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 - Helping Families with Addictions

Stories about addiction and recovery, Clean and Sober life styles
The Ramblings of an Unexpected Miracle Part 1 By: Kellen S.        

All my life I always felt "off", "different", not like "normal" people. I was adopted as a baby, eight days after I was born. My parents always called me their, "Unexpected Miracle". I always knew that I was adopted and growing up I always felt like I didn't belong. Two years after I was born and brought to my parents, my younger brother was born and brought to our parents. Our birth mother wanted us to grow up together and so we did. The early years were full of love and many fun times. I never did see my parents argue or get too out of control when they drank. If anything they usually laughed and had a great time. It had been rumored that my birthmother was an alcoholic and a drug addict. She was 19 when she had me and 21 when she had my brother. I to this day have not yet found her or know much about her.    
When I was in 4th grade I was molested by two older boys whom I knew very well, at different times and back then I didn't realize that it was wrong. I never told anyone until I was in 6th grade. I started cutting and when I cut it helped to numb the feelings that I had held deep inside of my soul; it helped to make the pain go away. In 7th grade I began to experience violent rages and would lash out at my parents and sometimes my brother. I always apologized afterwards, but I was scared of myself and what I was doing to my family. My parents tried so hard to help me, but it was like I was stuck in my own hurricane and could not manage to get out. If that makes sense. Finally we sought help from shrinks, etc. I was put on medication, sometimes it helped and sometimes I would still break through and be a monster again.      
High school came and I went to a Catholic school and at 16 years old I discovered marijuana with a friend of mine. I can't truly remember much from back then, but what I do remember is that anytime I felt any kind of emotion, be it good or bad, as soon as I smoked I felt better. I felt a part of something. In Catholic high schools the cliques are pretty or at least for me, they were all over. I started hanging out with the stoner, gothic, punk kids. The dark ones as we were pretty much all labeled. Back then it was mainly smoking pot and drinking. I can't remember the exact first time I drank, but I do remember drinking a lot and as often as I could. I cannot remember my first black out either, I believe it may have been after high school. So moving on to after high school.       
At 19 years old I met my first serious boyfriend, Robin. In the beginning things were alright and appeared to be pretty good. We drank the same and we smoked a lot of pot. Fairly soon I discovered he was not who he appeared to be. Basically while I dated Robin I discovered and fell in love with cocaine. At first I was against all of those drugs. Then in my alcoholic/addict mind when I found out he did those heavier drugs, I figured if I told him that I wanted to try it he would say no it's not worth it. I was wrong. He and a friend of ours at the time busted out my first line and from what I remember it was a pretty big line. And so I fell in love that night, a love affair that would take me down a very dark road for a few years. There were many battles between Robin and I, he throwing me around and choking me and me in my drug addicted state telling him to kill me and then him saying he was sorry and crying. It was a very sick and twisted relationship.        
In 2002 I had a chance to leave Woodstock, IL!!!! I was so excited to move and start over!!! Ah ha ha that's pretty funny, cause I moved to Franklin Mass for college and I still had to deal with myself. Robin moved out there to be with me. Things stayed the same. Then he had to leave and move back to Woodstock. I fell deeper into my addiction. Dated a "normie" and he tried to get me to quit my drinking, made me dump my stash out and the good alcoholic/addict that I am, I promptly went and bought more after he left and off to the races I went. So much happened while I was on the East Coast. Finally the school told me that I had to go to rehab or I would get kicked out. So off to Milwaukee I went to go to rehab. At the time my Mom had a crash pad condo in Milwaukee because she was working as a flight attendant for an airline out of Mitchell airport. Needless to say my parents were so distraught over me and what was happening to me with the drugs and alcohol. Oh by this time I had been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and it was discovered that I was born addicted to cocaine. My parents never knew that when I came to them. This was a painful discovery for all of us.       During my outpatient rehab I was now 21 and thought that I just had a problem with crack, so on the weekends I would go to the bars in Woodstock get plastered, smoke pot and drive back to Milwaukee in a black out. I would wake up in the mornings and think to myself, damn how did I get home? I would be grateful that I made it home, but I never learned. I never realized how bad I was then. Finally back to Mass I went. I was going to AA meetings and not taking any action, I was there because I had to go there. I would go to a meeting simply because they had hot dogs and it was free to eat them. I didn't get it. I kept drinking and using pot. Started dating my 2nd abuser Sam and he tried to control me and my drinking and using. Many verbal and physical fights. It was a never ending cycle for me.       
