02/02/2020 12 years

By
Kim Washburn
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

I hit bottom 12 years ago broken and beaten beyond words. I almost lost everything - inside I already had. I was a prisoner of myself, a shell of a human. The saddest part was that I had no idea. I was existing, not living.

Today I am infinitely grateful for all of the pain I endured.

I thought my drinking was normal. I had a wonderful husband, 2 amazing children and a gorgeous home. HOW could “I” be an alcoholic? Terrified to say that word and unwilling to believe it could happen to a “nice girl” like me, I stayed sick for a long time. I had no role model of what an alcoholic woman was, much less what a SOBER woman was.

What I thought alcoholism and addiction were and what they actually are is very different. I share this publicly and openly because today my greatest enemy is my greatest gift.

However, to stay silent is to not give it away. Social media gives me a place to hide if I only share the moments of beauty and not the truth of my life.

I have a beautiful life today. I can do anything. The only thing I don’t do is drink. I still struggle sometimes. Life can be hard and the challenges huge. But alcohol isn’t my solution today and it doesn’t run my life. I do not need to escape from life. I have been able to get through every challenge while not picking up a drink. I never dreamed that was possible.

I have unbelievable women in my life. I have the gift of women’s shoulders to stand on - they carry me when I need to be carried. When I put down the drink 12 years ago NO ONE wanted me, absolutely NO ONE. Today when I walk in a room, people do not recoil from me. I have so many people who love me. Thank you God!!!

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

I am working on getting out in the community sharing my story and hoping to help another woman. My son and I are both in recovery and I have a deep understanding of what it is to be in recovery but also what it is to be the mother of a child in recovery. This is a very different perspective and it truly encompasses the saying “an absolute inability to see the forest from the trees”. All of the years I spent in recovery non of it could help me help my son. However I had resources most of us do not have access to. How can I help other parents? How can I help other young women and mothers trying to help themselves or their children? By using my voice. People have asked me for a long time to use my voice and I wasn't ready until now. I hope I can find a way to work with shatterproof!