Cross-posted from Faces and Voices of Recovery
Hi, my name is Kelley. I can't remember my first drink or drug. They were always a part of my life. I was brought up around drugs and alcohol and they were intertwined with every feeling and nuance: love, hate, anger, fun, laughter, tears, and pain, both physical and mental. I started drinking young and then began getting high with my mother, once again learning that drugs and relationships went together. I learned to lie, cheat and steal and moved on to bigger and better things as I moved on to bigger arenas. In San Diego, I met a man and methamphetamine and fell in love with both, along with the needle. I lost a child and drug two more children through the dangers of ripping and running. We decided we were going to get clean and moved to Oregon, but wherever you go, there you are and there we were. After many showdowns and altercations, with various law enforcement agencies involved, it was time to call it a day.
I have now been clean and sober for 21 years and am a member of mutual aid group. I had the opportunity to go to treatment. I have gone to school and now help people like myself. Those two children are now grown with children and I had another "clean and sober baby." I have loved and lost, experienced growth and death and made it through it all clean. I have some clear beliefs: 1. I believe the 12 steps taught me a way of living, not just a way to stay clean. 2. I believe that I never have to use again-no matter what and 3. From where I started to where I am - I can't believe a woman like me, turned into a woman like me.
This post is part of the ONDCP Stories of Hope blog series