Submitted by: Bo Brown
My name is Stephanie and my sobriety date is August 25, 2014. Today, I am grateful because my life didn’t look like much before recovery.
From a young age, I was discontent and miserable and felt like something was always missing from my life. When I started drinking and using, I thought I was filling that hole that was missing.
Gradually, things got to a point where I could not get up every morning without turning toward a drink or a drug. I didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with that at the time. Slowly, I started slipping away from that person I always wanted to be. I started lying and drifting away from my morals that I always thought I would maintain.
I first got into recovery at the age of 19. I thought it was just some test I had to pass. I thought if I could study the steps and lie my way through it and hope for the best, that maybe I could drink again. I attempted controlled drinking, and that lasted for about two weeks. That kicked off an eight-year relapse. During those eight years, I started checking off the list of “not yets.” I spent time in jail and institutions, I was disconnected from family and friends, and I was just left with me and the sickness in my mind. I never thought I would see the end of it.
In the summer of 2014, I hit my rock bottom. I looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize the person that was staring back at me. On my 26th birthday, I ended up in jail. For the first time, I looked around me and realized what could be if I did not quit and get help.
Through the grace of God, my family, and the court system, I was put into treatment for two months. It was a miracle. It was the first time I ever really listened and realized that there could be another way to live. I wanted to be there and get better. I had run out of options. They recommended transitioning to a sober living facility, so I went for five months.
I recently just celebrated three years sober. I look back on my life and knowing what I know today, I wish I would have gotten it the first time around, but if I had I don’t think I would be living the life I have now. Today, I have friends and family that trust me and love me. I am able to show up for others and my sponsees. Today I am the residential supervisor of the sober living I went through. My greatest gift is to see these women that remind me of myself and be there with them through the trials and tribulations of recovery and grow with them. There is nothing like seeing the light bulb go off in their eyes!