Three Years Sober

Today marks 3 years! I have been clean and sober for 3 years. Before drugs I was involved in every sport. I was active, free spirited, and an A+ honors [...]

Today marks 3 years! I have been clean and sober for 3 years. Before drugs I was involved in every sport. I was active, free spirited, and an A+ honors student. I used drugs because I was bored and it was a way to escape. I didn’t want to feel. I escaped ALL feelings; good and bad. When the drugs wore off and I started to feel so I used more. A vicious cycle of a nasty disease. I craved that drug, did anything and everything for that drug. I was a slave to that drug. I even put my own daughter in harm for that drug. It took me a long time to be able to tell my story without breaking down in tears.

When you no longer cry, but have hope, you know you have healed. I was trying to become sober for all the wrong reasons. My mom, my daughter, my job, fear of going to jail or prison, fear of being a convicted felon. I did not want to quit and I tried to convince myself that I did. Prison gave me a whole new view on life. It opened my eyes to how precious freedom really is. I remember sitting in the back of a paddy wagon watching people drive freely while I was handcuffed and on my way to the house of corrections where I would sit until Waukesha County came to pick me up.

Denial couldn’t even begin to describe how I acted and talked the first couple months in jail. I was delirious. I still didn’t think I had that much of a drug problem. “I wasn’t as bad as others” I started to compare and that was my first mistake. Comparing made me worse because it kept me sick and kept me in a vicious cycle of lies. I stayed in the darkness for quiet awhile in prison. I didn’t speak of what I was really feeling, I just knew I didn’t wanna be in prison.

Days and months went by and slowly as the fog cleared and my brain began functioning without drugs again I started to see how amazing life and sobriety really was. Some people say incarceration is not clean time, but I wish people understood you can still get drugs in prison if you want. The first day without drugs starts your sobriety clean date! Recovery is a daily struggle no matter where you are. Even while incarcerated I chose to make every day a great day. I didn’t mind being in prison after a while except for not being able to be with my family and daughter.

Prison took me away from all the bullshit. All the people places and things I needed to be taken away from anyway. Lord knew at the time I was not able to stay away from them on my own. God does not make mistakes. Everyone’s convictions are personal. What some people may see as a lengthy sentence for possession of residue of a narcotic, heroin, others may say it wasn’t long enough. I got 18 months to sit and think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I have been out of prison a year and a half already. Ive paid off three credit card debts and I pay my bills on time.

Granted I live pay check to pay check, but I know I cannot run from my debt anymore. If I truly want to put my drug use and all the things that came with it in the past, I must bring them into the light and face them. You have the power to say, this is NOT how my story will end. Today I have a future ahead of me. I survived what is killing so many people today. I pray for those still struggle and I wish to give hope. I have an amazing, loving family that never left my side, even with all the hell I brought them thru, they have shown me true, unconditional love.

I have an amazing fiancé that may drive me crazy at times, but accepts me and loves me for who I am. He helps me be a better. My past does not define me, it only strengthens me. I have two beautiful daughters that are my pride and joy. Any bad day can be brightened and turned around by seeing and being with my two blessed miracles. 3 years ago an accident and a drug that should have killed me, has made me a determined, optimistic, caring advocate for the fight against heroin and other drugs. I am not afraid of my truth anymore. I will not omit pieces of myself to make anyone feel comfortable. Love me for who I am, or not at all.

Decide if you are part of my history or part of my future. I may not be able to change anyone but myself, but I will share my story in hopes that I may touch the hearts and lives of anyone who may desperately need to hear…. WE DO RECOVER. “Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking of what we want to become. Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking about who we don’t ever want to be again.”

Melissa Daughertry
Long Term Recovery

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