Thursday, September 12, 2013

National Stories of Recovery, part 1

Here's a national story from the Recovery Month website: 

My freedom from the bondage of more than 20 years of drug use began with my arrest in April 2004.  I was tired of using drugs, but I didn’t know how to stop.  Addiction not only cost me my freedom, but also the custody of my daughter.  This arrest pointed me in the direction of the DC Superior Court’s Family Treatment Court program, which gave me the opportunity to save my life and regain the custody of my little girl.  I entered the program in April 2005, when I admitted that I was powerless over my addiction, and my life had become unmanageable.
While in treatment, I realized I didn’t have to put myself or my daughter through the pain and humiliation of my disease ever again if I just didn’t use drugs.  During my 21 months in the Family Treatment Court program, I learned how to really live on life’s terms and made the commitment to never use narcotics again.  I’m not going to say it’s not a daily struggle, but like any other health condition – diabetes, heart disease, obesity – life changes are required in order to thrive.
Stopping drug use is the beginning, but staying off is daily work.  Recovery has become my most prized possession.  I’ve gained control over this area of my life through 12-step meetings and a sponsor.  I fight the disease of addiction one day at a time.
Today, I love my life, and I am grateful for the challenges that have come my way.   Successfully overcoming these obstacles has made me so much stronger and has given me confirmation that I can, and will, be able to deal with anything that comes my way without the use of drugs.  My daughter and I have a bond that I can only describe as a grace from God.  I wish more people facing a substance use disorder could experience the joy and gratitude that I feel when I wake up in the morning in my right mind, in recovery.                                        -Karen

To view more stories like Karen's, visit the "Voices of Recovery" page on SAMHSA's Recovery Month website.

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