Recovery Stories

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Donna found herself beaten, broken, humiliated and damaged beyond words due to the life that her addiction led her in. Now, she's been clean for two months. Learn how she received the help that she needed.

My name is Donna and I am an addict. I've been struggling with addiction for over 35 years. My history started off with drinking and smoking pot at age 12. Played around a little bit with pills, they really weren't my thing. Then the love of my life came in cocaine. The first time I snorted I was 17. In a matter of a few years, I was free-basing and shooting it up with heroin. Then, low-and-behold crack hit the streets. It was more affordable and easier to get. I was 20 then and for the next 27 years I have fought the battle of addiction to one of the most powerful drugs ever.

During my battle, I have been in-and-out of many rehabs, psychiatric wards, detox's. I've attempted suicide on several occasions and I even done time in prison. Every time I went back to using, after swearing I wouldn't go back; it got worse. I know a person that is new doesn't want to hear that and thinks it's a cliche`. However, such as it is, it's true. I've tried it over and over again hoping and wishing for different results and it just never happened. It got worse and worse each time. I'm not going to tell you about each and every time I went out. We all know what goes on out there. However, I am going to share with you the end of my old way of life and the beginning of my new way of living.

In order to understand a little bit, I have to say that in 2012, I did go to rehab and maintained close to six months clean. I had a lot of distractions and failed to listen to the suggestions that were given to me especially when it came to relationship issues. I ended up relapsing and ran back to my hometown. To begin with, I left my hometown because it was suggested to me to go to a rehab in another city because the relapse chance for me was to high. It would of been to easy for me, to familiar and they were right. My track record proved that. I've only tried 10 times before that. Rehab that is. I got back to my hometown, back into the relationship I was in before I left and of course back into using crack the way I was before I left. It didn't take but a couple of weeks to realize I made a big mistake. I had a chance to go back to the city where I got clean had a bus ticket and everything, however, I never made it to the bus station. I was sinking and didn't even realize how bad yet.

New Year's Eve was the beginning of the end for me that lasted six months. During that time, I found myself beaten, broken, humiliated, damaged beyond words. I became homeless and was walking the streets. Living from one hotel to another. I lost the closest person in my life, my grandmother who was like my mother to me. After that, I got even worse. I didn't care who knew what I was doing. I was wide open. I lost 70 pounds within three months. The dope man, with whom I was on a different level with, was also a friend; would tell me you need to stop, it's time to go into the hospital, you need to do something. I would carry myself to the hospital and Baker Act myself. I did this three times.

In May I started getting some clarity. My friend took me under his wing so I didn't have to walk the streets. No, we weren't sleeping together. I had a place to stay and became like the house lady. Well, some haters didn't like me being there and it started ruining some things in the house so I started sleeping outside in the separate garage on top of my clothes as a bed. It hurt my friend, but this is the life I choose and this is where it led me so what else was I to do. At that point, I just didn't care. I would cry myself to sleep when I did sleep because I would say look at yourself, your sleeping in a damn garage on the ground and okay with it like it's normal. What's wrong with you? But, get up the next morning, afternoon whatever it was looking forward to that wake-up.

I had mentioned a moment of clarity. I started saying after my birthday I was quitting I was going to do something different. No one believed me. In my heart I knew I was going to do something, just didn't know what. I started saying I didn't want to live my 47th year like my 46th. Some of you might wondered what happen to the relationship I was in. Well after he beat me several times on different occasions, I put him in jail. I had enough of it. He was in jail most of the time. Well, he got out a week before my birthday. Every bit of change I was making went completely out the window. He treated me like the biggest piece of crap their was. Humiliated me, beat me, dragged me through the dirt, set-up his tricks in front of me, just plain out disrespected me in everyway he could. After a incident on my birthday, it was the straw that broke the camels back. I knew there was no more. I was done. It was just a matter of when was I going to be able to get the hell out of town. The phone calls began.

I couldn't get out of town fast enough, however, I got out when I was suppose to. A way was provided. My journey wasn't quite over with yet. It took me about a week of misery in Birmingham before I finally said enough, oh did I mention I had guns pulled on me on two occasions, robbed. My life was at stake every time I hit the streets but I thought I was invisible. What a joke.

I finally got tired, I had enough. I knew there was a better way of life. I sat back and thought, okay what are you going to do differently that you haven't done before? What was you missing? After much thought about it, I realized I wasn't truly honest with myself nor my sponsor. I also lacked in the spirituality department. I didn't trust in my Higher Power. I didn't listen to suggestion. Did things my way. Won't work that way. No matter how hard you try. Trust me.

Today my life is so much better. I went back through Fellowship House. Living in transitional housing. I have two months clean and sober. I have a sponsor who calls me on my crap so I cannot bs her. She's been there, done that. Best to search for that sponsor that you really relate to. There is one out there that will tell your story. I have a personal relationship with God. My relationships with my family are slowly being restored. This is what happens in sobriety. Oh, don't get me wrong, I still get punches thrown at me with words from some members of the family and it hurts. I just give it to God and in time maybe it will all work out.

May God bless

Donna received help at Fellowship House. To learn more about this program, please visit their page on our resource directory.


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