Following is a story of recovery written by a Crossroads client. Alex completed Crossroads’ Children And Mothers Program (CAMP) in Windham, Maine. Her words have been slightly edited for this post.
I had been living a nightmare for a long time. Living years with sexual abuse as a child, my innocence was taken. After the sexual abuse, I struggled with self-harm, living with a secret kept from those who loved me most.
Time passed, scares faded, but the pain was still very real.
I started abusing pills, small at first (hydro, percs). I liked it a lot. My use didn’t take long to get out of control. Needles had always been a fantasy. I was soon dependent.
I ended up with a man who was less than desirable. Again, I struggled with years of abuse combined with substance use. Fifteen years living with pain.
I ended up on life support and almost didn’t make it to 23-years-old. I swore I would never use again if I made it out of that bed.
We all know how that worked out. It didn’t.
The use continued along with the bad relationships. I ended up pregnant and thought I had met my calling to clean up my act. “White knuckles” as they put it in treatment. My counselor had tried to get me to come to Crossroads for years, but I had every excuse.
After my last relapse, I knew what would happen. I lost my apartment, my car was repossessed, and I should have lost my job. I finally broke down and came to Crossroads. To top it off, they called me month early. Great, right? I was less than impressed, but I went.
At first, I was so scared about the unknown. My kids came down with me. I have a one-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son who are my complete world. I have had such an amazing experience.
It sucks at first, I’m not going to kid with you, but once you meet people and get to know the ropes, it gets better. I learned to think, really think, about what I needed to change about myself. I learned to accept things as they came “just for today.” I thought this was a joke at first but they are words to live by. Words to keep you sober.
The meetings were amazingly powerful to see that many people work the steps and truly embrace being sober. This gives even the worst cases hope for the future.
The things I will take from Crossroads are acceptance for who I am (and being OK with that) and self-confidence, which was stripped away from me for years. A new way of life, which carries with it a happiness I haven’t felt in forever.
Good things do happen to those who continue to make them, even if it’s “just for today.”