“With treatment, God, and recovery, we can be the people we always wanted to be.”
My name is Jill, and I’m an addict. My clean date is October 20, 2009. Opiates were my drugs of choice, but I was honestly addicted to anything I could get my hands on.
In 1993, I was involved in a major car accident which broke my neck, back, shoulder, hip and ribs. I also suffered major injuries to my face. As a result, I was prescribed several different narcotic pain relievers. After I rehabilitated, I was able to stop taking the pain pills for several years. But I always remembered how much better I seemed to feel when I was taking them . . . or so I thought.
Unfortunately, the memories turned into active opiate addiction. The only time I could motivate was when I had drugs. I had to be high to even get off the couch. I experienced the terrible withdrawals of opiate addiction — without them, I would become violently ill. In the end, I had to take them to even feel what I thought of as “normal”. The lowest point for me came when I lost my daughter. Social Services removed her from my home. Even facing losing her, I could not stop using.
I was spiritually bankrupt. I believed in God, but I didn’t know what to do with Him. And, honestly, I didn’t think he wanted anything to do with me. I was a drug addict who had lost everything — my physical health, my financial security, my family — I was a bum. I did not honestly feel that I deserved help. I considered going into treatment on several occasions, but never really followed through with it.
As things got worse, I began shooting drugs intravenously. I had always thought, “Only junkies do that”. Now, I was the junkie. I eventually began trafficking in drugs in order to support my habit. My life was totally out of control. I was in the grips of a fatal illness.
Though I certainly did not think of it as a blessing at the time, I was eventually arrested. I was sentenced to twenty (20) years, but the court showed me mercy and after serving some time I was given the opportunity to go into long term residential treatment. The next blessing was my going to the Women’s Trilogy Center in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. I got my life and my mind back at Trilogy. It was there that I faced the inner demons that I had been covering up with alcohol and drugs. I was introduced to the 12 Steps at Trilogy, and I learned that God had a place and a plan for all of His broken people. I learned that my past does not have to determine my future and that I deserved to be happy, joyous and free as much as anyone else. I also learned that I could function without narcotics. The injuries from the car wreck were real, but in my addiction I had convinced myself and others that they were debilitating. I graduated the program at Trilogy after being there for nine (9) months, and I stayed on an additional three (3) months as a Peer Mentor helping other recovering addicts.
Towards the end of my time at Trilogy, I learned about the Women’s Triangle Recovery House. It has been such a blessing to me! The recovery house has allowed me to move forward with my life at a manageable pace in a structured environment that is conducive to my continued recovery. All of the volunteers have provided me enormous support in my recovery and in how to live life again. I have received financial counseling, job search assistance, spiritual guidance, and assistance is seeking help for medical issues. I have been given shelter in a house built upon a foundation of love. Coming out of treatment, I really had nowhere else to go. I had no money, I had lost my home, and I had burned all of my bridges. There were places I probably could have gone and lived, but those were atmospheres of active addiction. If I hadn’t had the Women’s Triangle Recovery House to come to, my recovery would have been in danger. I am also blessed to have been given the opportunity to serve as House Monitor which allows me to continue to work with other addicts.
Not everyone has to sink to the lows that I did. I really hope that anyone struggling with addiction, especially young people, will find recovery sooner. But it takes what it takes.
If someone were to ask me my “recipe for recovery” I would tell them: 1) Seek out a treatment center; 2) Work the 12 Steps; 3) Be in a safe environment for recovery; 4) Get a Sponsor and use him/her to help you; and 5) Give back to other addicts in need.
– Jill –