I don’t want to underestimate the importance of detox and treatment in my story because both served their purpose. Detox allowed me to safely get through the unbearable opiate withdrawals that I was experiencing and treatment allowed me to have a safe place to sleep at night while being separated from drugs. However, the true change that I have experienced in recovery began when I was discharged from treatment.
I went to a sober living home where I lived with four other women who were all working towards the same goal as I was. We were all working hard to achieve long term sobriety. I was introduced to women who had more clean time than me and I followed their footsteps. I began to chase my sobriety just as hard as I had chased my drugs in the past. I wanted everything that these women had and I was determined to get it.
These women taught me how to live a healthy lifestyle. They introduced me to yoga and mindful meditation, which are tools that I continue to use today to relieve stress and connect to the energy in my body. I learned that the more awareness I have of the energy in my physical being, the more effectively I can take care of my body and mind in order to give it the things it needs.
These women also showed me how to have fun in sobriety. We go out for fancy dinners on birthdays, go to the beach to take advantage of our home in sunny south Florida, and we laugh harder than I have ever laughed before.
These women became my spiritual leaders. They explained to me the importance of having a relationship with a personal God of my own understanding. Since I cannot control the mental obsession to use drugs, it is essential for me to allow a higher power to remove the obsession to get high. Studies even prove that people who live by spiritual mechanisms are more likely to stay sober than those who do not. In building this relationship with God, I learned how to live on spiritual principles based on honesty, purity, love, and unselfishness.
My spiritual leaders emphasized the necessity of helping other people who struggle with the disease of addiction. I was told to do this by actively sharing my experience, strength, and hope with people who felt as though the obsession to use drugs would never be lifted with the ambition that something I say to them will provide them with the motivation that they need to get sober and stay sober.
My life today is more abundant than a life I had ever imagined. Through a faith in God I am given peace of mind that I will be able to overcome and learn from any struggles that come my way. Through the love and support of other women in my life I never have to feel alone. By helping others, my life is given a purpose on this earth.
I was blessed with a second chance at life where I have the privilege of helping others and being of service to others at every opportunity. In this life, I have been given a heart full of gratitude that is able to see beauty in things that are dark. I am able to give hope to people who feel hopeless. I am able to have faith when others feel doubt.