Success Stories: “I Finally Found My Solution”
The following story comes directly from a Right Step alumna in recovery. We hope that this story will inspire others who are addicted, and their loved ones, to seek out recovery programs like Right Step and Promises Austin to learn how to live life sober.
“I started using substances at the age of 12. I am not new to recovery; I started going to treatment facilities in order to manage my using. I never wanted recovery, though…I just wanted to be free from using cocaine. I left the first facility with a husband and, nine months later, we had a beautiful son. We both started using again shortly after my son was born. We separated after 18 months and I went two years without cocaine, and with minimal drinking. But, when I was confronted with a situation I could not manage, I ended up in a mental hospital with a straight jacket, leading to months of clinical therapy. Again, I thought I had a workable solution, and with every promotion or success I began to reward myself with occasional binges of smoking crack.
“At that point, I turned to religion. I thought I had the answer. I was prayed for, given scripture and confession, which worked only as long as I was at church. In 2003, I came to the end of my rope and was introduced to a spiritual program. I had a spiritual director and I followed the plan she gave me. It gave me momentary relief, but because I never identified with my emotions, I continued to occasionally binge on cocaine in situations that I could not control. I always started off with the occasional drink. I would never give up drinking because I was not an alcoholic…so I thought. I thought I had found a better way to use cocaine and still function.
“When celebrating with friends in 2006 at a party, I started using powder cocaine. In January of 2007 I had to have a surgery, which became my excuse: I used cocaine to alleviate the pain I was experiencing from fibroid tumors. I then began to experience the legal consequences of my actions, and I was put on probation for three years. Because I had never worried about finances in the past, I had always been able to pay my way out of trouble by keeping a lawyer on retainer. But this time, all my resources were gone, and I was both unemployed and unemployable as a realtor and small business owner.
“On top of all this, the toxic relationship I had been in for the past 14 years was out of control. I snapped, and tried to kill my then boyfriend. I could not understand what was happening with my life, and the only way I knew how to cope was to use. So I continued my affair with wine and powder cocaine daily, mixed with prescription pain pills. I would leave probation and call my dealer just to cope, I would still see my spiritual director. Finally, that director told me that I could not see her until I tried a Twelve Step program. I was not that bad off, I thought; this was not an option for me. The court ordered me to enroll in an intensive outpatient treatment program at Right Step. Again, I played the role, got my certificates, and continued to spiral out of control. But I could no longer continue to live.
“On the morning of February 2, 2009, I called Right Step and checked in, thinking again only to be free from cocaine. I still did not think I had a problem with alcohol.
“The staff, counselor, residential techs, treatment plan, and exposure to AA really made an impact on my life. My previous stays in treatment facilities never suggested that I had to work on my physical, emotional, and mental health. With the compassion of the counselors and techs, as well as administrative staff and the materials provided, I had finally found my solution. During my stay in treatment, I joined the active alumni group, doing things I had never done before: bowling, playing softball, dancing, things that showed me that being sober isn’t boring.
“I joined this group immediately after completing residential treatment. It has been a vital part of my recovery. I needed the nurturing, compassion, and understanding of my peers. I attending meetings on a regular basis, have a sponsor, work the steps, and apply those principles to my daily life. I am thankful for all that Right Step offered, and I have formed wonderful friendships and developed tools that have enabled me to adjust to living [sober].
“I am off probation. I continue to volunteer with alumni at Right Step and give back by interacting with and encouraging clients, as well as working to attract others to live a sober life that offers support, fellowship, and fun.”
Remember that helping someone overcome addiction is a gift born of compassion. For more information on admission to one of Right Step’s 20 drug treatment centers including Promises Austin, please click here.
By George Joseph