The cacophony of peace

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

"I am an addict" is a characterization I never thought I would have to list among my personality traits. Up until age 39 I was as vanilla as they came-never any trouble with anybody. The daughter of police officers and married to a police officer. I worked in a pain management office and day after day people would be filing through, most for legit reasons-some for not-so-legit reasons. I would often judge them for their actions, completely unaware that those demons would one day be my demons. When my daughter was born, I noticed as she grew, there were differences. Differences in her thoughts, her actions and we suspected autism. But since medicine wouldn't commit to a concrete diagnosis, all I was left with was a struggling child who no one could or would help. My active addiction started because one physician got the ball rolling in the wrong direction. That action led to many other balls rolling in the wrong direction, until they all hit a wall. I was 39, facing a myriad of personal, legal, and medical calamities. I checked into detox when my body was shutting down. I made it. I attended meetings, which I applaud for anyone for whom it works for. It didn't for me. I found therapy and within it a group of people who walk this path with me. I was diagnosed with ADHD and while it is not official, it has been posited that I too, am on the spectrum. I found help in the unlikliest places and am in recovery 32 plus months. Those demons are still there...they're just quieter...and I fight everyday to keep them in the shadows where they belong just visible enough to remind me where I never want to be again.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

I recognize the person in you. I see you. Not your addiction. It is a symptomology of a bigger problem in our individual lives that often compel us to make choices. Maybe not the best choices...but we are strong. We fail. We get back up. We keep going. We are survivors. We may fracture...but with support and with determination, we get back up.