“Look fear in the face and do the thing you think you cannot do” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I was a highly accomplished career woman and single mother when I crashed. Literally, crashed and rolled over my SUV on the way to work one morning. After two previous alcohol-related driving incidents, this accident turned into a Felony DWI with county jail time and a drug court program.
I was forced to resign from a good job for the second time. I was completely and utterly humiliated! I dropped out of society. I blamed everyone but myself. I held a bitter resentment against the law and its consequences. I became depressed.
At first, my attention focused on getting out of “trouble” and lessening my consequences. It didn’t take long to realize I was a person in DENIAL. What started out as behavior to avoid consequences; self-paid inpatient and outpatient rehab, meetings, and a mandatory drug court program turned into active and voluntary participation. It’s no longer a punishment to be sober; it’s an incredible miracle and blessing. I’m still on probation, I'm a “FELON” on paper, and cannot drive. I’m not proud of this. It's my reality.
I felt as if my life were over and was so ashamed of what had happened. As I started on the slow path of recovery, the truth became evident to me. Yes, I had been relying on mind altering substances to cope with life. Not just alcohol & marijuana, but pharmaceuticals prescribed by doctors. My thinking was that drugs approved by the FDA, obtained legally were justified. Adderall and Xanax were, in part, the making of my demise. During the progression of my addictions, my thinking and behavior became extremely convoluted. My credibility was in question. My judgment was out of my control. My physical body deteriorated. I got diagnosed with mental health labels based on symptoms I fabricated. I was humiliated in family court.
What I did was FACE IT ALL with the help of my recovery network of professionals and peers. I was infuriated and frightened. I lost a lot of material things, my party friends, and my driver’s license. However, no matter what, I maintained my dignity because I was working toward something greater, my sobriety! I can hold my head high as I’m slowly working my way back to a better life.
The people reading this today may not be the “exact people” I started or finished treatment with, or see at meetings, but WE are the people that represent our fellowship of recovery. We get through this together. We learn from each other’s experiences and mistakes. We lean on each other for support. We have become a family. We fight the stigma of addiction together. We are not alone, and We have nothing to fear.
Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life, rather look to them with full hope that as they arise you will be safely lead. Do not fear what may happen tomorrow, either you will be protected or given the strength to bear it. Be at Peace.