Living in a recovery house is an unusual experience. The statistics indicate that one out of nine people are an addict/alcoholic. So, just with that statistic just over ten percent of the population may ever even hear of a recovery house. And then only less than three percent will ever be a resident of a recovery house.
If you wee fortunate enough to fall on unfortunate circumstances,such as a raging drug addiction or diabolically severe alcoholism, you may have ended up in a recovery house. It’s definitely a bottom that only the most severely addicted come to enjoy.
Support And INDEPENDENCE
I write in jest, but seriously a recovery house is a place where addicts can put their life together again after the devastation of active addiction. It is place where everyone is also learning to incorporate 12 step recovery in their every day life. And because there are others doing the same, there is much support and accountability. Even better, you gain a new set of friends who become family.
Remove the stigma and remove the pressure
My experience with a recovery house was that, I didn’t have to explain my circumstances. I didn’t feel like the biggest schmuck in the house. I was surrounded by other women in different phases of their recovery who wanted to see me succeed and had no judgement for where I was. I met the fiercest friends. Friends who would sit up at night with me and blow up my phone if I was absent. They refused to allow me to go back to my old behaviors. The gave me patience and time to get recovery in my way.
On a winning streak
No one who goes to a recovery house is on a winning streak. But today I am on a winning streak. I could never have achieved five years sober without my fierce friends. It’s a “we” program. I have had so many wonderful adventures with my friends from a recovery house. I most importantly continue to journey with these wonderful women. I will always have them no matter where their journey takes them. And I would never change that I began my recovery in a recovery house.
Addiction is so confusing. If you are the addict, its hard to know how much help you will need to recover. Its hard to know what kind of help you need. More importantly an addict doesn’t know how much they will have to invest in recovery. If these questions are hard for the addict suffering, it is that much harder for the loved one of an addict. This is what it takes to recover from alcoholism.
Make Time To Treat Your Disease
As a recovering alcoholic, I know that faced with the certainty,that I had to do something was overwhelming. Almost all forms of treatment for the disease of addiction require a substantial amount of time away from your children, and the rest of your family. I certainly felt as though I couldn’t afford that time away. If I spent that time away from work,and my kids, surely I would loose everything.
Never Underestimate The Power
I continued to underestimate my disease for four years. I slowly lost everything from my fiance to my children. Eventually lost my freedom. I had been arrested for criminal possession charges. I still underestimated my disease.
Denial Will Surely Make Recovery Longer
If I had read this article before all of this happened to me I would have said, “no way, that will not happen to me.”, but even after it happened to me, I continued to believe that I could manage my life. I was angry at everything trying to keep me from making my own decisions. I just wanted unlimited second chances. I was quite literally insane.
As a result, the drug offender probation, that was suppose to be eighteen months with the possibility of terminating at 9 months, turned into two years. I didn’t know how to live life. I didn’t understand that consequences were static and couldn’t be manipulated. I was unable to outsmart a judge who had worked with thousands like me before.
Lessons That would Help Me
The biggest lesson, I learned was that I was going to have to do more than work on my addiction. I was going to have to work on everything that sabotaged my success as a human being. That meant, I was going to have to take care of those anger issues. I was forced to release my co-dependent nature. Dealing with the grief of loosing my mother and brother, was now something, I could not hide from. Learning that childhood trauma dictated the relationships, I have with everyone, needed to be addressed because failed relationships was a big factor in why I drank. Most importantly, I had to find the courage to face the consequences, my disease of addiction had caused me. To further humble me, I had to own the pain I had caused my children, friends, other family, institutions and my community.
I admit failure but I could not admit defeat
At times it did in fact feel like too much. I felt like I was loosing my rights as a human being. Being honest with someone else was easy. Actually being honest with myself was another story. I could admit my colossal failure but I could not admit defeat.
Halfway house gave me tools and courage
At some point in my probation, the judge had ordered me to halfway housing. Although I was not ready to give up on doing things my way, i did start to learn that it wasn’t hurting me to add something else to what I was doing. I liked the meetings that halfway housing made me go to. Reluctantly, I had to admit that I was enjoying the camaraderie of living with other women who were like me. I also enjoyed the fact that it was easier to be with others struggling to return to normal life.
Trusting other Alcoholics/addicts so that I could be held accountable was hard
It would be quite a few more months before I could completely surrender but the transformation was beginning. I was starting to enjoy my recovery and I was learning to express my set backs and achievements with others that could appreciate it. Other addicts held me accountable in a way that was undeniable because, they knew and experienced the same things.
No more a victim, I was pushed to carry on
I still continued to make mistakes but now I had a support system that loved me through them even when they still held me accountable to the consequences. They didn’t allow me to play the victim but still lovingly encouraged me to continue with my recovery. I slowly made changes.