May 2004 until December 2004 was full of many tragic losses. My Grandpa on my Mom's side died the day before my birthday, June 2004 my best friend's brother died of an overdose, four days later two other friends I knew and grew up with died in a murder-suicide car wreck. In October 2004 the day before Halloween my Grandma on my Dad's side died of cancer. I was not there for any of it. I did come back for my Grandpa and my Grandma's funerals. Still drinking and using even harder when I was away from Sam. I went back to Maine, (oh by this time I had gotten kicked out and dropped out of Dean College to go live in Maine). So back to Maine I went in November 0f 2004 and I felt something inside of me tell me to go back home to Woodstock. I had been dating Sam for about a year by then and realized I could not live the life I was living with him anymore. We were homeless staying from place to place with friends. So I told him I had to go and I went home.       
A few days after I got home to Woodstock my first love had gotten a hold of me, Punky. When I think of Punky I get a mix of emotions. We had dated prior back in 2000 or 2001, I can't remember the exact year, but he was the first guy I had ever really loved and we had used a lot together the first time we dated, drinking and smoking pot. So he had come to my house while I was gone to make an amends to me, to this day I am unsure of whether or not he was working a program or not, but today it doesn't matter. So my Mom had given him my number and he had called me. I rushed to where he was and we immediately began our relationship. He had gotten out of prison that previous September of 2004. We drank almost every night and though we appeared to have something good going, we did not know what was to ultimately become of our lives in a month. Here is where my addiction and my life forever altered everything I thought I knew about anything in my life.      
December 24th, 2004 started out as any other day, hung over and in love. Punky and I had been spending every second of everyday together since we had gotten back together and partying hard. Ironically we stuck to alcohol. He was on parole so he couldn't do drugs because he would get randomly drug tested. The day was good for the most part. Later in the early evening we had decided to go to our favorite bar and started drinking pretty early that day. Met up with someone from our past and went to back to Punky's to get ready for the rest of the night. Went back to the bar and continued drinking. Bar closing time came and by now we had 2 other guys hanging with us and we thought it would be a bright idea to go to another bar that was open until 4 am. So off to that bar we went. From here on out the rest are fragments of my memory and mostly what I was told happened, I was blacked out by this time. An altercation between myself and a guy who was messing me happened, Punky got upset and tried to fight this guy. I was crying and went back to my car where our one friend was sleeping. From what I was told the 4 of us left this bar and dropped two of our friends off at their car, we were supposed to go back to their house, but for whatever reason we did not.        
Myself, Punky, and my friend apparently decided to go back to our friend's house in a town called Harvard. On our way there from what my friend told me, Punky and I were arguing over a cd and he began to throw my cds out of the window as we were driving. Apparently I made him get out to pick those cds up. After he got back into the car I came to, and I remember Punky grabbing the wheel and feeling like I was on a roller coaster. We landed on all four wheels, I remember hearing what sounded like a hum. My friend said we needed to get out of the car quick because he smelled gas and thought the car was going to blow up. We climbed out of the window and my friend ran across the street to a house to get help. I ran to the passenger's side of the car to see if Punky was okay. I remember seeing the blood seeping from his head and screaming. He was not moving, but I remember hearing a quiet moan from him and I pulled with all of my strength the car door open and began to try to pull him out of the car. As I was trying to get him out of harm's way, I never saw it coming, another car came over a hill and crashed into the back of my blazer. The impact threw Punky under my car and threw me 25 ft into the field next to us. Then I was in and out of it. I remember waking up and hearing a helicopter and saying my leg hurt. My left leg had been dislocated and then I was out again.     Kellen S.    

