Jeanine Z. Recovery 101 Woman December 2009....
My name is Jeanine and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict…
I am a 32 year old mother of two but still very much feel like a child myself at times. My struggle with alcoholism and addiction started around the age 13 when I wanted desperately to fit in, to be noticed and to be one of the "cool kids". Who doesn't at that age?
I also wanted very much to run away from my life. I had already been forced to deal with the effects of physical, mental and sexual abuse and at times the feelings associated with my circumstances, were more than I could handle. Along came cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, and damn if that wasn’t the solution to my problems! So I thought.
All the cool kids were drinking and doing drugs and I quickly found that the effects of these substances took away all my worries. It was as if I was a different person. At 14 my life had spiraled out of control. I no longer had any motivation for things such as school and using consumed me.
Wanting more, wanting not to have to feel, made it so I would skip out of school to go find my next fix. My grades suffered, I lost interest in all that I used to enjoy as well as people that did not have the drugs to make me feel better.
At 14 I got a charge of malicious wounding and ended up on probation. Part of my probation included drug testing. After a failed test I ended up with 30 days in juvenile detention and it’s what started me into the 12 step fellowships.
I was forced at first and had continuous relapses as I did not truly want to stop using. I would get multiple 24 hour chips, 30 days, 60 days, etc...
At 15 I was abducted at knife point and raped twice by gun point. I will not go into details but I managed to survive that day and live to tell about it. I was an emotional basket case after that incident and needless to say, my using increased. This landed me into multiple inpatient programs where I would do quite well inside the locked doors but not so much upon my release. However, something kept me coming back to the rooms. My constant in and out lasted through the rest of my teen years.
Into my twenties adult life started and with the increased responsibility that came with that, I tried hard to grasp this whole idea of recovery. I was going to meetings, hanging out after and managed to get clean time of more than a few months.
I would get a year here, two years there, and then back to 30 days... It was in my late twenties that I truly started to grasp that I was not going get this whole recovery thing until I was willing to fully submerse myself in the steps and stop doing things only half way.
I had 4 years at one time... I wish I could say I still had that, but sadly I do not. My new sobriety date is 8/27/09. That's right. I threw it away. Why you may ask? Honestly, there is not a good enough excuse to justify my using. I can throw all the lines at you but I am sure you have heard them all.
My relapse was caused by nothing but my own doing. I stopped working a program. I got good at making myself believe that I was cured. I got good at saying "one drink after work is not going to hurt; at least it's not drugs".
Fortunately, I found the road back from the help of my HP and from people in the fellowship. My point is this: I am not going to tell you that it's okay to relapse. If you make it back I am not going to pity you and pat you on the back and say it's alright. What I will do is give you a big hug, say welcome back and keep coming back. "Relapse is not a part of recovery"... it is the opposite of it, but if relapse happens do not be ashamed to come back to the rooms.
I have found that you will always be welcomed back. Today I am clean and sober, have 2 beautiful children, a pretty swell boyfriend, a great circle of friends and family, a good job, a roof over my head, clothes to wear, a car to drive...and well you get the picture. "Keep coming back, it works if you work it"…