I am writing about a time in my life that was very bleak and hopeless which was about 7 years ago. I am a recovering drug addict and was a methamphetamine junkie, and until I found Narcotics Anonymous 5 years ago I had lost all faith in God or anything else remotely related to any kind of faith. I wanted to die and believed I would be better off dead.
I had a fairly good life. I was married had 2 children a good job, life was good until I got divorced and my addiction took over. My life started to spin out of control when I lost my job at Electrolux where I had worked for the past 23 years. I started to miss a lot of work due to my addiction or I would come to work all wired out. Getting doped up was more important than going to work, so my employer finally had enough and told me I was no longer employed there. I was totally devastated, how could they do this to me after all those years. Never stopped to think that my using was a problem…..how dare they do this to me.
The hole I was digging for myself wasn’t deep enough yet. The next big thing that happened to me was I got evicted from my apartment of 14 years cause I could not pay the rent and the boyfriend I was with at the time was an addict also therefore we were unable to hold down any kind of a job. I knew it was coming and my feelings of hopelessness plummeted. Where was I going to go? For the first time in my life I was going to be homeless. I had no job, no money and my family and friends wanted nothing to do with me, I was an addict!
So I packed up all my belongings of 45 years and wrote out a bad check to put my stuff in a storage unit because I had no money. Unfortunately the check came back closed account and I lost everything I owned. Moving on, I was able to get a bed for the night at the Salvation Army shelter. I was scared to death because the boyfriend dropped my off and left me there. I did not know anyone there and I was not like these people or so I thought. They were drunks and drug addicts and I was just someone who came up on hard times.
The living conditions were horrible at that shelter. They had 6 to 8 women stacked on bunk beds in one room. There was mold growing all over on the windows and we all got sick until they cleaned it up. The building was old and disgusting but at least I had a roof over my head. I really learned what humility was all about staying at the shelter. I was no better than the people that were staying there; they all had made some bad choices in their lives like I had done.
I finally got out of there after 30 days and got a job and moved into a Meth house with some friends. At this time I was still using and still did not think I had a problem with drugs, I was in complete denial. I knew my life had to change but I was unable to stop or do anything about it. I lost that job too.
I eventually got arrested for some bad checks I had wrote to maintain my drug habit and was placed on probation for 5 years and was ordered to complete outpatient treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. At that time I still was not ready to quit using. A month into treatment I had a dirty urinalysis, they tested your pee about every two weeks and it was random. Like I stated earlier I was still living at the drug house and one night I came home from treatment and my friends were all getting high so I said “What the hell, not my turn for a UA”. I really did not think I would get caught. So with a dirty UA the treatment facility has to tell my probation officer what happened and I was so afraid I was going to have to spend a year in jail for a probation violation. My counselor at treatment told me to just tell her the truth and be honest, So I told the PO that I was ready to take my addiction seriously and I would do whatever it takes to stay clean. She gave me another chance and told me I needed to attended NA meetings and move from where I was staying if I wanted to stay out of jail. It was about this time I started to truly believe I was an addict and I needed some to start believing that a power greater than myself could restore to me to some kind of sanity. I slowly believed maybe there is some hope for me.
The following week as I was riding my bike home from the treatment center downtown (yes I rode a bike, I had sold my car for drugs and had no drivers liscense) my sister I had not seen in a couple of years saw me on the East side and followed my home. She said “Debbie, you need to come with me to this NA meeting please, they have a speaker meeting tonight and you should come and listen to this lady”. So I locked up my bike and got in the car with her and she drove to my brother’s house. I asked her “What are we doing here I hate him?” They both told me “Debbie we are really worried about you, we love you and care about you and don’t want you to die!”
That night I attended the NA meeting and my sister gave me a Welcome key tag, it was a very emotional night. I was overwhelmed with the love and support I got that night. I found some friends that I used with there and they told me all about the faith in God and a higher power that they had found in the rooms of recovery. They told me to “Keep coming back” and I did.
I moved out of the drug house that night and my sister let me stay with her as long as I stayed clean. I had done a lot of crappy things to my children and family and they have learned to love and trust me again and today I have hope and faith in God.
This November, with the help of God and Narcotics Anonymous I will have 5 years clean and sober. I am so grateful to God for the many things I have been blessed with in the last 5 years. I have had 5 major surgeries and things have not always been easy, but they have been so worth. Debbie