Day 365
May 11, 2021

Hi my name's Emily and I'm an addict.

I’ve debated on what to say when I reached this milestone.  First I want to give all the glory to God.  I wouldn't be here without him.  His love, and his grace saved me.  I've always had this void inside me, and I've tried everything in the world to fill it, but only His love can.  I want people to open their eyes and realize addiction can happen to anyone.  

Addicts aren't worthless.  Being homeless doesn’t make you less of a human being.  Having mental health issues doesn’t make you less of a person.  Struggling is a part of life, some of us just struggle in different ways.  But at the end of the day, Jesus died for the homeless drug addict just like he died for the church going CEO.  

My fight for my sobriety wasn't an easy one. Addiction consumed my life.  If you ask my mother she could tell you drugs took a serious toll on her life, and she wasn't even the one using. Instead of talking about the battles I've been through, I want to say thank you.  

Thank you to the friends and family that prayed for my life while I tried to end it.  

Thank you to my mom who had to make tough choices and had to turn her back on me to help me realize I needed help. 

Thank you to my dad who held my hand with love as he watched me slip away.  

Thank you to the friend who begged for me to come back to her because I wasn't even recognizable. 

Thank you to my sister who always flushed my dope when she found it.  

Thank you to my best friend (and now husband) who helped me detox for the last time before reaching this milestone. 

Thank you to the grown coworker who never turned her back despite her job title, and shared her story to help me with my struggle.  

Thank you to the boss, who knew I was worth more than what I was doing, and  fought to keep my job while I went and got help.  

Thank you to the coworker who was in recovery and welcomed me with a smile every morning even though I sat next to her shaking from withdrawals. 

Thank you to my first sponsor who got up at wee hours in the morning to get me from the hospital multiple times and even physically chased me down the streets as I ran from her loving help.  

Thank you to the detox worker who stayed late on his shift just to help me and washed my shoes and clothes many times to get the smell of homelessness and crack out of them.  

Thank you to my mother's friend who left me a voicemail in tears just begging to let my family know I'm alive.  

Thank you to the facility that let me come back over and over again.  

Thank you to my lawyer who told me he wouldn't fight for my freedom, if I refused to even fight for my life. 

Thank you to the judge who had mercy on me and thought rehabilitation was better for me than a life behind metal bars.  

Thank you to my second sponsor who worked endlessly to get me through the twelve steps of NA in a small amount of time.  

Thank you to the room mate I had in detox who held me tightly and said she could finally sleep knowing I wasn't sleeping on the streets anymore.  

Thank you to the old women at the soup kitchen who stood up for me on Christmas as some rude people threw trash at me while I ate because I was a "worthless addict".  

Thank you to the bystander who took me to McDonalds to get something to eat as I was digging in the dumpster for trash because I spent every penny I had on heroin.  

Thank you to the homeless man who gave me the shirt off his back so I could cover up as I slept on the sidewalk.  

Thank you to the facility worker who told me everything I needed to hear including to deflate my ego but never once judged my dark secrets I shared.  

Thank you to the people in recovery who took the time to search for me while I hid behind dumpsters smoking crack.  

Thank you to the high school best friend who held my hand telling me she loved me but couldn't be around me anymore because my love for meth was too great for her to watch anymore.  

Thank you to the school board who heard my pleas while I fought to get back in college even though I broke every rule the school had.  

Thank you to the nurse who helped save my life as I fought her because I just wanted to die.  

My thank you list could go on for miles.  I could sit here and type a thank you to each person who never once gave up on me.  If you ever helped me, believed in me, wrote me, prayed for me, called me, held my parents in the darkest time, loved me when I couldn't love myself.. thank you.  I have so many emotions as I celebrate my one year drug free. But the biggest thing I feel today is gratitude.  Gratitude for the kindness, for God's mercy, for the lessons, for the open arms, the loving words, the people who never left me, never gave up hope that one day I'd return to the person they knew I could be.  I hope to shed light on the issue of addiction, to give people hope that there is life after addiction.  We do recover.  And I choose to recover loudly so others don't have to die in silence. 

Today I woke up grateful.  I finished up my finals for college, worked on my garden with my boys, and am going to bed.  I wouldn't trade my life for anything.  All thanks to those who helped and our almighty God. #wedorecover

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