Voices for Recovery
I am a woman blessed with the gift of long-term recovery! I am also the woman who kept dying and coming back after a heroin overdose. The dreams that my addiction stole from me were restored, my passion for life was resurrected, and my purpose redefined.
In the beginning, I doubted that I could stay clean for 24 hours. Now, one day at a time, it’s been 27 years and counting. For me, the 11 keys that unlocked the door to successful, long-term, and thriving recovery are (1) surrendering – accepting that I could not stay clean on my own; (2) transparency with the people in my life; (3) joining a 12-step program, including having a sponsor; (4) seeking professional counseling that helped me get to the root causes of my addiction; (5) praying for and exercising the resulting faith; (6) utilizing the arts and creative expression that promotes healing from the inside out; (7) actively searching to discover and hone my gifts; (8) finding role models who encouraged and empowered me; (9) finding hope in listening to the stories and experiences of others; (10) forgiving myself and others, and accepting God’s forgiveness. I also sought forgiveness from the people I hurt – especially my son, who I abandoned during my addiction; and (11) perseverance – through time, consistency, love and patience, the wounds healed and my relationships with God, people, and myself flourished. Slowly, I earned the title “Moms,” and my three young grandchildren lovingly call me “Hallelujah Grandma.”
By God’s amazing grace and the help of the people who’ve textured my life, I am living my resurrected dreams. As an author of several published books, including “I Say A Prayer For Me: One Woman’s Life of Faith and Triumph,” “Walking On Water When The Ground Ain’t Enuf,” and “12-Step Programs: A Resource Guide,” I know that my words help change and save lives.
As a poet and performance artist, I write and perform one-woman shows about my journey. In 2012, I was appointed as SAMHSA’s National Honorary Chairperson for Wellness Week. Where once I existed in the land of “nevers”, now I live my dreams in the fertile land of infinite possibilities.
Hope is contagious! My passionate purpose is to spread it – one day at a time.