The Birthday Gift of Recovery

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Gift of Recovery
I don’t think any of us come into treatment because we want to. I am sure none of us really gave our permission to be alcoholics and addicts. We usually seek help because we can’t live with booze and drugs anymore…and we can’t live without it. At least that was the case with me.
I checked into Tallgrass on my 24th birthday. It was my second time in treatment in five years. I sobered up when I was 19, relapsing at age 23, for 11 months on my drug of choice, opiates, after four major surgeries. On the morning of February 1st, I woke up and felt that my one year old baby girl could see right through me. All the hurt and pain I had bottled up inside, she could see. I called my family physician and checked into the hospital that afternoon to begin detox. I knew that after detox, Tallgrass was the next step in getting my life back. I knew the staff at Tallgrass were all in recovery, that they had what I wanted so badly. I knew my High Power would be placing me in the unconditional loving hands of the people who had trudged the same painful path that I was currently trudging. I cannot say that I walked through the doors, the light came on and I was cured. But it was a beginning. That lead me into a painful 4th and 5th step, where I had to surrender and accept the fact this disease I had was cunning, baffling and powerful…and killing me. That if I didn’t start doing the uncomfortable, I was going to die. I completed the 30-day residential component of Tallgrass, moving immediately into the women’s sober living home. Not because I wanted to, but because it was suggested to me that I try something different. I would do ANYTHING not to use or drink again, finally beaten down enough, willing to do it someone else’s way. It was quite apparent to me that my way wasn’t working any longer. I stayed in sober living for seven months, planting my feet into a solid foundation of recovery. It wasn’t comfortable, but rarely has life on life’s terms been comfortable for me. Living with other sober women was a learning curve for me, teaching me that I don’t always know what is best and to be accountable for myself.I learned that Halee needs to be responsible for Halee’s recovery. No one poured booze and drugs down my throat and no one was responsible for keeping them out, but me. If I had told you what I had expected the gifts of sobriety to have given me, I would have sold myself short. When i checked into Tallgrass, all I wanted was to not use drugs anymore. What I received was a great big God, of my understanding, and a village of friends who have my best interests at heart. My Higher Power and friends in recovery are there to walk me through the uncomfortable stuff. I may not enjoy being out of comfort zone, but I have found it necessary for my spiritual growth.
Today, when I lay my head down on my pillow at night, sober, I know that I get a chance to be a better person tomorrow. I think that is what my God wants for me and my life…to be a bit better today than I was yesterday. This life is a lot better than it used to be…”You cannot stay drunk on yesterday’s beer and you cannot stay sober on yesterday’s prayer.”

-Halee B. alumnus #613

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