i.n.T.o.o. (I'm Not the Only One)

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

After 20 years of addiction, I found it very hard to turn around. The combination of craving drugs constantly, combined with the crash of feelings and emotions when I would have brief moments of sobriety was overpowering.

The question of how can I possibly rebuild a life I have destroyed several times over was always a sure way to return to my addiction.

I recalled the pain of growing up in a household where drugs and alcohol were the norm. I remembered my first experimentation with drugs and how I was searching for happiness.

Looking at myself in 2012, I began to wonder how many years ago did the false feelings of happiness stop accompanying my efforts to get high?

Why am I still using all these drugs, and I don't recall the last time I felt "happy"?

Many rehabs, incarcerations, institutions, and psychiatrists later and I am still blaming inconsequential factors such as wrong drug, wrong place, wrong dealer, bad batch, etc. as the reason that I have nothing but a constant craving...a craving that will not only take me back to where I have been but will push me farther than I want to go...such as the cemetery.

Oh, yes, that was the constant thought that became my every day companion to my "good times"--fear of death, feelings of being watched, constant thoughts of "Well, I am living on borrowed time, so it really doesn't matter what I do."

If it had not been for a case manager that was not required to leave her office but did.
A very cute short lady with big blue eyes intervened in my life and by doing so she forever altered that path that I was on.

I hated her! She left her courtroom and retrieved me from a drug infected motel that specialized in prostitution on the morning of my court appearance.

Then this lady had enough nerve to have me held at the hearing! Yes, handcuffed and surrendered to the bailiff!

A couple of weeks later she returned to the jail and offered a new treatment plan at a new center.

I spent 14 months there and this case worker made regular appearances to visit with me.

I met Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour during this time. The program was not Christ centered and I just remember praying one night and asking for God to show me how.

How to live, how to be different, and how to not be the same person that came into this place.

If that case manager had never looked at a pitiful 110lb, strung-out for 20 years, abused and hurting woman, then my life may have possibly ended years ago.

Because My God saw fit to place this woman in my life, because I found my strength in Jesus, because I took every tool and piece of knowledge available to educate myself about my disease of addiction my story goes like this;

I earned my GED at 42, I enrolled in college at 43, I became a Certified Recovery Support Specialist in 2018, and I remember what Christ has done for me.

I remember how I was living in conditions similar to Third World dumps and I use that memory to remind me that ANYBODY can recover.

I remember Jennifer coming to that broke down motel and I use that to remember somebody like me might be living like that today, waiting for me to step outside that box and do something unexpected.

My sobriety date is June 17, 2012. I am 7 1/2 years sober. I never used again once I graduated that 14-month program...just for today.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

As long as there is breath in our bodies, it is not too late!

You are not alone...there are tens of thousands that have gone before you and all of us are just across the finish line, waving and cheering you on!