“I the 12th of 13 children. I was 4 years old when the Marines told my mother my brother was killed in Vietnam. This changed our family dynamic and also caused my first instance of post-traumatic stress. I was 9 when my sister first smoked pot with me. I didn’t stop smoking pot until I entered recovery in 2005 at 40 years old.
When I was 16, one of my older sisters had a schizophrenic break and stabbed my mother to death. I came downstairs and found my mom with a knife in her chest. I began trying other drugs to escape the memory and the pain. Alcohol and cocaine were the drugs I used most often. One day, the pain of using became more painful than the pain of dealing with the trauma of my mom’s death. I needed to learn how to deal with life on life’s terms. On May 17, 2005 I entered my first and only rehab. I have not used anything since then. I still smoke cigarettes, I have tried to quit, but have not been successful. I attend 3-5 NA meetings a week. I have a sponsor, a home group, a higher power to whom I pray and I work the 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous.
Since coming into recovery, I have gone through a lot of life situations. When I had 11 months clean, I watched my mother-in-law die from lung cancer. In March of 2009, I had to have a hysterectomy. In September, I found out I had to go on dialysis. In October I had another surgery to put the access in my arm and started dialysis. I was put on pain meds after the surgeries, but I listened to people in NA, and I gave the meds to my husband. He gave them to me as prescribed, not that I think I would have abused them, but I refuse to give opportunity and obsession the chance to meet. I don’t ever want to go back to the dark place of addiction again!
I received a kidney in June 2010. I am so grateful for this life I lead. Even when things are tough, it’s better than anything I ever thought possible! I am content with life. Today, I am a good wife, mother, friend, sponsee, sponsor. The glass is always half full. Most importantly, I AM me, happy, joyous and free.”