Contributor: Andrea Blume, guest writer for Gracious Care Recovery
My name is Andrea Blume and I started my recovery journey on February 18, 2014. For the previous 10 years I had been hopelessly addicted to heroin and pills. I had been to jail many times, and in and out of countless institutions, trying to get sober.
The last 5 years of my addiction had been spent on high doses of methadone and Xanax, living in my parent’s basement, wanting to die. I was no longer a human being. I had become just a shell of a person, a living zombie. I had no friends and was a burden to my family.
I never thought I could find the strength inside to get off those drugs and leave my familiar surroundings, but I was completely emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. I was finally in enough pain. On that bitterly cold day in February, I boarded a plane, from Chicago to Florida, for detox and rehab.
Time in Treatment
I spent 2 weeks in detox and then was transferred to an inpatient facility for 45 days. I had a very slow start to my recovery. During my stay in inpatient treatment, I became very resistant to the recovery process and refused to do any work on myself. My disease was telling me that I could go home at the end of my stay, instead of going into a halfway house in Florida, as I had previously planned.
My counselor, along with my parents made the decision for me that I was going to stay. That decision saved my life because that’s when I came to Gracious Care. The program here has changed my life and made me into the woman I am today.
Experiencing Structure at Gracious Care
I found the structure I so desperately needed in order to succeed at staying clean. The halfway house was beautiful and I felt safe and at home right away. I had no idea how I was going to get a job as a convicted felon and not to mention I hadn’t worked in 5 yrs. I didn’t have any of the practical knowledge of how to function in the real world like most people and the staff at Gracious Care taught me how to do those things.
Most importantly, they helped me build a resume and took me shopping for interview clothes. Also, they assisted me with getting a bus pass and helped me get to meetings. When I did get a job it was part time at a frozen yogurt shop, but it humbled me and gave me the discipline I had been lacking in my life.
From there I just continued to do the next right thing. I got a sponsor and worked the 12 steps, something I had never done in my previous attempts to get sober. The twelve steps changed my life because for the first time I took an honest look at my past and my behavior. Everyday day I made a conscious effort to do something to maintain my spiritual, physical and emotional health. All three areas are very important to maintain for long term sobriety.
Getting a Job and Finding Independence
Because I put in all that hard work I was rewarded a job working for Gracious Care. When I first got sober I never thought I’d be able to get a job, let alone a job working for a treatment facility. I went from no one trusting me or wanting me around to being blessed with opportunities beyond what I had ever imagined.
In the 16 months I’ve been sober I’ve also managed to get my own car and condo. I don’t believe I would’ve ever made it this far without having stayed in Gracious Care’s halfway house for over a year. I had to learn how to make friends and build relationships again with other women.
Living in the house helped me do that. I also attended their IOP for 6 months which gave me a wealth of information and a strong foundation to build on. Finding hope again after years of addiction isn’t an easy road but it’s entirely possible.
The faith-based part of the program gave me direction to my higher power which is the most vital component to staying sober. Sobriety has given me back my life. I never knew my potential as a woman until now. The gifts of sobriety are truly a blessing, and I thank God every day!
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addiction. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 17th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com