Today’s blog is from a writer friend of mine who addresses families whose loved ones struggle with addiction. Her name is Sharron Cosby and I’ve featured her before. You can follow her at erecoverychurch.com
In this blog Sharron interviews a recovering addict with over two years clean time, LS. Hers is a story of 40 years of use and abuse, but today she walks in victory – one day at a time.
R is for Recovery
Briefly share when you started using.
I started using when I was fourteen-years-old, a high school freshman. The first time I drank I got drunk. I started smoking weed. By the time I was sixteen, I was having blackouts. During high school, I experimented with many different drugs. After graduation, I attended business school and stayed at one of the local university’s dorms. Here I was introduced to more drugs and more drinking. I didn’t finish the secretarial course. I ended up in a hospital from taking drugs.
Meanwhile, my father and mother had been transferred to Chicago. So off I went. I fell into the crowd of drunks and users. We are not hard to find. The following year my father was transferred back to Pittsburgh. My grandmother passed away—a good reason to get drunk. I got married and divorced seven years later. During this marriage I had a son. I drank heavily, except when pregnant, until I entered a rehab. I had a little sobriety and the obsession of drinking was lifted.
My parents retired to Florida. My mother passed away and I went back out. Her death was a good excuse to use and this time my choice of drug was crack cocaine. Crack became a daily habit. I asked my father for help which required rehab. I entered a few rehabs. Nothing worked. The usage escalated with my father’s death. I was in a depression and self-pity for two years. I went through thousands of dollars. When my father passed away I vowed I would not “smoke up” all his money, but I was. This played on me every day along with all the other lies and the things people do when on drugs.
What caused you to seek sobriety?
The death of my dad made me seek sobriety and a friend who said she loved me and didn’t want to see me die. Up until this time, I had been in and out of rehabs. I had lost my family and friends. I was losing everything. Most of all I lost me. Nothing mattered anymore. I was a shell of a person. All morals out the window. I didn’t care if I lived or died. My life was pure darkness.
How did you get sober and what are you doing to maintain sobriety?
It was by the Grace of God and my friend. I had tasted sobriety and remembered what it felt like. I had to be honest with myself, open-minded and willing. I went to a faith-based rehab where I found my Higher Power, a God of my understanding—God. For once in my life I listened to the counselors. I prayed, and I read the Word. This time I was going to do whatever it took to get clean.
Today I maintain my sobriety by going to meetings, asking for help, prayer, and working the steps with a sponsor. I found a wonderful fellowship in a local church. Every day I am in contact with someone in recovery and/or church. I do this “one day at a time.”
How do you define recovery and what does it look like for you?
Recovery is a beautiful journey. I follow the NA 12 Step program to the best of my ability, which means being honest, open-minded and willing. Recovery through my God has brought me out of “darkness into the Light.” God has filled a hole and is making me whole. It is having a relationship with God. It’s having true friends and family back in my life. It’s being able to hold your head up, smile and walk down the street. It is hope.
Do you have a word of encouragement for family members?
Psalm 39:7 (NLT) “And so, Lord, where do I put my Hope? My only Hope is in YOU.”
I truly believe recovery is possible. Seek out 12 Step meetings for yourselves: Nar-anon, Al-anon, Celebrate Recovery to name a few. Also counseling. I would recommend a Christian center. Read the Bible. Seek out people who have experienced addiction with a loved one. Be opened-minded, honest and willing. Please try not to enable, this will kill an addict.
And pray. This works more than you will ever know!
*May this true story give you renewed hope for your son or daughter. Recovery IS possible!