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[ Personal Narratives ]

For The Love Of Life

Hello. My name is Jennifer and I am an alcoholic and addict. It’s important for me to say this even now, in writing, because if I forget this important fact, it could mean my death. The words are harsh, but true.

I began drinking at a very young age. Mostly just so I could “fit in” with others. I had never felt “normal”and it seemed that drinking was the only way others liked or wanted anything to do with me.

I could say how messed up my childhood was and how that drove me to drinking, but that would be a lie. Yes, I had issues in my life that no child should have to deal with, but the fact remains that I had (and still have) a wonderful family to support and guide me, if I would have just let them. Unfortunately I am one that needs to learn the hard way.

I knew I had a problem with drinking long before I ever admitted it, but I didn’t start toward hitting my bottom until much later. At the age of 25, I tried crack cocaine for the first time and I fell in love because from that first hit, I no longer had to feel anything at all. No more anger, no more emotional turmoil, no more self pity and no more of the self loathing I had come to accept as a fact of my life. By the time I hit the height of my addiction, I had two small children to think about, but all I could think of was how I was going to get that next high. I was such a selfish person. I used to like to say I was a good mom because I never did it in front of them and I never got them taken away. The fact remains that I was not a good mom.My children and I spent almost two years jumping from place to place because I was spending money on drugs instead of a home and when I finally did get us an apartment, we lived without electricity for 2 months before I finally had a moment where I realized I could not provide for them. So I sent them to live with my mom and followed just a few days after. I did quit using crack for a few years, but at that point had started to drink again. I just couldn’t bring myself to face the mess I had created for myself and those around me. My bottom finally hit when my youngest son and 8 of his closest friends watched me being carted off in an ambulance from his 10th birthday party. Thhat was in march of 2010. You see, the alcohol had turned against me. It was no longer my escape. It was an all consuming need. A need that promised to make me feel better, but once inside me, made me suicidal. Unfortunately that was not my last drink or drug, but it was the beginning of the end.

I managed to get into rehab and started going to meetings. Like I said, there was a revolving door where my sobriety is involved, but I never gave up. I kept going back, just like they told me, until things finally started to click. My last drink and drug was september 22, 2012. That is almost 4 years ago. All I can say is “wow!”

I literally started from nothing. I had driven away my family and any real friends I had long before. I had no job, no home, no car and very little hope. As it turns out, a little hope is all I needed to get things started. I now have a job, a home I own, a car that is paid off, and I currently go to school for cosmetology. The most important thing I have gotten back though isn’t any of the material things. Don’t get me wrong, they feel good to have, but the best part of all of it is that I have the love and trust of my family back and that I have self respect.

Yes it is hard work to stay clean, even to this day. Yes, I still hate facing life on life’s terms. Yes I still hate not having control over most things (that part really sucks). The difference today is that I no longer feel that I am alone in all of this. I have wonderful friends in the fellowship that show me how to deal with things without drinking and using.The following photos are before and after the one that says now is actually a year old so I have provided a more recent picture as well. The change in the way I look matches the way I feel and that in itself is a miracle.

No matter what your circumstances, you are not alone. Find help. Find the you that you always imagined you would be. If I can do it, anyone can!