When I graduated from High School, my assistant principal asked me if I was sober as I picked up my diploma. I was in my cap and gown, waiting in line, and my principal walked up to me and asked: “Are you sober today?”
I started drinking really young. I became a daily drinker at fifteen. Any medicine cabinet I went into – if it said “may cause drowsiness or dizziness” – I took it. I didn’t really care what the side effects were. I just knew it was going to take me out of myself.
I lived that way for a really long time.
I did the whole detox-treatment cycle. The sickness, the hopelessness…I had all of that. I did not think that recovery was a possibility for me. I sat in my first meetings and I just cried. I had no self worth.
My son saved my life. You hear in meetings: “Don’t do it for your kids. You have to do it for yourself”. I don’t care, and I still say it to this day, in the beginning I did it for my son. In the beginning, my son gave me something to fight for because I had nothing in me that was worth the fight.
I just celebrated five years clean and sober. I’ve gone to school to be a hair dresser, I’m a licensed cosmetologist, and I do hair now as service work. I had a goal and I was able to accomplish it. In recovery, I got self worth. I was able to be a mother, go to school, work, do a twelve step program, help women…all these things I didn’t think I was capable of doing. This program has taught me how to do so much.
When I was three years sober, I met Justin and Chris, who are the owners of Rise Above. We all had a dream and a passion because there was nothing in the area for low-budget sober housing. Two years ago, we had one house, we had twenty beds, and we had faith. We now have one hundred and twenty beds between Nashua, Manchester, and Massachusetts. We also opened The Process Recovery Center. How great is it that I get to go to work and be a power of example for women and show them that anything is possible?
I just got engaged. I’m four months pregnant. I’m five years sober. The opportunities are endless for me right now. Sometimes I sit back and think: it’s the little things. I’m a productive member of society. I remember being a homeless, hopeless, junkie. Now I can be a mother, a sister, a friend, and a daughter. I tortured my parents. My mother kept me alive in my last overdose. My mom and my dad are some of my best friends today. They never had their daughter. I was incapable of having any sort of relationship because all I cared about was myself. I was selfish. I was self-centered.
Being a recovering mom is the most beautiful thing because I am present. I teach my son these qualities. We pray together and we meditate together. He has something that he trusts. I wouldn’t be able to teach him that if I didn’t learn it from recovery. If I was using or drinking, I might be in his presence, but I wouldn’t really be there.
I can’t even explain the joy that I have for my life today.