Self esteem and Support Helped me to continue to grow
Eventually I gained enough self esteem through the love I received from other addicts to make additional changes and let go of things that were harming me and holding me back. Against my best efforts, I was becoming someone who could live life like others with out the use of drugs and alcohol.
I could not have done it without halfway housing
Halfway housing is not a apart of every recovering addicts story, but I was instrumental in mine. I did more than than just learn life lessons, built a relationship with my twelve step fellowship, and gained a support network that would love and guide me through life’struggles. I had women who celebrated moments that only another addict could understand. I had connection. I will never be alone, ever again.
This is a blog about how surrendering to my addiction saved me. As a recovering addict, i remember not even knowing how to get clean. I didn’t even understand how serous my disease was. I felt all the physical symptoms. I knew how horrific withdrawal from alcohol was. I knew what cravings were. I certainly felt the emotional pain of being trapped in a body that craved alcohol and simultaneously knowing that every drink was going to bring me to devastating withdrawal. The answer seemed so simple. Quit drinking.
All the suggestions to quit drinking seemed so vague and quite frankly not the answer. Go to AA. Go to a meeting when I simply couldn’t stop drinking, didn’t even seem possible. Other suggestions to go to rehab seemed even more impossible. After all, I had a business and children. I had a significant other that i couldn’t abandon. I just had to quit drinking.
I did finally call a hot line. They directed me to a detox. I admitted myself. They were compassionate. I was safely detoxed. The exit planner,asked me how I would continue to treat my disease. I was quite sure, I would be able to continue with sobriety myself. All I had to do was not drink anymore.
Three days later, I was drinking again. Moderation was going to make me normal. Moderation was impossible. Drinking with my boyfriend and singing karaoke was how we spent our free time. That is how we blew off steam. That was the foundation of our relationship. Pretty soon he had to go blow off steam with out me. I could not drink in moderation.
More detox and an arrest
Several more times, I tried to detox. Eventually, I lost my business. Eventually, I lost my boyfriend. Eventually, I lost everything, including my freedom. I eventually turned to other drugs. I was not successful with that either. I was arrested for possession. Now I was about to see what it actually going to take for me to quit drinking.
alcoholism and probation do not mix
Graduating Pasco County Drug Offender Probation took nearly two years. I was suppose to only be a eighteen month probation. I even had to option to early terminate at nine months. Raging alcoholism and and probation do not compliment one another well. I violated probation on June 11th, 2014 for drinking. My clean date is June 12th 2014. One day at a time, providing I maintain my spiritual condition and God will, I have not had a drink since. I have not put any drug into my body period.
A toxic romance makes things worse
I violated probation three more times and was sentenced to house arrest. sober for an entire year, I was feeling defeated. I was working but, I was still living in a sober house. The man I had started a new relationship was not supportive. quite the opposite. He hindered my recovery at every turn. Feeling completely alone, I thought this relationship, was all that I had.
Things get worse
Even worse, I wasn’t making enough money to pay probation, my rent or child support. I couldn’t drive because i couldn’t afford to pay the fines. I wasn’t reconnected with my kids. There was no hope of finding different employment, because of the time demands of court appearances, random drugs tests, and checking in for my house arrest probation.
Giving up was the best decision
Surrender was the sweetest release. I knew there was absolutely no way to make all of my financial obligations. To me jail was a certainty. What ever plans I had for my future, I gave up. There was no point in trying to do things my way. For the first time, I threw myself into recovery, meetings, and my support.
a choice not to suffer
The result was almost instantaneous. Spending my time enjoying all the things I would miss, when eventually I fell far enough behind on my probation and the judge would finally violate my probation. When I wasn’t working and attending AA and NA meetings, I was teaching myself to meditate. Audio books that helped me to find a higher power. Being present was becoming a state of being. I was enjoying my fellowship.
an odd thing started to happen
An odd thing started to happen. Waking up in the morning and setting my intentions to enjoy the day and make the most of it, changed me. Every day I was finding more peace. More challenges would cross my path and because, I already felt defeated, I put only put direct energy toward those challenges. I would share with my support. When help was offered, I accepted it. I was humble for the first time ever. Some how, my challenges were defeated instead of me.
my loved ones started to notice
When, I talked with my children, they noticed a difference in me. I was seeing them. I was able to help them when they needed me. Sharing my new experience with my family and other addicts was restoring my self esteem. I started to feel worthy of a new life. A life that was offered to me. Not a life I was seeking. Feeling awake and able to count my gratitude like resources allowed me to be my most efficient self. I no longer chased what I didn’t have be humbly utilized what I had been blessed with. Armed with gratitude, humility and faith blessings and opportunities came from every direction.
Accomplishments and service
Graduating drug court was the first of my relief. I have since then recieved so many blessings. I remain humble and vigilant. a daily maintenance of my spiritual state of being, is the most important thing I do. Meetings, meditation, step work and service to other addicts, keep me sober and free from my old misery.
