The most rewarding part of my recovery journey is seeing the light come back to my children's eyes, and hearing my son say proudly to people his mama is a recovering addict and he is a son in recovery!
Ultimately my recovery is my choice. To work a 12 step program is for me. But I am not the only one in recovery, my children are also. After being introduced to drugs and alcohol at 12 years old I lived an extreme life of drugs, gangs, lies, and betrayal that I managed to hide until it wasn't hidden anymore. Even then I denied it over and over again. By age 14 I had already had alcohol poisoning twice, was smoking cigarettes and marijuana, dabbling in harder drugs. At the time I was having fun and living life, I wasn't addicted to anything, I had complete control... So I thought.
With the pregnancy of my firstborn at 21, I began recovery and was able to maintain it by pouring myself into my son and everyone else's problems. I had a mentality of, " if i stay away from it ill be okay, out of sight out of mind." When my son was 2.5 years old his father and I had split up after 10 years together. Quickly, alcohol became my best friend.
2 years later I met a man who would quickly become the father to my second child and future husband. Again, so I thought. At 27 I gave birth to my second child, a baby girl. My dad was suppose to be walking me down the aisle on fathers day 2012, but the wedding got called off because of infidelity. I didn't turn to drugs, but I felt unwanted and unloveable.
By 28 I found myself caught up in a criminal case facing 4 felony charges, running from reality. I found myself with my boyfriend at the time in a hotel with another friend using again. The next 4.5 years were hell and I managed to completly destroy our lives. I pushed away family and friends some who permanently walked away. In the fight to keep my relapse hidden my son ended up with his father and my daughter was motel to motel, drug house to drug house because I thought she was better with me than my parents.
When my secret came out of the bag, I denied it fully and decided to leave town, abandoning my kids with the promise of creating a new foundation for us in another state. There, my drug use increased and so did the number of crimes we were committing to make money to support our needs. When we were about to get caught up there, we jumped to another state. When that didn't work, and I was missing my kids, I returned home 9 months later promising to find permanent recovery.
For the next 2 years, I fought to get my now 7-year-old son back from his father and prove I was fit to raise my daughter. I decided to go to culinary school and back to work. In 2015 i had 10 months of recovery and was about to move us into our first home when my father suddenly passed on the same date as our move-in. Devastated and broken, I poured myself into closing his business and helping my mom whom at this point I had no relationship with, with everyone around me expecting a relapse even myself. That's when my long-time friend appeared back in my life, in recovery himself, and took me to my first meeting.
I loved every minute of I was excited and nervous and scared all at the same time. But I kept going back. I attended meetings, held area positions, spoke at panels my experience strength and hope, had an amazing sponsor and worked the 12 steps. During that time I had undergone spinal surgery and was recovering with non narcotic medication because I refused to put my recovery in danger.
Unfortunately, At 21 months, I found myself hanging out with all the wrong people. Fighting and relapsing again. One night of using and I found myself right back at a meeting in tears admitting to everyone that loved and knew me that I had relapsed. I was ashamed, disappointed and once again broken. But reaching out for help, I received it.
On August 5, 2019, I achieved 2 years of recovery. It's still been a struggle and life still is in session, I'm a survivor of brutal domestic violence with the intent to take my life, I've lost my and my children's home. I've lost my children, but today I have both my 13-year-old son and my 9-year-old daughter in my custody. In my home and they have their mom back. Life has not been easy for them but they are completely content as long as they have their mom. Little do they know I need them more than they could ever need me! My son is so much better than I could have ever imagined being at his age. He makes amazing choices and knows he deserves more than the life I chose to give myself. My daughter is beautiful and strong and so very independent and I am so happy to be apart of that today. I am blessed and grateful for my recovery today. because of it, I am free to live a life of happiness and love free from the shackles of addiction.
I destroyed our lives and hit rock bottom, but through the foundation of the 12 steps, I was able to rebuild. Admitting we need help and asking for it can be so hard to do, but nothing changes if nothing changes. Recovery is possible, you gotta want it for yourself and then go get it for yourself. No one ever has to do it alone, always remember that.