Because of recovery, I now look at myself in a more positive way.

On August 7, 1992 I made a decision to enter detox after years of a crack addiction. I had a plan; I had never been to treatment before and did not know what to expect. I just knew that some of the other women that came to the crack house would disappear for some time and come back with money they had saved while they were away. This was my plan.

I did not know at the time that there was another plan for me. I spent three days in detox and was discharged to a recovery house. This was all brand new to me. I had never lived anywhere but my family home. The recovery house was not a pleasant place. It actually was worse than the crack house. They charged us $40 plus most of my food stamps per week for rent which left very little for me.

I was not able to save any money. I stayed in the recovery house and watched women come and go. Most of the women who left did not stay clean. The few that did stay began to rebuild their lives and they helped me to begin to rebuild mine.

A requirement of the recovery house is that we made two support meetings a day. I attended  a 12 Step support meeting in the morning and another in the evening and before I realized it, I had begun to work on myself. I still had the plan in the back of my mind to return to the crack house. I had not realized that my thinking and behaviors had begun to change. I was not as angry as I used to be.

I celebrated my first year clean and it was that day that I realized that I did not want to use again. That was over 22 years ago and I have never gone back. I said there was another plan in place for me and it was not the plan I had.

Recovery for me is a lifestyle change and although the recovery house I was in was not the best experience it allowed me to meet some people who helped me through some very painful situations. Some of those people have gone on to a better place, but some are still in my life today and for that I am very grateful. They helped me to see that I was not a bad person, I just made bad decisions.

Recovery has transformed me from a miserable, angry and negative person with low self-esteem to a person who is okay with not being one of the “in crowd.” I began abusing drugs because I felt like I did not fit in and was not popular.

Because of recovery, I now look at myself in a more positive way. I no longer focus on my shortcomings; I learned to build on the positive things I have to offer. Today I am a better person, a better mother, a better sister, a better friend and yes a better grandmother.