THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Sharonda"
Originally posted in June 1999(The author retains all rights to this material)
Here I am two years after the very last time I picked up the crack pipe, writing a story of my experience, strength, and hope for another addict suffering from the disease of addiction.
As a young girl, I would always think about what it was like to be a television star, movie star or anything besides the person whom I was. I would watch family sitcoms and pretend that I was one of the women characters in the show; thinking and feeling like I was just like them. I would wrap towels around my head just so it would drape on my neck to give me the secure feeling of being the person I portrayed.
In the neighborhood where I grew up, there were two families well known; mine, and the Moores. I always found myself being chastised because I wanted the little Moore girls to like me. Since their family was larger than mine I always was out numbered. My mother told me to stay away because them were no good for me. Of course, I believed different, one because she (my mother) was drunk all the time when she criticized me and two, because most of the children in the “hood” were related to the Moores or was one. Whatever I was asked to do, asked to play, ask to say, I would do it without thinking about the outcome. Most of the time I knew that negativity was obvious, however because I wanted them for friends I took on their behaviors, and I believed my mother was the enemy.
I would lie about where I was going when I was able to go out. I began to allow girls to tell me that I needed cigarettes and beer to make me more independent. Because I wanted more than anything to fit in, I did what they expected me to do. I was at the stage of adolescence where I thought I knew everything, especially the fact that I was invincible. By twelve or thirteen I had began to smoke marijuana, and drink wine. I would stay out late just like all the other girls.
Each day I would act out, I’d be mentally, verbally and physically abused by my mother. I was called bitches, junkies, whores, sluts, tramps and more. No matter what I did to change my mother’s idea and perceptions about me (the real me) it seemed to be never enough. I really wanted her to just see the inner me and since she never would, I hid who I wanted to be deep inside. I began to seek my love and acceptance anywhere I could. Not realizing that I had began to practice the same behaviors as a teenager into my womanhood.
Whenever the man, the teacher, my sisters or brother didn’t show me any acceptance in whatever situation I felt I needed it, I became a loner, and distanced myself from anything that seemed whole or good. Drugs were the only way I found relief and it never had any expectations of me. I always expected the drug to work for me and it never failed me. When I finally woke up I had come to realize that I was finally accepted; accepted in a world that was cold, dark, lonely and frightening. A world that had nothing to offer, no hopes, no dreams and no positive future. I was trapped inside a body that couldn’t see any of the beauty that I always wanted to know. Everyone that I cared for had gone astray and I didn’t know where else to turn. I had remembered some of the people I had smoked crack with leaving, going into the hospital for thirty days and looking much better off than when they went in. I decided to give myself the opportunity they gave themselves, however I didn’t want to return until I was cured fully from the drugs.
I called up someone in my life who took the risk of allowing me another chance by trusting me to build my strength until a bed became available to me. I called so many places until God saw fit for me to find a safe place away from the darkness I was living. In rehab I was introduced into a dream and a positive gift. That gift was called life. I found it here in the fellowship and program of Narcotics Anonymous. I learned how to finally get the acceptance that I always longed for. Through working Steps One through Three I learned that I’m an OK person; who loves and can be loved for who I am today. Also that as long as this fellowship is alive I don’t ever have to be lonely or alone again, and when I allow God to guide and direct me, I’ll always be accepted. As I continue through Steps Four through Twelve I will get a better acceptance and understanding of God, myself, and be able to help others just like me all over again.
I know today by being a part of Narcotics Anonymous, going to meetings regularly, using my Sponsor, and using other addicts in the fellowship is what keeps me clean as well as strong with a serene mind and soul. I wouldn’t trade or give up what I’ve gained in this fellowship for nothing in this world. Although there are times when I go through some of the growing pains of life and I want to go back to what seems much easier for me (which is using), I know I don’t have to NO MATTER WHAT. This program is now a part of my life and I would love to see it happen for more addicts all over the world.