Dear 2020 – You Won’t be the Year I Relapse

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Hard to believe it is already the end of September. Even though each month seems like its been its own 365 days.

I love September for many reasons, one of my daughter’s birthdays, it starts everything-F-A-L-L!! And, because it is National Recovery Month.

I fought a demon known as meth. 

When I first got clean, each day counted, some days hours counted. If I could hang on one more hour, one more day, till those days added up to years.

The more time that passes, the more I just count the years, but ask anyone in recovery, every day counts!

I have a strong support system, an even stronger relationship with Jesus, and a toolbox full of tools that make my journey along the road of recovery possible.

It has been a good 11 years. Yes, some days were hard, but I didn’t let those days go on and on. I allowed myself one hard day. Not days, weeks, or months.

I am beyond blessed to help other addicts get started, stay on the path, and embrace a new way of life.

Like most things in all our lives, it was mostly smooth sailing. But then, COVID.

Then, like almost everything, it was hard.

Crazy

Painful

Not normal.

I received a phone call that one of my friends took his life. I was in shock and heartbroken.

Then a few weeks later, scrolling through social media, I saw where another girl had taken her life, too. 

I watched as far too many friends relapsed.

People were lashing out. Peace was far from the norm for so many.

And I watched my world become something like that of a nightmare, only I was not waking up from it. 

It horrified me. It made my stress level increase even more and thoughts of using myself seemed to find their way into my mind.

My world began to crumble. It hurt. I was scared. I suffered internally the worst way possible…..in silence.

I needed an escape.

An escape… I will forever know the best escape, or so my demons tell me.

I had not entertained the thought of actually getting high in over seven years. I even forget most days I ever was an addict. Yes, a song, smell, the look of someone or a place, may trigger a thought. But like I heard in a meeting once, “I am not responsible for my first thought, but I am for every thought that follows.” I HAD always been able to change my thought process fairly easily.

I was seriously contemplating making a few phone calls or going for a drive to find dope.

One thing addicts can always turn to in times of difficulty, fear, and stress is a meeting.

And meetings were shut down

For some addicts like myself, church is just as good as a meeting.

And churches were shut down.

Sponsors like so many others, could not risk a face to face visit.

Phone calls are good, but nothing compares to the overwhelming desire to look into other addict’s eyes and have suggestions shared that can SAVE YOUR LIFE, followed by a tight hug.

I held on. TIGHT. 

I retrieved my go-to trusted, tried and true tools. I even dusted off a few buried deep down in that recovery toolbox. 

They helped like they always do, but I could not get past everything happening in the world. My one day I have always allowed myself to have, had turned into weeks.

One Sunday morning while streaming worship service online I lost it. I broke down. I had to get away from my young girls as fast as I could. I could not let them see mommy like this. 

I ran to my bedroom, through the bathroom, and into our closet, locking each door behind me.

I cried. I ugly cried.

I pleaded to God for whatever help He would shower over me. I did not know exactly what to ask Him for, I just begged Him to do everything to rescue me. This was not how my story would end.  

My family members all showed up in my closet to love me through that storm.

I was reminded of how important my recovery is. Why I chose to stay clean. I grabbed my relapse prevention plan and read every page. I followed my own advice. I told myself there was no person alive that would be the reason I ever relapsed. Including myself. I would not give anyone that much power over my life. And I sure was not going to let 2020 be the source of my demise. 

I pulled myself out of that pit. I got out of my head and began to serve others any way I could.

Yes, I still have friends relapsing. Suicide rates are higher than normal, alcohol sales increased – so much turmoil. 

But I refuse to let 2020 take another thing from me. And I pray the same for you.

If you are in recovery, congratulations mama!! It is not an easy task at times. Know you are a ROCKSTAR and warrior. Look in the mirror and see the strength and worth that engulfs you. 

And don’t let 2020 take anymore from you than it already has.

Plus, knowing you stayed clean in 2020 is insurance you can overcome anything!! 

It’s tough, but you’re tougher.

 

 

 

 

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bethgentry
I like to color outside the box. House keeping is not my spiritual gift, but I love to make food for my friends in times of trouble, or just because! I love Jesus a lot and am constantly working on my mouth. My filter is extra small. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world to be married to my wonderful husband. My two grandsons are “Sugars” buddies. Bug, dirt, chaos and all. I probably love my dog more than most people. If you need a reason to smile, I will give you two! And if you hang around me any time at all, I’ll make you laugh, probably at my own expense. I’m a glass overflowing person 95% of the time, but I struggle with depression, which comes with being a former drug addict. I celebrated 12 years clean in December. I love to write, cook, laugh and craft!

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