My name is Julie. I am 25, from Michigan, and have been recovering for three years. Recently these thoughts hit me:
I spent most of my life being told what I am. Labeled a junkie. Or a drunk. Labeled a failure. Labeled the eternal “fuck up” of the family.
My identity as a woman was what I was in my addiction. I was a whore. I was dirty. I was a junkie. I was useless. I was a disappointment. I was…
We spend our lives, as women, being labeled. We spend our addictions labeling ourselves. We spend years and years breaking ourselves down. For me, breaking free from my heroin addiction and alcoholism meant breaking free from the labels placed on me.
No longer, could anyone tell me what I am.
Today, I can tell you honestly and through and through, what I am not.
I am not my disease.
I am not my eating disorder.
I am not my depression.
I am not my past.
I am a mother. A friend. A daughter. A sister. An employee. A woman full of love, faith, and an abundant future.
I am a miracle
I am life.
And so are you.
This beautiful poem was submitted by Julie Karasin.