An open letter to the strongest, most able women ever, from a woman in recovery

To the strongest, most able women ever:

When I first came to (Back Cove) Crossroads halfway house for women, I was transferred from the 28 day program in Windham. I arrived here after a long term of jail time for a probation violation and new criminal felony drug charges. Drugs had completely taken over my life. I alienated my family. Lost custody of my children, overdosed, and still every waking moment was obsessed with drug use.

I never thought I would be anything more than an addict. It was what I knew and what I was good at. My only source of income for many years. What would I do if I wasn’t an addict?

Many days I struggled with my obsessive thinking. My addiction fighting me every step of the way. Through seeing some women that were further along in the program and people at meetings, I began to see hope. They were people who had overcome some of the same struggles I had before me, and somehow they were smiling, successful and sober. During my stay here, I’ve learned that I am much more than an addict. I learned how to have healthy relationships with others, especially women (who I never trusted).

Today, it’s other women who have become my closest, dearest friends. I’ve learned to set healthy boundaries with others and for myself. I’ve renewed my connections with my children. I know they want a mother whom they can respect, look up to, set a good example and rely on. I have completed my GED during my stay here (something I never thought I would accomplish). I’m now in the process of starting college and having a promising career someday (goals and dreams).

Presently, I’m employed. I haven’t been employed for many years. It isn’t my dream job, but it pays the bills. I have my own apartment. I’m okay with living with myself without a man (what a relief). Today, there are many things I enjoy – playing board games with friends, just hanging out, planning trips and hikes with my family and friends, going out for supper, service work in AA and NA groups.

I show up for important family occassions. I’m honest, reliable and trustworthy. My talk matches my actions. I like who I’ve become.

I never again have to wake up in the middle of that cold, lonely, scary place of withdrawal, gripped tight by my addiction. I can breathe, smile and know I’m a success.

If I can change, anyone can. Take suggestions, no matter how dumb or how small. Speak. Let it out…let it all out. Work on you while you have the time and the support you need to get through this. Get a sponsor. Speak up at meetings.

This house gave me the opportunity to have Goals and Dreams again and tools to use to get there.

Yours truly,
Kelly T.