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My name is Jackie and my sobriety date is 2/13/17. It took a lifetime of chaos and misery to get to this point. I am an only child and grew up feeling like an outcast. I had the glasses, the braces and was slightly overweight. All that made me the perfect target to be bullied throughout my school years. This led to severe depression. At the tender age of 14, I tried my first attempt at suicide. Obviously, God had another plan for me because I am here to tell you my story. I ended up in the first of many institutions after that. I was diagnosed with depression and OCD. After that, I saw several different psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, etc. I was given medication for the depression and anxiety. I slowly developed the mentality that I needed to be medicated to be “normal”. That there was something wrong with me that only medication would fix.
This mentality coupled with deep rooted insecurities and the overwhelming longing to be accepted by my peers led to a long road that ended up in addiction. At first, I used and drank to feel “a part of”. Eventually, it became a dependency and I no longer had the choice to pick it up or set it down. It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up, if I went to sleep that night. It consumed me and brought me into the deepest darkness I’ve ever known. I ended up in more institutions and then jails. I was empty, shattered and broken. I would mutilate myself to feel a different kind of pain to escape the internal, gut wrenching pain that emanated from the bottom of my soul. It has taken me a few times of going back out and coming back in to recovery to get to where I am today.
Stepping Stones was the first place that I truly saw a glimpse of what recovery would lead to. I met people that could actually relate to what I was going through. That blessed place planted a seed that would eventually sprout up and grow. I wasn’t truly ready at that time to change my ways because I was unwilling to do what others did to get and stay clean & sober. This time around I am willing and am doing what is suggested to stay sober. I go to meetings, reach out to my network, work on my relationship with God, get involved in service work, work steps and have a sponsor that I rely on to walk me through this program of recovery.
If anyone is struggling, please know there is hope. Life doesn’t have to be a series of events drowned in regret.
If you are truly tired of being lost in the absolute misery of addiction, there is a way out. It took what it took to get me to where I am now, but God knew I needed all those moments to become truly willing. I don’t do any of this perfectly, and no one is meant to because we’re all human. I make mistakes and today that is okay because I can use those mistakes to learn how to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday. I’m learning how to handle life on life’s terms in constructive ways and how to be there for others when they are going through tough times. I used to believe my life was meaningless, but today I believe that it’s not. I know that God is working in and through me and I have purpose in my life today. You can too. Just keep coming back. YOU ARE WORTH IT!