The Ramblings of an Unexpected Miracle Part II    

The next thing I remember is being in the ER I believe and my parents and my brother cleaning me off and talking to me. I remember asking for my Mrs. Lein. She was like a 3rd Grandma to me. I also asked my brother to call my best friend Keri and let her know what was going on. This next part I do not remember, but my Mom does and told me about it. The three of them were cleaning the dirt and blood off of my face and my hands, and my younger brother Timmy was saying to me," You can't die on me Kellen, I need you here." The doctors told my family, "There is a reason she is still here and alive. She obviously has a purpose, help her find that. She by medical terms should not have made it." It's ironic because the next day, I came to and I already knew that Punky was dead. My Mom was with me and a few minutes later my Dad and my brother came up to visit me. We had Christmas in my hospital room and they had brought some of my presents to me. I remember opening one and it was an awesome journal (oh I love to write and journal by the way) so I get this journal and I freeze when I read what was on the cover, "Unexpected Miracle." My Mom says to me, "You truly are our Unexpected Miracle Kel." I begin to cry hard and feel pain and then a nurse comes in to check my vitals and stuff and then I'm out again.       
I went home on a Sunday with a brace on my leg and crutches. My Mom and Mrs. Lein had set up our T.V. room for me as my room because I couldn't go up stairs yet. The first few days home are hazy, I know a lot of my family and friends came to visit me. What I really remember most is Punky's wake and funeral and New Years. I believe Punky's wake was on a Monday. I was supposed to have gone to the morgue to see him and say my goodbyes to him in private, but my HP obviously did not think that was a good idea, so the coroner got called out the day I was supposed to go. So I'm at his wake/funeral and I go up to his casket and I see him, in a suit, stitches in his head, his eyes closed, his hands folded together, a piece of cotton showing from his head because they had cut his head open probably in his autopsy and I remember feeling like my heart had literally broken and a part of me was dead with him in that casket. I remember wanting so badly to crawl into the casket with him and lay there and die with him for real. All these people kept asking me what happened, why did it happen, what were we fighting about, you are a hero for trying to save him, etc. It went on and on.          
New Years of 2004 into 2005 came, my parents were worried about me, asked me if I wanted them to stay home with me. I said no and lied, said I was okay, Timmy would be there to check on me. At that time his girlfriend then was pregnant and he was running from our house to hers. So I was alone with my dog Gidget and I thought some of my friends were going to stop by. They didn't, which was okay with me at that time. They did call me though. So I'm on the computer and I have the T.V. on to one of those New Years Eve shows and the band Evanescene comes on and they start playing. Of course it just had to be their song, "My Immortal". Needless to say, I lost it and cried so hard and threw myself on the floor the sobs were ones I will never forget that came out of my soul. My dog comes and licks my face, I struggle to get up. At this point I have had it with this pain and this new reality that consumes me everyday. I hobble to our garage and take a smoke and some tylenols and something to drink. I keep the garage door shut and I start the engine in my Mom's sebring at the time. I was determined to die that night and be free, in my mind anyways. I'm crying, I had just taken who knows how many pills as I had done in the past, I'm asking God, well screaming hard, "God why did you take him from me?!! Why not me instead of him?!! Fuck you asshole!!! I hate you!! Punky come get me now!!!!!!" I'm screaming this over and over again, and all of a sudden my dog Gidget is barking at me standing up on her hind legs by the driver's side window, looking at me as if to say, "Get your happy ass out of car now dummy!!" So I open my door and she starts to lick my face and whimper at me. I wrap my arms around her and I start crying even harder and say to her, "I'm so sorry baby girl. I'm sorry." So I hobble back into my house and I take Gidget with me to my pull out bed in the T.V. room and fall asleep. God doing for me what I could not do for myself.        
Jump to 6 weeks later, I'm back at it again. Drink and drug the pain away. Now we are in 2005 and I have the brace off and I can drive and do whatever again. Of course my Dad calls me up one night and I have his car and am the bar. I'm actually not drinking, but he for good reason does not believe me and tells me to get his car home now or he will call the police. So I'm pissed off and have an attitude and I go home, drop the car off and have a friend pick me up and take me the store, I chug my bottle and I get drunk. St. Patty's Day comes and I get a ride from someone and drink myself into stupidity. I'm at my friend's house for a party and decide I want to go home, can't get a ride so I start walking, my phone is dying and I call my brother to come get me and he says no fuck off and I walk to my Daddy Indian's house and crash there. He tries to talk some sense into me about my drinking, but I pass out and say that I am okay. Still not admitting to myself that I am powerless.        