Free from the obsession
I am free from the obsession to use. Now I have an amazing life. I no longer see my addiction as a curse but I understand that I was blessed to have had that experience to have a life, I can always find peace with. It required that I let go of everything including the way I always thought. A journey like that has to come with some pain and hard work.
Armed with gratitude and humility
I’m grateful to both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The many people who helped me along the way. Most importantly, I grateful to the higher power of my understanding to bless me with a chance at life that only a desperate addict could appreciate in this way. Surrenduring to My addiction saved me.
Thank you kind reader for taking the time to read this. For more experience, strength and hope, read on.
My name is Margarida! I’m 30 years old. I have been battling addiction for 15 years. Drinking when I was about 14. I started doing pills when I was about 18 or 19 after my father passed away. That was one of the hardest things for me to ever go through. Grief and addiction were about to destroy me.
I thought Drugs Were A Solution
Drugs seemed to be the answer, instead of dealing with my grief. I then lost my mother four years later, followed by my sister 3 weeks after. Both my mother and sister were in active addiction when they passed. More reason for me to turn to drugs instead of dealing with my grief. Masking my feeling with dope was the insane idea. Being numb was easier. I didn’t think that I could live without my family or drugs,
I Started To See The Delusion
Perhaps I was slowly committing suicide. I think I knew I was killing myself, and in some weird way I thought that was bringing me closer to them. I didn’t want a life that didn’t have them in it. 2015 was the first time I tried getting clean. I quit doing pills cold turkey.No methadone and no suboxone to help ease the withdrawal. Methamphetamine was the new replacement. In my denial I thought I was successful because I wasn’t using opiates anymore. So I truly only had six months clean.
Drugs Had A Grip On Me
That’s where I completely let go. My sons father was in jail and I felt like he left. So again, I turned to drugs. This January I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore and I decided to get myself some help. With a few bad relationships a broken heart and all my grief, I still didn’t want the pain but I didn’t want more pain. I knew I couldn’t use drugs anymore and I didn’t really want to die. So, I entered myself into a detox center in January. I relapsed shortly after in February. Quickly, I realized my mistake and started going to AA and NA. This is the first time that I have came to the rooms of NA.
Sharing My Grief With Another Addict
I’m coming up on my 90-day mark. Going through the process of finding a sponsor who I can talk to and a home group has been difficult for me. I try to handle all my emotions and feelings on my own and not really talk to anyone about them. Which is part of how I ended up using in the first place. It’s a daily struggle dealing with my feelings now being sober. I’m learning to set boundaries with what I will put up with. The things I used to pay no mind to or ignore because I was using I turned a blind eye to just to get high are no onger tolerated. Self-medicating for so long to mask and hide my feelings makes everything seem foreign.
With No Coping Skills And Zero Trust
I’m learning how to deal with them with no buffers. I’ve never really been good at expressing my feelings. I have to relearn how to express my thoughts and feelings in a healthy way. Coping with my past in a new way and not burying my feelings is a daily struggle. Learning to accept the past as the past and not resenting my past mistakes is a long process. I can’t change my past but I can create my future.
Finding Trust In Another Addict
It took me almost three months to ask someone to be my sponsor. Someone I felt comfortable enough to talk to about personal details of my life. I’ve been doing a gratitude list every morning of what I am grateful for. Besides just the normal waking up in the morning clean and sober, I find gratitude, Little things like having a bed to make in the morning, is a blessing. Somewhere to shower and keep my clothes is wonderful. Waking up in the morning clean is an amazing feeling. I thank my higher power every morning and every night. I took a lot for granted when I was in active addiction. So I’m learning to appreciate little things. I have really good women in my life to talk to now. Something I’m not used to it. The women here are very supportive. I was unsure about coming to a place like this. But I have been proven wrong. I’m lucky to have the chance to connect with women and build a good support system in my life.
My story of drinking surely has changed. I started drinking at the age of 40. I started out with having a
glass of wine to relax and that it did. I would have a glass of wine maybe twice a week and enjoyed it. I
started going out with friends on the weekends for dinner and drinks and everyone thought I was more
fun and relaxed and easy going. I started to enjoy life or so I thought.
Alcoholism Was Sneaking Up On Me
After a year two nights became into every day. I would get home from work to cook dinner open a bottle
of wine. I would cook and drink and before I knew it I was in bed by 8:00 every night. I worked until 5:00
each day. Pretty soon I noticed that I could not wait to get home to open my wine. I started to think about
drinking throughout my day. I would look at the clock and count the hours to 5:00.
