When I walked thru the door of my new home and Up & Out, my heart was filled with
guilt and shame; of fear there was no doubt.
Sober living was new for me but attempts at sobriety were not. After coming off a 4-year relapse
I figured I’d give it my best shot.
The pain I felt inside is something I remember like yesterday. It is often that that pain still chokes
me because it has not ALL gone away.
I sold my house, and gave my kids away, my husband is still doing time. Worst of all was my
integrity because there was a time that working a program showed me, I could shine.
That shine was gone, there was no light, nothing but darkness and pain inside my heart. I was
scared to death of using and knew deep down I needed a re-start.
When I met my roommates, they were kind, and sweet, but my mind told that they hated me.
See I have this thing called alcoholism and my brains tells me lies instead of guarantees.
It told me constantly that I would never be enough, that those awful things I did to those I love
would always call my bluff.
“You will NEVER get sober again!” is what it would tell me the most, and day by day I woke up
knowing it was only a matter of time before I was toast.
My mind was certain that finding happiness without a needle in my neck, was something I
would never find again and every day I thought, “Why not, what the heck?”
See it was NOT my mind that told me to not pick-up the drugs day to day, it was something deep
inside my gut that screamed, “You need to pray!”.
Pray to what I would consider I have no connection left? I felt broken, weak, and bitter, and so
I began to look around me and saw hope and joy in those woman’s eyes, they knew my pain as
their own, and their alcoholic minds also told them lies.
So how the hell are these women smiling thru their own pain and their own fear? Looking back,
it was because they had a sponsor, and worked the steps; their Higher Power began to appear.
I took the leap and went all in on what this home and women around me said to do. Even thru
every moment my mind said, “Stop, you can’t, this just isn’t true!”
“This Higher Power doesn’t give a shit about you, you are disgusting, all you do is sit and whine!
The things you have done, the people you hurt, you left your children, you ain’t NEVER gonna
Despite that voice, every morning that sun would always rise, and I began to sit in the stillness,
take a breath and close my eyes.
I would ask for help that day, to not pick up that needle. I would ask my Higher Power to help
keep me away from that evil.
In doing that I also choose, for just one day at a time, to act on what the program and women
suggested, and slowly I did begin to shine.
I stopped hanging out with old people, seeking money and men for my blessings. I began to
work the steps, look to women and God for all my lessons.
It was soon that I realized these women around me that my mind told me “hated me”, were not
just there to provide conversation, or to be the referee.
They were there as “God in skin” as my sponsor often says, I learned from every single one of the
women in those beds.
For the ones that left, I’ve cried for them because we share that common thread. We all know
what it’s like to have the voice inside our head.
Today that voice is not as loud, but it shows up just the same. It sneaks in at my son’s baseball
games and tells me “Give up, he hates you, cause you ain’t never gonna change.”
But what I do today to help drown the voice is NOT pick up that needle; I call my sponsor, I pray
to God, turn to helping others instead of that evil.
Don’t get it twisted because it is daily that I somehow fuck it up, but when I do I make it right, hit
my knees and give it up.
Today I walk in His grace and do my best to show it to others. I turn my cheek, choose my battles,
keep my mouth shut, face my fears, pray for others.
None of these changes are because I suddenly became so great, these changes are simple
because I choose to relate.
It is something I must do every day so I remember, because the alcoholism that resides in my
mind always wants me dismembered.
As my journey takes me onto the next amazing chapter in my life. I can’t forget, even for a
moment, the reason I began to fight.
Today there is so much joy, and hope that resides within my heart, and the program taught me
how to live with peace DESPITE the pain of my part.
Up and Out helped changed my life you see, and I”m not fucking around. It taught me how to
keep my feet firmly planted on the ground.
Most of all it taught me how to sit still and to wait, because when I make moves quickly, I make
selfish decisions that the ones I love will eventually hate.
I learned how to walk side by side and respect myself and others enough to see, that the power
of 2 or 3 has ALWAYS been greater than the power EVER was in me.