Stories of Hope – Regaining My Balance

I was born and raised in Hoover, AL where I spent most of my life. My parents divorced when I was 3 and I lived with my alcoholic father. I grew up in an extremely strict household and my dad demanded perfection from me. When I was 14 I started drinking and experimenting with drugs, they were my only escape from my dad’s unrelenting high standards. I went to college on a full athletic scholarship playing volleyball. I remember being more interested in doing drugs and drinking than playing the sport I truly loved. I quit the team and dropped out of school.

Once I moved out on my own, my addiction progressed quickly, I was doing everything I could get my hands on. I went to my first treatment center at the age of 17 but continued to struggle with my addictions for the next 20 years. I’ve been in mental hospitals, numerous detox centers, and multiple drug rehabs. The longest program I was in was over one year long and by the time I graduated they pronounced me “cured”. Three months after my graduation, I was doing IV drugs daily.

I have survived 2 suicide attempts and 3 accidental overdoses, the last of which was almost fatal. My life was spiraling out of control and my only relief was the same thing causing my constant chaos!

I had estranged myself from my entire family, especially my son and was not available or involved during the illness and deaths of both my parents. My daughter was born addicted due to the fact that I was unable to stop using during my pregnancy. I knew she deserved so much more than my hopeless life so I asked a family member to adopt her. My one hope was that she wouldn’t have to endure the misery and chaos that her mother’s life had become.

I was hopeless, homeless, and struggling to find my next meal or a safe place to sleep. There was no way out except through a needle in my arm. I was so tired of it all and wanted to die… This is when I was blessed with the gift of desperation. Who knew? It really was a gift!

I took a huge leap of faith and went to detox in GA where I didn’t know a soul. I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do. I only knew that I didn’t want to die, actually, I wanted to live.  I had no family support, no friends, nothing but the clothes on my back and that is how I walked into the front door of The Extension. I was broken and had nothing left but faith in God, I put my outcome in his hands and was willing to do whatever it took.

I have been in numerous treatment centers before, but could not sustain my recovery. The Extension offered me the missing pieces. Taking the drugs away was just scratching the surface. Since I’ve been here I’ve had trauma therapy, I’ve been given a better understanding of the disease of addiction, and learned the importance of the balance between the mind/body/spirit connections.

The Extension has shown me how to have lifelong sobriety and has empowered me to achieve this daily. I now have a great relationship with my son and hope one day to reunite with my daughter and my extended family. I know that without my recovery, none of this would be possible. When I first came to The Extension I wanted a safe place to be, today I can honestly tell you that I am that safe place that I was looking for. It’s internal now. I have inner peace, self-worth, and purpose. Above all, I love myself today and The Extension gave me that. Thank you for everything… God bless you.                                                                                                                                                              – Anonymous