Monique’s Recovery Journey
Monique’s Introduction to Her Recovery Journey
My name is Monique and I am a recovering addict as well as an alcoholic. I am over weight from all of the booze and messed up metabolism from methamphetamine and opiates. Not only do I suffer from the “pick & pox” marks on my chin, but I now have a large scar over the top of my nose, due to a delayed reaction incident that comes along with strong prescription pain pill abuse.
The external scars will slowly fade. But what I am learning is that the internal wounds are way more important to fix. You can have all the money in the world, the man of your dreams, the fancy car, etc., but mark my words; until you get a grip on your addiction, true happiness will never be found.
My story consists of multiple heroin overdoses, a severe case of methamphetamine psychosis and two driving under the influence charges before I was of legal drinking age. Additionally I almost lost full range of motion in my left arm from nearly rupturing the main tendon. None of this phased me, or stopped my addiction.
I flew halfway across the United States to get help with only a suitcase and a few pair of shoes. I slept for nearly a month, only getting up to use the restroom and shovel food into my mouth, just to go back to sleep until I could get into Lifeline Connections; a well known treatment center located in Vancouver, Washington. These were what I believe to be the worst days of my life.
Where the recovery journey lead Monique
Today my life is in my higher power’s hands, whom I chose to call God. He does not carry me any longer, like he did during my addiction. But he walks beside me each and every day, sometimes even holding my hand. As well as being a full-time soldier for God, I am a full-time student at Clark College studying addiction counseling, working to get my AAS in social work. This is so I can work with other children of alcoholics and addicts. My life consists of pure joy, happiness and fellowship I never believed to be possible. I am happy to tell you that I just had the best Christmas of my life. Because I have been reunited with my father whom I thought would never speak to me again. I carry the message of hope whenever I am asked to do so and share my story with those who I feel want to hear it. God has blessed me with a gift to speak freely and openly about the struggles I have been through. I speak at treatment centers, the Juvenile Detention Center and just got the paperwork to get cleared, to bring Alcoholics Anonymous into the Clark County Jail inmates.
Reflection of the past
If you think my recovery journey has been all rainbows and sunshine, you are mistaken. I have stood in front of multiple judges to clear my legal wreckage of being on the run for five years. In addition have spent time in jail as the result of old charges from 2009 and I have even been homeless. None of which I got loaded over. Life continues to have its ups and downs but that’s the true beauty of it all. Without being to the depths of hell I would not know how amazing life truly can be. If I put forth the effort and go to any lengths to stay sober, a life I never imagined possible continues to bless me on a daily basis.
None of this would be possible without my higher power, both of my sponsors, Lifeline Connections and my brothers and sisters in a recovery journey as well. I have done absolutely none of this alone, because they told me I didn’t have to.
Lifeline Connections’ continuum of care
Lifeline Connections not only provided me a twenty-eight day residential/intensive inpatient program, but more importantly, they provided aftercare as well. Which I believe to be the most crucial part of a treatment program! With tools to cope without drugs and alcohol in intensive inpatient and how to deal with every day life and the struggles of reality. This week I will begin another chapter of my life when I step down to a Relapse Prevention group. It will take place once a week for ninety minutes for twelve weeks. I will then graduate the entire program if I stay focused on my continuous sobriety and remain teachable.
How it’s different
This is extremely helpful because (unfortunately), I have been through other inpatient programs. It was like being “thrown” back in real world. All with a pat on the rear end, with “good luck sister, go get ’em” attitude. Talk about one extreme to the other! Lifeline Connections gave me the opportunity to figure out why I was drinking/using, process my trauma and neglect as a child, get to my core issues and figure out who I really am. They taught me all of the tools on how to do so. I have met some of the strongest women I’ve ever met in my entire life over my past ninety-eight days of treatment and can honestly say that without these women I wouldn’t be where I am at today. And that God most definitely is working through these ladies and boy does it show.
A big thank you to my probation officer Amber that laughs with me. And to Commissioner Parcher for smiling at me, congratulating me and telling me to keep up the good work. I cannot say that I’ve ever had a judge smile at me…ever. Usually they were shaking their head in disgust and concern before sending me to Clark County Jail.
I have so many dreams and goals today, but just a couple are to get off paper so I can be a face of hope and go into the jail with Grace Ministries because that’s what this program is all about. Carrying the message. A big thank you to my Pastors Bill & Vicki at the Xchange Recovery Service. They continue to guide me through this journey and I believe that God works through them each and every day to spread the message of hope for people like myself. I am beyond blessed to have them in my life, as well as being a part of the church community.
There are so many more people that helped me along my path, but I have to voice that the main one is my awesome God. I have so much love to give today. I’m very proud to say that I only share that love with my fellow women in this recovery journey. Sorry y’all, but my heart belongs to Jesus. I am living proof that there is life after addiction. It’s okay to ask for help when you believe that you are beyond hopeless, and not worthy. Coming from a girl that couldn’t keep a needle out of her arm, was afraid to go to sleep, and wanted to die… I’ve come a long way, and the journey has only begun.
I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Just another recovering addict/alcoholic from Clark County sharing my experience, strength and hope. God bless you for reading this.
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