In every breath, there lies hope

Delynn Schneider
Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

There is hope! As long as there is breath in your lungs, there is hope. I hear the despair when I speak to those who have loved ones suffering from addiction. I can tell you that regardless of the amount of treatment facilities the person has been in; regardless of "How far gone" they appear to be, or the amount of destruction they have created, as long as they are breathing, there is hope! Don't give up the fight whether you're suffering from addiction or the person who loves someone with an addiction. I am a product of a mom who refused to give up on me. They prayed for me and loved me at my worst. The 12-step program works. All that is required is a DESIRE to stop using. The program is free and can be found nationwide. If you are a family member who has lost a loved one to this cunning, baffling, and powerful disease, I humbly ask that you share your story. I am one of many who has read every memorial. It's important for us to share our stories so that others know that they are not alone in this fight. We need to crush the stigma associated with addiction. We need to push the need for more treatment centers to help those who can't afford it. We have to hold those in positions to administer highly addictive drugs, accountable. We need to educate people, particularly our youth, who feel that they are invincible, about addiction. Our voices need to be heard. We need to stand united so that not one more life is lost to this disease.

I began using in my early teens. Speed, in any form, was my drug of choice. I used it to lose weight. I was introduced to cocaine. It became my obsession. Every penny that I had went to purchase more. It wasn't long before my habit was no longer affordable, so I moved on to Meth. It was cheap, and gave me the same amped-up feeling that I got from coke. Meth turned me into a person that I never imagined possible. I became a liar, a cheat, and a thief. I beg, borrowed, and stole from family. Nothing was off limits. I became a master manipulator. I was filled with self hate which made it easy for me to hate everyone around me. My family noticed a difference in my behavior, attitude, and physical appearance, yet they stayed in denial. A family member, who had just completed treatment for addiction, confronted me about my use. The confrontation came at a time when I was at my bottom. Looking back, it was clearly divine intervention. I was admitted into treatment, where I stayed. It was there that I learned that I suffered from a disease of body, mind, and spirit. It was there that I surrendered. Fully surrendered...without reservation. I was introduced to the 12-Step program of Cocaine Anonymous. I went to 12-step meetings both day and night. The suggestion was 90 meetings in 90 days and I did just that and more. I surround myself with like-minded people who quickly became my support system. The 12-Step program introduced me to a power greater than myself who I've come to call God. My life was spared. The chains of bondage were broken enabling me to put the pieces back together and begin to clean up the destruction that I created with those that loved me most. For that I am eternally grateful. On November 14, 2017 I will be 30 years clean and sober. It all started with a minute at a time. The minutes became hours; hours to days; days to weeks, and so on. In early sobriety, I lost many friends to this disease when they made the conscious decision to "try it just one more time." These losses made me question why my life was spared. Why me? Years later, I was given the answer. My life was spared to share my story of hope to the hopeless. To help another suffering from addiction when the opportunity is placed in my path. God pulled me from the pits of Hell and gave me back my life so that I could share my story with you.
My name is Delynn and I AM an addict and alcoholic.