My lifestyle during active use was very dark. There were no limits as to what I would do to obtain my next high. I had used every substance in any manner that I could. I was a human garbage disposal. I was incapable of feeling comfortable in my own skin. As the years passed by, I was not chasing the high anymore, I was chasing the escape from myself. My soul was empty and my will to live was long gone. As bad as it all was, I would not change one single thing about my past.
On November 9th, 2015 I chose to surrender. I could no longer live the way that I had been. I found my way to a twelve-step meeting feeling defeated. I raised my hand with tears in my eyes and claimed my seat. I told them that I did not want to live this way anymore, but I did not know what to do or how to do it.
Following the meeting, many women approached me and provided me with a meeting list that had their names and numbers on the back. I finally was willing to do whatever it would take to stay clean, one day at a time. I contacted the women on that list, I attended meetings regularly, I bought the literature and read it, I got a sponsor and did the twelve steps with that sponsor, and I chose recovery every day 24 hours at a time.
Today, I am grateful to be alive.
I participate in that 12-step program and do service for them at many different levels. I volunteer cleaning up downtown Portland with an organization called Young People in Recovery. I have gone into jails and institutions to share my recovery story and to give back what was so freely given to me. I have helped place people into detoxes all over the state while volunteering for Operation Hope. I am a Certified Recovery Coach. I have been asked to speak all over the country to share a message of hope and the promise of freedom.
The daughter who I had abandoned for three-and-a-half-years, the one who at one point called me by my name, is at my house four days a week to do distance learning and today calls me Mom. She presented me with my four-year medallion.
I had to wait two-and-a-half years into my recovery before I was able to have my first overnight visit with her. It was worth the wait.
The bachelor’s degree that I failed to receive after attending two semesters and flunking out, I have now redeemed myself by returning to school only to achieve A’s in every single class upon my return.
The credit score that I destroyed in active use I have brought up over 200 points since I have started my new life. These things are only a small fraction of the milestones that I have achieved.
Today, I am a mother, a student, a volunteer, and a daughter. I am employable. I am a goal crusher. I am a dreamer. I am a person in long-term recovery who is a productive member of society.
My name is Eleanor, and I love who I am today.