"Honesty, openness, and accountability have become essential tools in my recovery toolbox."

I feel very fortunate in my recovery process that I received almost 6 months of treatment. During my time there, I was taught how to live alcohol and drug-free.  It was in 1979; at that time people could get more treatment and build a strong foundation to re-enter society.  I was young; I turned 22 within the first month of being sober.  The “old-timers” who entered recovery before me, expressed how lucky I was to have this opportunity at such a young age. They taught me to listen, learn, and do what they did to stay sober.  They taught me to remember my last days of use and my early days of recovery.

I had been a “garbage head,” abusing alcohol, benzo’s, sedatives and anything that helped me not feel the emotional pain from which I was trying to escape.  My withdrawal from alcohol and drugs was not pleasant. There were many days in that first year that I only stayed sober because I did not want to experience horrible withdrawal again.

This is why I am sharing my story. Recovery for me has had many seasons, as I have continued to be drug and alcohol-free since 1979. I have learned to stay with people, places, and things that do not involve alcohol or drugs. Honesty, openness, and accountability have become essential tools in my recovery toolbox. No matter what the thought, action or emotion is, I cannot keep those things to myself; I am as sick as my secrets. I must be open and honest with a trusted few who will give me honest feedback and direction. I have peeled off many pedals from the flowers within my soul to get to the core where my pain began. It is an ongoing journey, which my higher power continues to lead me to more healing and wholeness.

Now, I am most grateful for the opportunities that God gives me to share this gift of grace and love with others as it was shared with me. It is with great honor to give others the hope of wholeness and healing that God has given me through this treasured miracle of recovery.

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