The Obsession Was Taking Control
I worked for a family business so I started leaving an hour early to get home to drink. I always made dinner
sipped on my wine. When the kids would go to bed, I started on my second bottle. I was now drinking two
bottles of wine a day. My wine intake was increasing but still I thought it was normal not a big deal. I notice
I was getting up later for work feeling awful. This is when I started having a glass of wine before work to
make myself feel better. I knew that was not normal but it got me started into my day.
I Created Ways To Drink Throughout The Day
At work I started to offer to go pick up lunch for everyone at work just so I could have a glass of wine. I though;
“Ok. Now I only four more hours till dinner and wine.” This was definitely not normal but I ignored it. After a year
of doing this and drinking almost all day I realized I have a problem. I confide in my husband. I have a problem
I Still Was Not Sure I Was An Alcoholic
My husband told me not to tell anyone not to put a label on myself. I was scared because I knew I could not stop.
I decided to go to an AA meeting. I went and could not say I was an alcohol. I said I’m Denise not sure if I’m
alcoholic for about 3 months until I started identifying with everyone’s stories in the rooms. I was an alcoholic
for sure. I went to the noon meeting for four and half years.
I Did Not Make An Effort To Treat My Alcoholism
I would go late and leave early with no sponsor. Certainly, I was not doing my step work. I was miserable.
Wishing each day away, I was 45 and not happy. I was dry of alcohol but empty. We all know what this got me.
Yes I was drunk again and in relapse. I could not stay sober.
I Justified, Rationalized And Denied My Alcoholism
I thought it’s been a while I can drink. It was ok for about two weeks. Then I was right back to drinking
everyday morning, noon, and night. I did this for a year. My family and friends started questing my drinking.
I would deny it and started hiding bottles around the house so I would never run out keeping my drinking
under control in front of friends and family. I thought I had them fooled. The only one I was fooling was myself.
After another year or so back to AA I go. I could not stay sober.
I Made Dishonest Efforts
This time with a sponsor that I lied to. I would go to AA and tried “controlled drinking”. My daughters were
getting angry they were older know and noticing I was not working the program. My life was spinning
out of control. I went from a 5-day work week to a 4-day work week so I could have another full day of
drinking. The kids were at school I thought I can sober up before they get home, well that never happened.
My Life Became Unmanageable And I needed To Make Excuses
My life became unmanageable. I was lying. I was skipping from one liquor store to the next. I would make up
stories and tell people I was overworked tired and stress. Sickness was showing all over me.Keeping up with my daily
activities was impossible. There wasn’t an hour of the day that I wasn’t drunk. No longer caring about my home or work
because I was a drunk. I could not stay sober.
I Went Back To AA For The worst Reasons
Bad intentions set me up for failure once more. Only going to AA to make my family happy all the while I was still miserable,
We know what happened,.I drank. In my insanity, I thought a change in location would work. My family lived in Florida.
My oldest was married and one in college. It was just my youngest and me. We moved to Florida in July 2016.
I said to myself, “When I get to Florida and I am settled, I will go to AA and stop drinking.” Less than twenty-fours hours in florida and I was off to the wine store..
I Was Not Going To Let Alcoholics Anonymous Work
One month is all I could hide it from my family. Family came over for the talk. I was busted. The talk stared out with;
“You need rehab”. I was so against that a 30-day program. “I’m not that bad!”, I proclaimed. The intervention was
intense. Pressure to go, I went to Rehab..
Off To Rehab
Rehab was 30 days. It seemed to go well. I came home sober stayed sober for 4 months. Again I started drinking.
I though[ “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I get this?” Going through the motions when I got out indicated
that,I was not ready. They say, “When the pain gets great enough we will change.” The pain was not great enough.
My family gave up on me. My daughter moved in with her sister and I was off to sober living. I have never
felt so lonely and like a complete failure in all my life. Disappointment, pain and same seemed to be all that
was left of my life.
I Am Back To Alcoholics Anonymous For The Right Intentions
This time, I got sponsor and I work my steps and stay in recovery. I must this for me and my girls. This is the hardest
thing I ever had to do, I will die. There is no choice. The guilt and remorse I feel is unbearable. The pain and heartache I
have caused is disgusting. My girls need their mom back and I need to find myself.
Recovery Must Come First
Recovery must come first. Putting it second never worked. I’m taking care of myself with the support of my girls,
I’m finally ready. We all are ready. Praying to my higher power every day to guide me in my journey is my only hope.
At forty-nine years old, enough is enough. Nine years of in and out of AA must stop. Support and friends in AA is wonderful.
The beautiful women in sober living with offer great wisdom on sobriety. They have something I want.
Sober Living Is Key To My Recovery
The wisdom in the house is incredible. Sitting back and just listening to the suggestions, stories to gain the knowledge
from the experienced women made me realize I was finally having an open mind. This is a new beginning for me that I’m taking seriously so I can pass the message on to other women who need help and are still suffering.