the road to change leads through grace

Posts tagged ‘addiction’

The New Normal

“How did this happen?”

That’s the question I asked myself this past summer when I was emerging from the drug and alcohol induced haze I had been in for the previous five months. After enjoying four and a half years of sobriety, I found myself (gratefully!) back in treatment. There is a distinct amount of shame and remorse that comes with a relapse … when I really believed it couldn’t happen to me. Nonetheless, having no more options and no money, I received scholarship funds to attend one of the state’s best treatment facilities. And, knowing I could not go “home”, I entered into one of the area’s best sober living facilities, the Grace House.

The last thing I wanted to do as a single, divorced, mean-girl disliking (seriously, major trust issues with ladies!) woman was to move into a house where I would be surrounded by three to five other women at any given time, with curfews and RULES. Heck, I had lived on my own for the past few years … but then again, look how that worked out for me! RELAPSE!

Living at Grace House was a wonderful decision for me. After losing everything in custody battles, divorce proceedings and job losses, I learned a thing or two about humility. I was. . for once in my life, GRATEFUL for the humble existence I enjoyed at the Grace House.

I found support: I was able to open up to other women, to ask for help and to form bonds. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always candles and pillow fights. There were some very dramatic times, and I am grateful for both the hard times and the good times. I learned that I could communicate my thoughts and feelings in appropriate ways and I learned not to run from conflict. I had never been able to have a disagreement with someone without feeling like we’d never be able to speak again. Being able to ask for help has never been easy for me, and I am sure it might not be for you either, but being able to say to another woman “Hey, I’m tired of talking tonight, but will you just sit with me?” … and they do? That’s a wonderful feeling. Lots of laughter, lots of tears and lots of people committed to sobriety and recovery.

After five months, it was time to move on from the Grace House. I am eternally grateful for my time there and for every experience I had. Living in a sober house after treatment truly saved my life. I would definitely have relapsed if I had returned “home”. So go ahead, put your trust in God as well as the wonderful family who owns Grace House; a place that truly wants to help women get back on their feet. A place that is willing to go to any lengths to help you in your recovery journey.

We all have today … and I am so grateful I had many “todays” at Grace House. Be well!


Most Importantly

To You, 

I know it must be very difficult to be where you are right now so I thought these things might help brighten your day and let you know we are thinking about you and only sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

Please know that we all face difficulties in life and we all have not been perfect.
As I think of you each day a few things keep running through my head that I really want to share with you. Although I have known you all of your life I know I don’t know you well, but it is in my heart to share these thoughts with you. Most importantly it is important for you to figure out who you are for yourself and not for anyone else. You don’t need a man in your life to make you whole, although finding someone who cares for you unselfishly is a great way to go through life.

You are not defined by who your parents are or are not. They have done the best they could for you and that is what matters. It is your turn now to find out what makes you truly happy-find out who you are, not someone else’s definition of who they think you should be. That is where your peace will be found.

You are loved by many and we all rejoice that you are on the path to find your way.

A friend


From There to Here: Kelly’s Story

Addiction is a powerful disease. 

I never realized how powerful it was until I learned about my brother’s addiction. Once my immediate family became aware of my brothers addiction, my family became very dysfunctional. Some of us ignored the issue and some of us forced my brother to get help. He would go to rehab just to please our family but as soon as he would return home, he would immediately start using drugs. My heart would break but I never had the courage to say anything to him because I was afraid of him. Some nights he would take off in his car and my family and I would drive around for hours just to look for him because we were worried.  Deep down I knew my brother cared about how he was hurting our family, but his addiction was so powerful that he needed the drugs to live each day.

My brother finally decided to get help for himself and currently he is sober and the happiest he has ever been! He lives his life one day at a time and knows God has a plan for him. He has come to realize what he has put our family through and even though it was like a roller coaster, my family has become closer than we have ever been. After dealing with my brother, I knew I wanted to help other individuals who struggle with the disease of addiction.

As the assistant house manager of the Grace House I have met some amazing women and I am so amazed with the friendships that have been created. It is amazing to see how everyone supports one another during the good and the bad. It is amazing to see how every woman grows at the Grace House and it makes me smile that I can be a part of your journey!


One more thing . . .


I’m that “one more thing” kinda gal. One more look before you leave. One more thing I need. One more thing I’m forgetting. The “one mores” of everything. I thought I could always choose that one more thing. Do that one more thing. Maybe you did too. 

But now I want to tell you one more thing.

“Stay. I want you to make more memories. Don’t worry, we’ll deal with the sad, give you power and illuminate the good.”

So, do that one more thing…make the good choice, put the bad choice down, and just stay.


The theft of her tomorrows

“Amy [Winehouse] increasingly became defined by her addiction. Our media though is more interested in tragedy than talent, so the ink began to defect from praising her gift to chronicling her downfall. The destructive personal relationships, the blood soaked ballet slippers, the aborted shows, that YouTube madness with the baby mice. In the public perception this ephemeral tittle-tattle replaced her timeless talent. This and her manner in our occasional meetings brought home to me the severity of her condition. Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions, or death.”

-Russell Brand


There were so many times in my life when I had it all figured out.

It’s a big shit thing, to have it all figured out. Never mind the fact that it was chicken scratch math. Never mind the fact that the cosmos were laughing harder than a Robin Williams audience. Never mind the fact that I wasn’t seeing the reality because I was too busy believing the unreality.

And then? Reality came along and punched me in the face.

Time. And time. And time. And time. And time. And time. And time. And? Yeah, time. Again.

It was epic fail shit, squared. It felled me in every kind of undulating way, curvaceous shape and hellacious form. It beat me senseless, rendered me useless. It owned me. Yeah, plain ass fact of the matter, owned.

And so, you ask. How the hell do you get back? To anywhere? From that?

It’s a great fucking question. And the answer is hard to find, probably because the answer is inside you. And, as most of us have come to learn the hard way, the mirror can pose the longest of all possible odds. Possession is eleventh tenths of that law of human nature that says it’s you against you. And this is why you have to get selfish. You have to get solid on the idea that selfish? Is the abbreviation for self preservation.

Don’t get me wrong here. This doesn’t mean to say that it’s cool to go out and pillage the village you came from. Nah, ah. No. The wherever it is you came from is not asking for your shit. It doesn’t care about your shit. And in most cases? It doesn’t deserve your shit. The bad shit you came from is your hurdle. The answer that’s fighting like hell to rise above the surface are your legs. And so it goes, that your jumps are a matter of the belief and conviction that were borne out of the forgettable practice that went into possessing them.

You can let the bad shit own you, or you can own the bad shit your damn self.

It’s about making the jump count.

The candle flickers before the flame dies . . .

Marilyn MonroeDear Marilyn,

You transcended time. Your beauty and grace bought you fame and fortune and your wisdom bought my respect and admiration.

You died alone that day, and I always have to ask . . . What were you thinking? I have to believe that maybe, just maybe, things would have been different, could have been different. If only one person could have felt your pain . . could have let you know it didn’t have to mean the end. Maybe that one person could have been the difference between losing yourself to the drugs and finding your way out.

I wear a t-shirt with your funny, naughty smile. It’s a smile that moves the sun into the rainiest of days. A smile that proves God knew what he was doing when he made you.

My only wish is that you would have known that too.