The end of March or the middle, I don't know when exactly, I meet Wes. I start dating him, we drink hard and use hard. I start smoking crack again. This goes on for 9 months. Every time I drink, I black out, I freak out and start getting violent, suicidal and whatever else. Wes has no idea what to do, so what he learned was that me smoking crack gets me out of the blackout and I am back to me. Well the drug addicted me. I'm calm and not trying to hurt myself or others. December 23rd comes, I find out that my best friend growing up Candice has died. An overdose. I'm guilt ridden for her dying and I'm living. The next day is the 1 year anniversary of my crash. I get drunk, freak out, smoke crack, things are okay. Jump to New Years 2005 into 2006. Wes and I go to the bar I automatically blackout, freak out, (surprise surprise) and onward to smoking crack.        
Something happened that night. I basically get alcohol poising and overdosed on crack all in the same night. I was smoking that shit from like 2 am until like 2 pm the next day. Wes lies down and then gets up to go home cause he has to work at 7 pm. I tell him I'm not done yet. So he leaves me at this lady's house. Finally I come to my senses and the other 2 ladies I'm with and I realize we're broke, so they are fine, it appears, and I'm not. I get a ride home and I go to get my car and I am sobbing to Wes, "I'm so sorry for being a bitch,"blah blah blah. He says it's okay, go home and eat something and relax. So I do and I detox myself hard. My parents know something is wrong, but they leave me be. I lock my door and I go to sleep for a few hours. By the Grace of God I made it through my own self detox. I should have died then too.       I believe that was a Friday night. Somehow I remember where the MAC was and that they had an 11 pm meeting. So I go there and I'm on the fence. Do I want to get sober, do I not want to get sober? That was the last time I drank or used, for a year and a half. So jump to May 2006 a week before my birthday. I break up with Wes, I realize we are not healthy for each other anymore. I'm sober, he is not. So I break up with him. I work the steps with a sponsor, I go to meetings, I go to AA functions and life is getting better. Jump to July 2007, I'm working at the place that saved my life in my first few months of sobriety, Ihop. I'm a server and I meet Leif. I talk him into letting me smoke pot again, cause pot was not my problem and it's an herb. So I smoke for a year and don't touch anything else. Leif and I are toxic to each other. After he breaks up with me I find out I'm pregnant and have a battle with him on how he is not ready to take care of a kid, he can't take care of himself, etc. So I tell him dude I am going to do an open adoption. Finally he comes around and realizes I am serious about finding a nice family to adopt my kid. Too little too late. I go for my first ultra sound and find out that my baby is dead. I miscarried. I'm devastated. I feel betrayed by God again. Again God doing for me what I could not do for myself.        
So I'm dying inside not telling anyone about it, I take some pills to die and my brother catches me, calls the ambulance, I promptly convince the paramedics that I am okay and not trying to kill myself. I go to sleep. I go back to meetings, but I'm not working an honest step 3. April 2008 now jumping head again. I'm dating a fellow I met in the program, 8 years older than me, he appears to have his stuff together. I'm still smoking pot and still in denial of what is really going on with me. April I decide to go to the psych ward because I'm missing meetings, working 14-16 hr shifts at Ihop. I go to the ward to keep from relapsing, even though I was already relapsed just by smoking pot. So I go for a week and play the game, relax make some friends at the ward and then I get out. My first night out I cheat on my bf at the time with an ex and then he figures it out and I lie. I tell him I relapsed on coke with my ex, I didn't I smoked pot with him but not coke. So my bf at the time comes to my work drunk and says for me to go get us some crack after my shift. I say okay, and after work at 6 am I go to the ghetto in a town called Waukegan and I pick up. Then the 3 month binge/relapse begins. I'm out of my mind so is my bf at the time, out on runs everyday sometimes 5 + times a day. I go to work a mess, my boss knows something is wrong. Verbal fights between me and my bf at the time, the insanity was intense. July 4th, 2008 I had my last drink. Still did drugs and then I realized I was going to die, I was playing with fire. I started going back to meetings. August 10th of 2008 I had my last drug. I started working the steps and started to get healthy again.          
