I was born in Southern Indiana to a single mother and led a fairly normal life prior to beginning to use drugs. About thirteen years ago I had bariatric surgery, but suffered from some complications. My medical providers gave me prescription after prescription of narcotic pain meds and it soon became a major issue. I was never in denial about having a problem – that was apparent to me fairly early. What I was in denial about was that I could control my using or get clean without working any kind of a program or without God in my life.
I tried many times to get clean. I sought treatment in 2008 at a hospital and only stayed clean a few days. I first came to The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in November 2009, but again, only stayed clean a few days. I returned in March 2010 and actually got nearly four months of clean time before I began using again.
It’s true what they say about life getting worse and worse each time an addict goes back out. Mine certainly did. My using completely ruled my life and everything else came second. My family took a back seat. My friends took a back seat. Personal interests that had once been important to me took a back seat. Finances, self-care and responsibility definitely took a back seat. My family arranged an intervention in March 2013 and I once again called the HLC to get a detox appointment. I was embarrassed to be returning for a third time, but I was welcomed back with open arms.
I knew I needed to do something different. I wanted recovery, not just clean time. I began to really try to look at myself and why I had used. I dug as deep as I could into past relationships, my childhood and my spirituality. I immersed myself in learning about my disease. I prayed and meditated in earnest. I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone at every available opportunity.
I got a sponsor through the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous and joined the Adherent’s Bible Study at the Center to further deepen my relationship with God. And I’m now the ladies’ resident assistant for the Transitional Housing program at the HLC.
In the months before I came here, I was hopeless and suicidal, having attempted to take my own life on three occasions. My family was done enabling me. They had to love me enough to stop helping me kill myself. My willingness to do something different and their tough love helped to make the difference. But God both deserves and gets all the praise and all the glory for my transformation. I finally have some peace and serenity in my life. I owe the staff at the HLC a huge debt of gratitude for their ministry to those of us who suffer from the disease of addiction. They’ve helped show me how to build a firm foundation with God as well as teaching me about my disease.