Recovery Spotlight: Allison G

Hi, my name is Allison and I’m an addict.  I grew up in a household where drinking alcohol was an everyday activity.  No special occasion or reason was needed to drink.  It just was what we did.  I remember being 5 or 6 years old and my dad would ask me to get him a beer from his beer fridge in the garage.  I would open the beer and taste it to make sure it wasn’t poison.  Today I find that statement so ironic because alcohol was my poison, it would become the thing that almost killed me.  My whole life I was told I was a problem child.  I was hyper, angry, mischievous, and got in trouble a lot.  I did well in school and spent most of my time outside and with the neighbors.  Looking back now I can see I was running from my life at home.  I always felt loved but never quite complete.  I always wanted my family to be happy, but alcohol and violence filled our home more times than not.  When I was 12 my mom left my dad and my sisters, and I stayed with my dad.  The abuse stopped but the anger and confusion of why this was happening took over my mind.  I found drugs and alcohol took away all the feelings and I was happy high and drunk.  Thus began 20+ years of daily drug and alcohol abuse.  I was arrested at 14 on drug charges at school and entered a drug treatment program.  I lied my way through that and as soon as I was out my addiction took off yet again.  For 3 years I partied all the time, lied, stole, cheated my way through every day.  At 16 I met the father of my children who was 23 at the time.  Three months into that relationship, a senior in high school I was pregnant.  I wish I could say that pregnancy got me sober but that is not the case.  My daughter’s father went to prison 3 months into that pregnancy and didn’t get released until she was 1 year and 10 days old.  I graduated high school via a home school program and 6 weeks after giving birth I walked across the stage with my class.  I became a nursing assistant and although I was actively using drugs and alcohol, I was able to maintain that career for many years.   My addiction was hidden from anyone outside my immediate family.  My relationships with my family and friends were always surface level.  I was always unpredictable and quick to fight.  My mood could turn in an instant and I was abusive verbally and physically to anyone who was unfortunate enough to be around me when I was high or drunk.  In 2008 my children’s father had surgery and became addicted to pain medication.  Opiates took our addiction to a whole new hell.  The fighting and abuse went to a whole new level.  We beat the hell out of each other, lied and stole, tried to hide the fact that we were drowning in drug addiction.  In 2009 I gave birth to our second child and discovered opiates myself.  I realized how much they took away the pain that was my life.  By the end of 2010 I left my children’s father to be with a man who I got high with and my life would get worse than I ever imagined.  I began using heroin and meth amphetamines.  For 5 years my family watched me lose the career I loved, lose contact with all of them, and ultimately my oldest child who was now 15 was forced to call CPS.  I gave my children away October 8th, 2015.  Their father was serving a prison sentence as a result of his drug addiction and they were watching their mother slowly die.  From that moment until September 8th, 2018 I ran from treatment center to treatment center, halfway house to halfway house, and one overdose after another.   On September 8th, 2018 I walked into the same treatment center for the 3rd time in less than a year.  I was a shell of a person.  There were no tears or laughs, no will to live….the thought of death was more appealing than the thought of living any longer.  My 4th day in treatment I hit my knees and prayed that God either take me out or give me another way.  I could no longer fight, I had to surrender to something, anything else.  I went to a sober living in Keyser, WV from October 2018 to March 2019.  On March 1st, 2019 I came to Up & Out Sober Living.  In the last year I found that there is a life worth living outside of active addiction.  This program gave me the opportunity to build a foundation that I can stand on both in good times but also in the hard ones.  The accountability and structure here did not allow me to go backwards only forwards.  The love we have for each other is something I have never known before.  I have learned to suit up and show up.  More than that I learned that no matter what happens if I don’t pick up, I will overcome anything life puts in front of me.  I got to share my 18-month celebration with a sister who couldn’t answer the phone for years because she was afraid someone was calling to tell her I was dead.  I got to share it with my children who now trust that their mother will show up.  My oldest daughter knows that she does not need to feel guilt or shame for doing the right thing in 2015.  She stood up for herself, her sister, and her mother when I couldn’t.  I heard someone say the other night that the greatest gift I have is knowing the legacy I leave behind today is one of strength and grace.  My tombstone won’t read, “she had so much potential”.  I “GET TO” today.  I cannot express the gratitude I have for life today. 18 months achieved just One Day At A Time.

Tags: , , , , ,