November/December of 2008 I took my will back again. Started dating another guy (surprise surprise) and this was one of the scariest relationships I have ever had. This one lasted a year and by the grace of God I got through this one. 
Kellen S.          

The Ramblings of an Unexpected Miracle Part III

Looking back I realize that I was still very sick and had not been completely honest with myself about my past or how I actually felt about any of it deep inside of my heart and soul. Jay (I am using an alias for this one due to things that he may have done in the past; we'll get to that part in a little bit) so we met while I was working at Ihop and we became friends. He had this charm to him, he was good at pulling the wool over the sheep's eyes so to speak. He was still married and had convinced me that he and his wife were separated and friends. He claimed that she was just crazy and was okay with him dating other people, etc. I had wondered what was really going on when she would text my phone, email me, call my phone and call me out of my name. I was in some serious denial at this point in my progressive disease. Jay's wife at the time, Louise (another name change, for respect purposes), hit it all on the nail. I look back and realize Jay was playing both of us. I didn't help any of it by not backing down or moving on. I would pay dearly for this. You see I again in my state of madness, did some things that I never did for my drugs or alcohol, in sobriety, to support Jay's gambling addiction. As I write and remember all of this, I feel a mix of emotions on this. This is where I get brutally honest without saying what those things were. It all brings chills to my soul and to my being. This went on until June 4th, 2009, when we were on our way to do one of those things that I cannot talk about literally, (if you have ever done what I did then you already know what I am talking about), by the grace of God, we got pulled over and Jay was arrested. He had warrants so he was not coming back anytime soon. That day I felt free, hurt, angry, ashamed, scared, rage, betrayl, ect., the list of feelings went on and on. I was left to figure out how to afford the rent on this house that we had moved into the previous month with a landlady who was literally out of her mind. I had no idea what to do. I wanted to use and drink, though I knew in my heart that would only make things worse, so back to my cutting to take away the pain, I went. That was my first ever addiction. As the months went by, Jay was now in prison in Wisconsin and I would go see him, bring him money, take his phone calls, and just lost myself and who I thought I was to his twisted perception as well as my own. Finally I realized that he was not at all whom he pretended to be. In 2001 I believe it was, there was a mentally challenged lady whose body had been found in Lake county, Wadsworth. Jay had briefly told me his version of this story and at the time, I guillably enough, believed him. He had told me that he and some friends had been watching those horrendous videos that sparked up controversy, "Faces of death" and that one of the guys told him he had killed a lady once. How much was I about to be faced with the truth and the reality. Jay had been know to kill and torture little innocent animals. He had done 2 years for obstruction of justice for helping to conceal a murder. I had googled his name and found all of the articles. As fate and my Higher Power would have it, my cousin's husband is a Correctional Officer at the Lake County jail and as soon as I told him whom I was dating that summer after Jay had been arrested, said, "Kellen get out of that relationship now. He is not a good man, trust me." I still did not listen, I became a dry drunk, not going to meetings often at all. Feeling completely lost in this new information I discovered. Trying to get Jay to tell me the truth, "I don't want to talk about it," was all he could say. I discovered another article in June 2010 where Jay had been reported to have said, "I bashed that bitch's head in and I will walk clean from this." As I visited him at a WI Jail, every Saturday, I came across the picture of a Jane Doe whose death was very similar to the Lake County lady. I knew what I had to do and while Jay was locked up, I told him I could not be with him anymore. For months I was afraid of the day he would get out of jail. I never looked back after he told me, "If you do this, I will never take you back. You are making a mistake. I left Louise for you." It went on and on until I hung up on him and stopped taking his calls. I knew that for the time being I was safe. And I actually was. Jay did not come after me as I thought he would. Now to September of 2010. I met Eric. He was an old soul so to speak. When I met him he did not have a lot of sobriety and I never saw it coming. Within two weeks of us dating he relapsed. I stayed, to this day I don't know why. The second night he drank I knew in my heart that something was wrong. After work I went to Ihop to meet a friend of mine, Lauren and after I got a text from Eric saying, "I just saw my Dad, I should die," like bats out of hell we rushed over to his house. He had taken a bottle of tylenol and had drank a bottle of whiskey and was working on his second