Never Again

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

Addiction touched my life in every way possible. It affected every single person in my life. I thought addiction broke me but it actually made me the person I am today. It made me stronger.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

Never give up.

Hi. My name is Kelly and I suffer from addiction. I say that with pride today because I am in recovery. I am a 49 year old mother of 3, wife of 25 years, employee, co-worker, daughter, sister, granddaughter and friend. All of which I was terrible at up until now. I am learning how to be better. A better me.

I grew up with pothead parents. Just teenagers themselves. A mother who cheated and lied to my father. An emotionally absent father. Thought that was just the norm. They were young parents and didn’t know any better. They did the best with what they had. I know that now. I took all that into my teenage and adult life. I always wanted to impress people so they would like me. I used my mom’s pot, money and my body to try to make people like me. Especially men. Love (or what I thought was love) was probably the biggest drug to me. Acceptance.

It was never enough. I never had enough drugs to mask my pain. I could never drink enough to numb me. I never got enough attention to make me feel worthwhile and fill my emptiness. I never felt good enough.

I got married to someone who was not addicted. Thought he was saving me and taking me away from all that but I took myself right along with me. He didn’t like me smoking pot so I turned to my mom’s pain killers. That tuned into a 16 year opiate addiction. I was obsessed and could think of nothing else. It's not the only drug I used but certainly my drug of choice. Mom, doctors, family and friends' med cabinets, favors for men. I did what I had to do.

I almost lost my family over my choices. Choices I wouldn’t have made it weren’t for this disease and my active addiction. I surrendered...THANK GOD! I was so tired. Tired of existing. I couldn't go on anymore. I couldn’t be who I had become anymore. I decided to go into treatment. It was 32 days at an inpatient facility. It saved my life. It saved my family. I did what I was told to do when I got out. I went to a meeting, I did a 90 and 90, I got a sponsor, a network, I used the phone to tell people I was struggling no matter how hard it was. No matter what my head told me I kept doing the suggestions. And I am not perfect by any means. Still make bad choices and decisions but today I am thinking of how my actions affect others and my family. It’s not all about me anymore.

I didn’t know how to be a good partner for my husband or mother for my children. I work at that everyday now and learn from the people in the 12 step fellowship I am in. There is no other feeling in the world than that of walking in a room full of people who feel and think the way you do and know what you are going through. I have been sober 10 years now and I never want to go back.

I saw the signs in rehab that said "Peace and Serenity". That is all I ever wanted in my life and today I have that. I'd say 85% of the time I have that. Life on life’s terms show up but it’s my choice to use or not on a daily basis. I never have to feel the way I did ever again.