I have never felt like I was home. I spent most of my childhood and adult life seeking that feeling of safety, community, and connection. I tried to find that love in bottles, needles, pills, sex, relocations.
I searched to belong...to something, anything. I did not care what filled the hole inside me or how temporarily - only that it stopped tormenting me. I was hurting and didn’t know how to stop it.
I became addicted to several substances and that exacerbated my then undiagnosed mental health conditions. I hid behind my addiction, building walls and using it as my escape. Using was my coping tool.
Even in my addiction, I knew I wanted more out of life.
I attended several treatment programs and tried so many groups. I moved to countless states, which served both to run away from my sobriety and look for a healthy support network. Everywhere I landed, I felt like an outsider.
I was the hurting pinky toe that never quite heals and is always crooked.
In March of 2020, my travels landed me in Statesboro, GA. I didn’t know then what a surprise I was in for. If I had known, I may have tried to avoid it lol.
I began attending Celebrate Recovery straight away. One of the first times I attended, Catherine was the speaker. Man, she spoke to me. She didn't know me, and here she was loving me, giving me hope, and lifting me up. She pierced my soul that day. This woman, by telling her story, gave me a spark for recovery again...a hope that I could live sober and deal with life...and dare I say...be happy?!
She invited me to FTR...which I eventually found my way there. I felt so awkward...I came to the building in the middle of a meeting (unbeknownst to me at the time). I was greeted with love. No sneers for interrupting, no jeering for looking like a deer in the headlights, no judement for nervously sitting by the door so i had quick access to an easy escape route. Just love.
I was in trouble and I knew it.
I found my home. I found my family.
And that scared the shit out of me.
In FTR, I’ve found sobriety.
I relapsed after 10 years of sobriety with the rise of COVID - 19. I turned to FTR with a cry of pain. I found love. I found my people. I don’t feel like an outsider anymore. I’m learning, through the groups and connections, how to live sober, be a responsible adult, and a better person. I am learning how to help others and that's given me purpose and hope. I lead a few meetings now.
I am home. I am loved. I am supported and connected. I am in reovery from my dual disorders. FTR and all the people in the groups are precious. They are my family. I would not be alive today without them.
Thank you. I love you.