bottle. That night was terrible. Lauren waited in the car as I watched Eric trash his house, bash his head into a window, amongst other things. Lauren ended up calling 911 and my friend cried amongst other things. Lauren ended up calling 911 and my friend cried for me it seemed as we both watched him being wheeled out of his house with restraints to the hospital. I was by his side every minute I got to make sure he was okay. Of course he was not ready yet and I enabled him wicked bad. In January of 2011 I started going to another 12 Step program as well as my main 12 step program to learn how to take care of myself. I am a double winner as they say. Along with Eric, my brother and his wife were also alcoholics and I enabled them quite well too. Somehow through all of this madness, I stayed sober. I give the credit to my Higher Power for sure. In February and April of 2011 I went on two Program retreats, a women's retreat and a spiritual retreat. Little did I know that my recovery journey and my strength to get through, was only just beginning. For in only just a few short months would my life and my parents' lives be forever altered.     Kellen    

Kellen Part Four The Ramblings of an Unexpected Miracle Part IV  

So Eric was still struggling with his drinking and finally quit January 2011, but he was still dry. I was still crazy myself, but working on getting my sanity and my serenity back with my Alanon sponsor. In February of 2011 I went on an AA and an Alanon Womens' Retreat with both of my sponsors, my AA and my Alanon sponsors. I was totally out of my comfort zone being surrounded by women, but you know I had a good time. I learned a lot about myself and how I could change the way I react to things. I learned that I can add people to the 3rd Step prayer, "God I offer Jane Doe to thee...." and continue to add whomever I am praying for, their name instead of I or me and it really does help. There is this little chapel I go to to have my talks with my HP when I need serious quiet time, and I was there a lot in April of 2011 and even after. My friend Steve and I would meet there at 5 am sometimes and we had this whole, "Let's go talk to God!!!" thing going on. He was going through a similar situation as I did with his girlfriend. Thank God for good friends and the program. The end of April I went on another retreat that is to help you get closer to your HP and become more conscience with your HP. I met my friend Travis there and little did I know at that time, that going to both of these retreats would literally save my life and the new people I was meeting would save my life.        
So May comes around and I'm not seeing Eric as much as I had been and I'm lost and heartbroken and unsure of what to do. He claimed it was because he worked so much and whatever else. The reality was that, it really didn't matter, I was being selfish and expecting too much from him when he didn't have it to give. I was still suck in my head a bit, even in sobriety, yes last year so recent. Sometimes that happens. So I went to our family farm to see my brother and his wife for my birthday, my birthday is May 10th and I worked on my bday and had cake with my boss and my clients. So I saw them on a Sunday or a Saturday, I can't remember exactly when it was. I remember going to The Farm and seeing that it did not look good, my brother and his wife did not look healthy or good. They looked beaten up, twisted and broken, it was very eerie. To this day I do not if they were using other drugs, but I do know for sure they were drinking a lot then.        
So May 29th rolls around and I am taking the train out to Chicago to see my Mom and Dad. As I am traveling there and reading and playing on my phone my cousin Justin calls and says, "Hey how are you doing?" I said, "Hey I'm doing great, going to see my parents for my birthday. What's happening?" Out of respect and looking out for me, Justin did not tell me what had happened, because he knew that I was alone on the train to see my parents, so we chatted for a few and as I was approaching the train station, the look on my parents faces I had seen before a few times. I thought, "Oh no what did I do now?" I was pretty sure that I was on the right path by now, so I had no idea what I was about to learn. As I got off of the train my parents did their best to smile and tried to appear to be okay. They knew that I was pretty intuitive to their emotions so I asked, "Hey is something wrong Mom? Dad?" And then they hugged me and they told me. Something had happened with my brother and his wife. The first part was inaccurate, but it was what they had heard from who knows who it was. "Your brother walked in on Kate (another name change due to the circumstances) and another guy and shot the guy. He is in surgery now and your brother is being booked into jail." I was in shock, angry, scared, the list of feelings overcame me like a dark clouded rain storm that has come out of nowhere. "What?! Is the guy dead? If he dies that is going to be really bad!!!" I had no idea what else to say but what jumbled out of my mouth at that time. My parents assured me that Ken (the guy whom my brother allegedly shot) was in surgery and was apparently going to be okay. We were all in shock and it was about to get worse.      
