My Journey to Recovery Went Beyond My Wildest Dreams
Sometimes, I forget to be grateful. I forget how amazing my life is, and how a few years ago, I was convinced I was close to death. My drinking and drugging had progressed to a place where death was a welcome escape and I wasn’t even “lucky” enough to die.
Suffering had become my destiny, I was sure of it.
Days wasted away, much like my myself, and turned into years. Hope faded to memory and happiness was meant for others, not myself. I just wanted to be okay, and I was anything but okay.
The journey to recovery was a long slow process, full of impulse-led decision making and a hundred day ones. Every time I started over, every time I gave up, I learned a little something. As my mind cleared and I really started to see other people, living life in recovery, I started to hope that maybe I could have something someday. My ideas for what that “something” was were super vague, but I knew there had to be more to life than where I was at. How to get there was my challenge.
Eventually, I surrendered to the flow and allowed the universe and human aid to help get to where I needed to be.
Once that happened…life began to happen.
I found people in recovery in my community. I found online support. I started to build relationships with people, which like most of my friends, it’s not an easy thing to do. I had to let you in. Little things started to happen. I found out what I like to do to entertain myself. I started to get hobbies, and go on little trips. I got a part-time job. My physical health was improving. I had a safe, stable place to live, and I had friends who also had places to live. I learned how to dress appropriately, to watch my mouth, and how to act on a job interview. I walked through so many fears. I found out how to get a divorce, and how to get my license back. Those were things I thought I would never be able to do.
Over the years, things got even better. I moved to a better apartment, I got better jobs, my kids went to better schools. I found out how to keep the people in my life that were important to me and how to weed out the unnecessary stuff. I learned that no was a complete sentence and that I didn’t have to accommodate everybody all the time. That it was okay to do what was best for me at that time.
I guess I’m thinking of all this, because I’m sitting in a work vehicle, waiting to get an inspection sticker, with a corporate credit card in my wallet, an envelope full of cash to buy things for my job, and keys to the medication cabinet. My children are safe in school. I have a career that I love. I’m a college student.
I used to feel that it was too late to do any of these things.
I’m almost 40 years old and it’s not too late. My life is far from perfect and I have plenty of my own struggles, but we are I am today is far beyond anything I ever could have imagined for myself I am so grateful that I stop struggling with whatever the plan is supposed to be for me and just let things happen.
My life is so different from what I imagined, but it is a beautiful life. I am blessed every single day to wake up and have what I have. I think more importantly the stuff that I have, the stuff that you can’t see the inside stuff, Is what matters the most. I certainly don’t have the best to the fanciest of everything. I have self-esteem and self-worth. When my gut is screaming at me to not do something, I don’t do it anymore not if it’s going to make you or me or anyone else happy. My sense of self-preservation is still very keen, although very different from what it used to be. My kids have a sober, available mom. None of those were qualities I possessed before I enter recovery, and they weren’t things that just showed up overnight. But I stuck around and it got better for me.
Nicole is an East Coast mama in long-term recovery. A survivor of all the things, she is a fierce advocate for women, loves the “f-word,” practices kindness, and loves patchwork. Nicole is a newly single mom living north of Boston with her two sons.