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We Do Recover

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We Do Recover

I titled this We Do Recover but what I should say is We Can Recover if we choose to. I will celebrate 5 years of recovery on July 8, 2014. ?I say the word recovery as opposed to clean or sober because there is a difference. I am writing this because if I can give hope to one person then it is worth it to me. I am almost 43, I have 3 kids and 1 grandson and my life is amazing, but that hasn't always been my story. I am going to qualify myself but if you get anything from what I am putting into words I hope it is more about what to do after the using stops and not what was going on while I was using.

The first time I had a drink was when I was about 11. I was at a wedding with my cousins. Everybody was having a good time. The kids were aloud to have a beer or two, it was the 70's not that big of a deal. For me it was the greatest thing. I was always shy, felt out of place but the minute I drank I felt great! So great in fact I couldn't stop. I drank alcoholicly at 11 (until I blacked out). It was years later until I drank again but once I started I drank that way everytime. Eventually a guy (there was always a guy) that introduced me to meth which became a great love of mine. After so many years and so many men it eventually catches up with you.

I went from one addiction to another. Alcohol, opiates, meth it really didn't matter. I just knew that I did't want to be me with out any substance. I was uncomfortable in my skin and needed something to get through life. Drinking, drugging made it easier to talk to people, easier to be a mom, easier to exsist, at least this was the crap I convinced myself that was true. I was in a visious cycle that I didn't know how to get out of. I was so dilusional I didn't think I even wanted to get out of it. Until my family started getting involved trying to take my kids away! The nerve of them! I was doing just fine! Didn't matter that I had drug dealers at my house, people with guns in my house, I had things under control. It took my kids getting zip tied and robbed by some of them so called friends and me coming home to crying kids and my olderst daughter taking my yougest kids with her to my moms and telling me she was leaving and I should get my shit together. They could have been killed because of me.

Now you think that would have made me get clean. But for an addict like me, that only made me want to stay high. I was so ashamed I couldn't cope with the reality that I had created so I had to stay high in order to not cry myself to death or be able to get out of bed. I never actually wanted to commit suicide but there were moments when I thought I just don't want to get up anymore. So I kept getting high and desperate and it didn't take to much longer before I was finally arrested. I was arrested on April 23, 2009. Those cops that arrested me that day saved my life! If I would have never got arrested, I would have never been clean long enough to realize I wanted my life and family back. So from that moment on I knew I didn't want to get loaded anymore, I just needed to figure how to not feel like I felt anymore.

When I was in jail I signed up to go to an AA meeting, while in the meeting, the person leading it gave me a Big Book. It was the only thing I had to read. I had nothing but time so I read it. When I got out of jail someone suggested I try an NA meeting. So I did. Thank God I did. It was what I needed. I identified with what I heard. That was huge! There were other people who felt the way I felt. That was the first thing I needed to hear. There is so much I could write about the recovery process. It is way more important then the story of my drug use. We certainly all know how to use.

Unfortunetly we don't all know how to recover. I am going to tell you some of the more important things that I learned. First I was born with the disease of addiction. Meaning I wasn't born with a needle in my arm, but my brain is wired different then the so called "normal" person. I always felt different, or out of place, but mostly insecure and less then. So when I discovered that drinking or drugging ?cured me from feeling that way I realized they were just symptoms of my disease. Second I stopped being ashamed of being an addict. I am so grateful I am an addict! I finally figured out what was wrong with me and after I figured that part out they told me there was a solution. And ther is! The 12 steps are the single greates cure for addiction.

I am living proof that they work. I live in Las Vegas. My life and livlihood is the gaming and bar business. The 12 steps of recovery teach you how to live your life with out the use of drug or alcohol. I run bars, I work in a bar everyday and have for the last 4 years now, I live and have an amazing realtionship with a man that drinks. I have all my kids and a grandson who I watch 3 days a week. I have not once had the desire to pick up a drink in almost 5 years. The 12 steps teach you about yourself, teach you to forgive yourself, and others, teach you how to live life on lifes terms. I say this because it's true. You don't have to give up living because you give up drugs or alcohol. I have truly found my bliss. I would never take a drink today because it would killl the buzz I have! And I truly mean that.

The process of recover doesn't happen over night but over time. It's not hard, maybe a little time consuming. But how much time did we spend getting loaded, or trying to find money so we could get loaded? I know I spent a lot of time! I know plenty of peolpe that go to meetings for years, start the steps, some never do the steps, and have years of clean time. But that's not the same as recovery. Those same peolpe after 10 or 15 years still go to meetings everyday and could never do what I do for a living because the temptation would be to great. But here's the thing, I have recovery because I have worked the steps. I continue to work steps, I continue to be of service when I can and when I am asked.

I believe and pray to a power greater then me (which I call God), I go to a meeting once a week, but if work comes up I am ok. I have lost the desire to use and I don't ever think about nor am I tempted and I am surrounded by it everday. For the first time in my life I have self confidence. I am peaceful and comfortable in my own skin. I no longer find happiness from an outside source. I attribut all of that to the 12 steps of recovery, a sponsor, and a loving higher power. So even if you don't believe yet, just believe that I believe and take the first step. I pray all of you can find what I found in recovery. It didn't save my life, it gave me a life.


This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

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Comments

1. Julie
Mickie -- congrats on your recovery. 7 years!
2. Sofia
Thank you for sharing your story, Mickie, and congratulations on your anniversary!