My cousin Justin calls again to see if I am with my parents and I tell him that I am and we are okay. I tell him as far as we knew Ken was in surgery. Justin said, "No the guy just died not that long ago." At this point I exclaim, "What?! That's not good!!!" My Mom lets out a wail that will forever haunt me when I think back to that day. So now we found out that my brother is being charged with 1st Degree Murder, which if convicted could send my brother to jail for 45-life. You know as I write this I remember it all as though it were yesterday; I also thank my Higher Power for bringing the 3 of us together to find out at the same time. So I get off of the phone with my cousin and I cry on my Dad's shoulder for a few and my Mom comes up to us and we all hold each other and I forget who said it, but one of us says, "We are going to get through this." I need to make calls and have a cig, so I go downstairs and call my sponsor and almost everyone I know in the program. I call Eric and he sounds shocked and unsure of what to say. My disease starts to talk to me, telling me it's okay to have a jagerbomb. I go back upstairs to be with my parents and out of nowhere I say, "Fuck I just want to drink now!!" My Mom and Dad look at me in disbelief and then my Mom says, "I don't think so Kel!! The Mustard Seed is about a 10-15 minute walk, let's see if there is a meeting soon." So she does. God doing for me what I could not do for myself.        
The Mustard Seed is one of Chicago's oldest meeting places and has great meetings. So I go there and I meet an older fellow whom prior to being in the program I would've been afraid of. I share with him what is going on and ask where the coffee is. He listens with kindness and love, and we walk to Dunkin Donuts. The meeting starts a little later and after the lead we all share. I go last and say what happened, after the meeting almost everybody who was at that meeting surrounds me and gives me hugs and words of encouragement. Some of the people walk with me toward the way my Mom and Dad's condo was until I'm only a block away. The hand of the Program surrounding me with love and understanding. I get on my phone and make more calls. I talk to my friend Travis almost all night because he works a good program and is a trusted friend and the only one up at the time. Thank my HP for the fellowship, got me through one of my darkest days.         The next day my Dad and I go to the train station so I can go home, back to McHenry. I call Eric to see if I can go see him and he tells me if he has time yea. I never do see him that day. I give a lead on Acceptance that night and feel like I am accepting the situation for what it was, but deep in the depths of my soul I do not. I don't realize any of this at the time. So a few days later as my brother's situation unravels, I break up with Eric, knowing the pain is too much and we keep growing further and further apart. This was one of the most painful things I have ever gone through. Although Eric and I break up we still see each other that summer. So as the days go by, I am shoving down my true feelings and becoming basically a dry drunk. Half ass going to meetings by August. Now dating someone new and lying to myself and lying to Eric. Not with Eric in a relationship, but still not doing the next right thing.        
