Clean Date: November 17, 2019
My clean date is November 17, 2019. I’m 33 years old and I’ve lived all over, from Kansas to Oklahoma City, Houston, Nigeria and Mississippi. I really enjoy music and that was one of the main reasons why I came to Recovery Unplugged to get help. I enjoy writing. I write a lot and I’m currently in school to become a licensed chemical dependency counselor.
As a child, I was very much like my seven-year-old daughter is now. I was really creative and fun. I’ve recently discovered that a lot of my issues were due to the strictness of my parents. I started young as a rebel. Even though my parents were strict, they also loved to have fun, and using alcohol was a big part of that. As I got older, alcohol played a part in my life, too. When I was getting ready to go into rehab, I called my mom and told her what was going on and she said: “Well the cocaine and other drugs, I can’t really speak to, but the alcohol, that might have been your dad and I.”
I was using alcohol and drugs as a means to deal with real-life stress issues and avoiding my emotions. At first being in active addiction was great, but once it took a turn, I felt like I was continuously trying to chase an idea that wasn’t even tangible. I realized that I wasn’t investing in my future or building anything, which created a depression. I was stuck in that depression, while ultimately using drugs and alcohol to escape it.
Eventually I got robbed and ultimately realized that I couldn’t continue like this. I had gotten off of work on a Friday one night, and my friend and I went out to a club to drink. At the end of the night, we were both plastered, but I was still able to get him in the car and drive. I realized I didn’t have my phone. I went back to look for it, and somebody hit me with either their hand or a gun, and I was knocked unconscious. My car and everything else had been stolen. I still have a mark on my face that reminds of it every day. When I woke up in the hospital, I realized that I very easily could have died and that’s when things started to change.
Life in recovery is a beautiful thing. My relationship with my daughter is consistent, which is so important and one of the main gifts of sobriety: to be able to show up and actually care about the people in your life. As difficult as recovery is in the beginning, one day at a time is real. In the first 30 days, the only thing you can do wrong is go back to using.
For families who are struggling with a loved one who’s using, I’d say you want to provide them with unconditional love, but you also don’t want to enable them—it’s a balancing act. With that being said, sometimes you just have to be there for someone. So many of us who go through this feel like we’re not worth anything, and we need someone to tell us that we are. Being active in my worth and getting support from my ex-girlfriend was a game-changer for me.
My biggest takeaway from treatment is that all those songs about love are not a cliché. The power of love is real—it’s the most powerful thing on the planet and I’m so grateful to have been open to it. I’m also grateful to Recovery Unplugged for empowering me to take control of my life and really begin to experience it again.