so I felt I couldn’t go to her. My brother and I weren’t close at all. We hardly ever spoke, except when we were fighting.
I always felt more comfortable at friends’ houses. I would go days without ever coming home. When I was about 13, I would take cigarettes from my grandparents. I would also take the miniature liquor bottles my dad had. My father smoked pot so he would teach my friends and me how to roll joints. I thought that was the coolest thing. Eventually I started to not like the way pot made me feel so I tried other drugs. I started going to raves and clubs. Eventually I started to not like how those drugs made me feel so I kept experimenting. I found the drug that I thought I loved. Heroin destroyed my life. It started off as a weekend thing and turned into all day. I couldn’t get out of bed without using. Throughout my using, I stole to support my habit because any job I had wasn’t enough to support my using. I stole from family, work, co-workers, stores, etc. I ended up getting arrested in many towns. My life was reckless. I didn’t care what happened to me. I just kept using and doing whatever I could to get more drugs.
I have been to many detoxes and rehabs. I would always use right when I got out. I could never leave my old friends or boyfriends. I always went back to my using buddies, thinking it would be different this time. So my using progressed. I was using more and more. My family didn’t trust me, I had no car, no job, and no money. I was spiritually bankrupt. I remember sitting on the porch just hating my life. At that point I knew I was close to coming to an end of my using. I had gone for an interview at a long-term treatment facility and they accepted me for their four-month program. At first, I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to leave my friends but as I was sitting on the porch I knew I had to do something. I called my mother and I asked her to please send me away.
I went to long-term treatment. It was really hard. I didn’t realize how my behaviors were so off. I got in trouble in rehab because I thought I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I did a lot of work on myself in treatment. I actually did the assignments rather than coasting through and doing nothing. I completed treatment and started going to meetings. I got a sponsor and I used her. I started doing step work. I got an apartment with another recovering addict. I started to notice that I wasn’t such an angry person like I was in early recovery. I wanted to change the things I didn’t like about myself. The step work process really helps me to grow.
I have received so many blessings since I started my recovery process. I got my life back, my family, the love of my higher power, a job, and home, etc. I continue to grow in many ways because I stay vigilant in my recovery. I still attend meetings, I have commitments, and I continue to work steps daily. I know that as long as I continue those things, I don’t have to use. I love my life today. If I had to do it all over again and change anything, I wouldn’t change a thing. My life made me the beautiful person I am today and for that I am forever grateful. Alison R.