So now I'm living at our old family farm, where everything happened with my brother and his wife and I am miserable. Lost inside of my own madness and darkness. Lying to myself and to most of my closet friends. Spiritually dying slowly. So this goes on for months. Jump to February. Finally I get honest after being found out of what I was doing by Dan (another name change) about me still being with Eric off and on. So I had to get honest with Eric. I'm scheduled to take a trip to Florida on Valentines' Day for a week. So the truth of me being unfaithful to Dan and lying to Eric comes out. I feel like I still love Eric, and I did, for whatever reason I choose Dan instead and break off all ties with Eric. I go to Florida and I feel serene and happy go lucky again. I get a tattoo of a drag that says, "To thine own self be true." I don't realize it at the time, but all the time I was with Dan, I was not being true to myself. Fear of being alone is probably what my main problem was and feeling like I didn't deserve a good guy. Dan was not the nicest guy in the world, he belittled me a lot.           Jump to April. I meet some new people at some meetings, by now I decide and realize that I need meetings now more than ever and I need to get honest with myself and be true to me. So I meet some new people and start having bonfires at my house. Dan is not liking this at all, so finally I realize that we do not love each other as I thought we did and that I need to be with my recovery people. I break up with Dan and begin to take care of myself for once. I go over another 4th with my sponsor at the time and I begin to feel better again. I remember why I got sober and the life that I want to live and that I believe in my heart my HP wants me to live. Then my good friend Matt and I begin to chat and he has this way of helping you to rethink things. What I mean is for example, I thought that I loved Dan, then when I would tell Matt, "Well I do love him," Matt would say, "Are you sure? What I am hearing is you trying to convince yourself that you love him." And Matt was right. I really didn't love Dan, I can see that now looking back and after I did a relationship 4th Step I realized that even more so. So I'm going to meetings, Dan is still living with me, but by now he has moved into another room at the farm. He continues to nit pick me and my recovery. Matt and I begin to form a beautiful friendship that turns into a romantic relationship and this is all so new to me.          
So jump to May, a few days before my birthday Matt asks me to be his lady and I say yes I would love to be your lady. The darkness has started to drift away and I feel happy, joyous, and free. I continue to work my program, I get a new sponsor, my former sponsor got really busy and I needed a new point of view looking in. So Tammy (another name change) begins to work with me and we go through a relationship 4th step and I see things way differently than I did before. I begin to feel free of the bondage. With my relationship with Matt, I realize that for the first time in my life I have a healthy relationship and that communication is key. Today I am learning what love is and what love is not. I am learning how to let someone else love me and to show me that, I am learning to trust, I am learning that not all guys are controlling and are not all selfish, I am learning that building a foundation in a relationship is also key. I am learning what space and boundaries are. I am learning how to be happy when I am alone, I am learning to bond with my dog Billie Jean. I got her Sept 2011 and today she and I go for walks, she cuddles with me, she is my best friend and my sobriety doggie. I am learning to be accountable to her. It's a long process and I have a ways to go, but just for today I am doing okay. I ran into my brother's wife a little over a month ago, (as I write today is September 14th, 2012. The Eric deal, the shooting all happened from 2010 until the present time.) So I see her and at first I am flooded with angry and all sorts of mixed emotions. Instead of attacking her with violence or words, I practice patience, love, and tolerance. I realize she is sick and trying to get better. I have to stay out of the way. I give her a hug, even though I don't want to and I keep it simple. I see her Mom and a meeting and I knew her Mom before she and my brother got together and her Mom has always been so kind to me and she was even after not seeing her for so long. And I got to meet my niece who means the world to me. There was a lot of damage done with all that happened with my brother, his wife, and the shooting, everybody was full of anger and some still are. Today my side of the street is clean and I can pray for God to help them to find their path and to turn them over to the care of God. All of us have been through so much, even you who may be reading this now. I may not know you by face or even by name, but what I do know is that if you have found your way into recovery, you are in the right place and the journey will not always be easy, but it will be worth it.          
Today I have many things to be grateful for. My sobriety, my connection with my Higher Power, my family, my dog Billie Jean, my boyfriend Matt, my friends, the fellowship, my job, my new place that I moved to recently. Much and most of all, my sanity and the fact that I can continue to see the sunlight, even in the midst of cloudy days. To end this chapter of my story I would like to close out with a video. "The Story" the Grey's Anatomy version. This song and Sara Rameriez singing it says it all about my life thus far. In this scene she is almost a ghost, not dead but out of her body looking at herself and her loved ones. Every time I hear this song and view this video I am reminded of just how far I have come in my life. I am grateful for all of it and we are all truly Unexpected Miracles who are fighting a great fight. We do recover if we have the capacity to be honest and to trust God, clean house, and help others. Easy does but do it just for today one day at a time. Thank you for listening and thank you for reading. One last thing, for any of you who are struggling, don't quit before the miracle happens and if ever you need a listening ear, I am always here. Love to all of you and God Bless. :)   Kellen