12 Step Planet - Michelle's Story ESH
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Stories about addiction and recovery, Clean and Sober life styles
My name is Michelle and I am 45 years old. Today I have 25 months and 19 days clean and sober. It doesn't matter what my drug of choice was or how much I used. The important thing is how I got to where I am today. My addiction started at a very young age. I was a functioning addict for 15 years. I could drink and use and still hold a job and function in daily life. I went through a divorce in 2000. That is when my addiction progressed. I went through a very painful time and I wanted the feelings of loss to just go away. I was fighting for my daughter who was 2 years old at the time of the divorce. I agreed to shared custody even though I wanted her with me all the time. I couldn't fight him anymore. The days I was not with my daughter I would drink or use just to escape from the feeling of missing my baby. I would drink or use anything to not feel. My life began to spin out of control over a period of 7 years. I lost everything by the time I was 41 years old and I was in the hospital and detoxes at least 6 times over the summer of 2011. I kept my daughter away from me because I knew I was no role model for her and I couldn't deal with the feelings of guilt. She was my life and I felt that my life was over without her. I became a shell, my soul was lost and I was just existing. I had isolated myself from my friends and family. I was lost. Finally in one of my visits to detox, I decided I was tired and I needed help. I called Phoenix House and was put on the waiting list. I called every day for 4 weeks. During that 4 weeks I continued to use and progressed further into my addiction. Finally, September 16, 2011 I ended up smoking so much of the drug I was using I ended up with carbon monoxide poisoning and landed in the hospital again. While I was laying in the E.R. with no one left in my life, I asked for Gods help. I asked him to save me. It was my last resort. All I could see was my daughter. And just thinking how she would have felt hearing that her Mother died from a drug overdose. I was not a religious or spiritual person. I layed in the hospital for 3 days on oxygen. I was transported to a detox for 3 days and I went through such horrible pain from withdrawals I could barely walk. I was then sent to another detox that I was previously at a month earlier. When I walked in I begged them to help me get into Phoenix. Finally after 8 days there, I was notified that a bed was available for me at Phoenix. I was an angry person and my emotions where out of control. I was nearly discharged at least 3 times for my behavior. But, I wanted my life back and I started to listen. My life turned around in that 7 months. I became me again, a better me. I went on from there to a few different sober houses. I started to work again within the first two months of completing Phoenix. I am finally in my own apartment. It's a small studio but it's mine. I have my family in my life again and the relationships are so amazing. I am close with my mother again and my daughter is in my life even though she doesn't live with me. It's been baby steps but I would not change anything. I am grateful for things that I once took for granted. Even small things. I do have ups and downs but now I have the tools to deal with bad days. I love my life today and I can laugh again and have normal relationships. I'm hoping some day I can work with other addicts and give them what I was blessed to receive, HOPE. Addiction is a disease of the mind, you can reach out and get help. There are so many people in recovery willing to help and the support is amazing and the friendships are real. You can have what I have. Just don't give up. It's all worth the fight.

Michelle