When recovery found me, I was broken, full of fear and completely hopeless. Just like Bill says in The Big Book, “I had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of the life I was living.” At 26 years old, I had dropped out of high school and never had a real job. I failed in my commitment as a mother to four children who I hadn’t seen or talked to for about three years. I had isolated myself from all my friends and family except my older sister who found recovery six months before I did. I came in on a court card through a drug court program. My big sister and I were the first siblings allowed into the 18-month program together. That program saved both of our lives, which is a miracle. I was required to get a sponsor and work the 12 steps. They say there is a reward for right living. They say not to leave before the miracle happens. And they are right.
What have I been gifted in my four years of recovery? I could write a novel about all the blessings I have received! First, the mere fact that a girl like me has gone even one day (let alone four years) without putting a pipe to her mouth, putting a needle in her arm or swallowing any pills is a miracle. The fact that, on most days, I don’t even want to is another miracle. All my life I just wanted to belong and feel loved. I went from one unhealthy abusive relationship to another looking for that love and validation. So when a girl like me has learned to love herself and has the confidence to stay single and not settle on anything short of what I deserve, that is a miracle too.
I got my first job after six months of being clean and sober. I started at the bottom and now I’m trusted with keys to a restaurant, as well as the alarm and safe codes. I am also in charge one day out of the week. For a girl like me who had never worked a job in her life and couldn’t ever be trusted, that’s a miracle. After about two years of being clean and sober, I went and took my G.E.D. exam and received my high school diploma equivalent. I plan to start taking college courses during the next fall semester. For a girl like me who never accomplished anything on her own, that is also a miracle. After almost three years of sobriety, I got the opportunity to hear my oldest son’s voice and talk to him on the phone. Just one month before my fourth sober anniversary, I had the opportunity to drive with my sister and her sponsor from California to Illinois, where I reunited with my four kids! I spent three nights and four days with them and I’m working on ways to regain some custody of them. When I hear them say, “I love you mom,” that is the most amazing feeling in the world.
For a girl like me, who spent seven years trying to hide from the damage and wreckage I left for those kids, being able to make amends, face the music and be a part of their lives is a miracle. I am absolutely and utterly in love with my recovery today and I’m so grateful my higher power kept me loved and safe while I waited for the miracles to happen. I don’t ever want to go back to my old way of living so I choose to remain in hope, action and service. Trust God, clean house and help others. Then your miracles will happen too.