44 year old woman – over 20 years abuse – 7+ years sober
Confession time…while I am excited to kick off Pink Cloud’s Freedom Interview series, I was nervous about interviewing BLESSED regarding her substance abuse. Maybe I didn’t want to trigger any sadness or regrettable memories. I was delighted and admittedly surprised by the confidence and solidity she answered with and the dominate emotion that came through was joy.
It’s my greatest hope that her words, experience, and sharing will inspire you.
How old were you when you began your relationship with substance abuse?
About 14 when I started. 17 when I began using daily with the exceptions of my pregnancies.
What was your substance of choice and how often?
Marijuana daily and alcohol binging on weekends. Alcohol was more social, but I wouldn’t stop with just a drink or two and basically drank until the alcohol was gone. I usually got a really bad case of the hiccups that I couldn’t stop for anything or I would be way past drunk. I binged with alcohol routinely on weekends. Typically a Friday so I could recover for work on Monday. I would be deathly sick and do it again the following weekend for over 20 years.
When did you realize there was a problem with your using?
With weed it was within the first year I started using daily. I kept trying to manage it and knew it was managing me. The drinking was evident by the way I used it and would get deathly sick and do it again the next weekend. It was fun?
What were some of the strategies you tried to quit or manage your substances?
I would set limits that I never kept. Pot was hardest because I did it by myself in my home. Like I said drinking was more social and easier to avoid.
How did it disrupt or interfere with your life?
The most pain I experienced from my substance abuse was the relationships with my kids. Even though I was there in body, I was absent.
I didn’t know how to communicate or relate with other people. I had low self-esteem and didn’t trust anyone. I didn’t know how to have healthy relationships…friendships.
How long have you been free from substance abuse?
I stopped smoking weed completely in 2006. And I haven’t gotten drunk since 2003/2004? I can’t even remember. I have a very occasional drink, like a “spiced” cider. Just one, I don’t like the feeling anymore than that gives me.
How did you break free from the hold of substance abuse?
Honestly, one day in the shower, I cried out and asked God to take it from me. I wasn’t a church going practicing Christian or anything. I just had enough. I was done. Actually, just the day before I was resigned to smoking pot for the rest of my life and that life was as good as it was going to get.
There are many experts that say most people simply mature out of the behavior and it just so happens to be whatever program or antidote they are engaged with at that time, they give credit to. What do you say about that?
I think it’s partially true. But I can’t help but be convinced that I called out His name for help and my using days have been over since.
What do you do to maintain your sobriety?
I just keep moving. Resolved that this is my life to live. I am conscious with who I spend time with and only with people who lift me up. And simply…one foot in front of the other. I started attending church regularly in 2009 and have found it fills many of my needs. To name a few it provides opportunities to be of service, have community, and grow spiritually.
What’s the greatest gifts of living in freedom?
The relationships. Being able to communicate well with others. My personal growth as a woman – maturing. My life to LIVE!
What’s one word that sums up your sobriety?
End of interview…
Thank you Blessed for sharing your story. You are inspiring!
If you are now living in “FREEDOM” and would like to contribute to our healing community by sharing your story, please contact me with Freedom Interview as the subject.
– Teresa Rodden, Certified Life Coach