Friday, July 29, 2011

Perfect? Not me!

July 29

"As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving."
Basic Text, p.38
Our behavior toward other people in our life is a mirror of our behavior toward ourselves. When we demand perfection of ourselves, we come to demand it from others around us, too. As we strive to repair and heal our lives in recovery, we may also expect others to work just as hard and to recover at the same pace as we do. And just as we are often unforgiving of our own mistakes, we may shut out friends and family members when they don't meet our expectations.
Working the steps helps us understand our own limitations and our humanity. We come to see our failures as human mistakes. We realize that we will never be perfect, that we will, at times, disappoint ourselves and others. We hope for forgiveness.
As we learn to gently accept ourselves, we can start to view others with the same accepting and tolerant heart. These people, too, are only human, trying to do their best and sometimes falling short.
Just for today: I will treat others with the tolerance and forgiveness I seek for myself.
pg. 219

Wow I think I really needed to see this one today. I have a problem with everything being perfect and going my way. I feel that I have messed up enough in my life that I should do everything now perfect and not one thing out of place. This comes with a lot of pressure on me as well as others. I even see myself doing this to Kelli-who is only five-I find that I think she should act like an adult as far as when we are in front of people. But who am I kidding she is five, she is a child and she is going to act like one! It frustrates me that sometimes I forget this.
This also frustrates me in my recovery. When I am having cravings or made a mistake, I think I should be father then this, I shouldn’t feel this way. But I need to give myself a break. I have only been sober 9 ½ months. It took me 12 years to get into this mess I am not getting out in 9 months. I am not going to wake up one day and just magically not want what I lived for my whole life. It takes work. But I do have to say as an addict I am more comfortable with instant gratification. But my sponsor says that if I am uncomfortable with it now then it’s probably something I should be doing. Ug the wisdom of sponsors!
I am also not a forgiving person. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite. Someone does something and I think that it is the most horrible thing in the world and then I go do it. Well for example: my friend was doing meth, basically gave up her child for the drug and couldn’t see what she was doing to herself, family, friends, etc. So I kicked her out of my house and basically made her feel like the most horrible person ever. I quit talking to her, being around her and told the father of her children if they needed me to testify against her that I would in a heart beat! Yet here I was fighting my own demons. Not seeing what I was doing to myself or anyone around me. But I thought I was better because I still had my child and I was taking care of her what a crock of shit! Its things like that I look back on and say what the hell are you stupid? Yes I was! <- I’ll answer that one myself LOL!  But do I forgive her? Sometimes! But then there are the other times that I think what the hell is she still doing that for? Didn’t she see what happened to me? But I am judgemental and I am working on it. I still love her, I just hope that she doesn’t have to hit bottom like I do before she “gets it”. And because I have been there I wont turn my back on her like I used to if she comes to me and asks for help. I just have to be more forgiving all the time instead of some of the time.
Ug this working on your self is hard! I don’t like it. But it has to be done or I will not get any better. And Kelli will be raised in a house where there is right and wrong, instead of everything is good until you get caught! I don’t want that for her, that was not how I was raised and I don’t want to raise her that way either.

I might not be perfect. But I am better then I was!

Just for today: I will try to adjust myself to what is; not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.

Countdown...maybe up!

I am looking for a countdown (I guess it would be considered a countup) clock to put on this blog. To count my sober days, months, etc. I can not find one that works for blogspot. If anyone could help me that would be great! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mommy don't leave me!

So I was just going to let this go, but it is killing me, I feel so guilty! Tuesday I went to a meeting, after I went and picked Kelli up from my moms and we headed home. When we arrived home Kelli says that she needs to go potty “like really really bad mom!” so I open the door to let her in, she runs to the bathroom. I turn around and go back to the car so that I can get a few things out that I need to bring in. When I go back inside I hear Kelli cry and screaming for me, my heart dropped! I ran into my room and there she is on my bed, I run over to her and pick her up and looking all over for the problem (broken bones, blood, etc) I ask her whats wrong? And that is when my heart broke “I thought you left me, I couldn’t find you, I was scared you went away again!”
            I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what to do, I just sat there holding her.  She is so scared of losing me and with good reason I took myself away from her from 5 months while locked up! I can’t promise her that I am never going to leave her again because I don’t want to make empty promises, and sometimes with the court systems you can jaywalk and be sent back (just be honest-not blaming!). All I could tell her is that mommy is doing everything in my power never to leave her again.
            I feel so guilty! I did this; I can’t blame anyone else but me! I hide my addiction very well for 12 years and did not want anyone else to know about it and I did that until I was arrested. But the aftermaths of an addiction are almost worse then the addiction (for me anyways). I hate seeing my baby hurt.
            I am hoping that this guilt and shame goes away. But I think the thing I hope for more then anything is that when I am not where I am supposed to be Kelli thinks hey maybe she went outside instead of she left me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lonely much?

              So this past weekend I moved into my own house, just my daughter and I, and out of my parent’s house. Although I was excited in that fact that I am moving along and taking all the right steps to lead a healthy, normal, drug free life I cant help but feel lonely. To make matters worse this weekend coming up is my daughter’s weekend with her father, which is great for her she loves to spend time with him, but what about me? This is a very selfish question…but let’s face the fact now I am an addict, its kind of just comfortable for me to be selfish-I’m working on it!
                Kelli is going with her dad, my aunt and grandma that only live a block from me are going on a women’s retreat AND taking my mom with them! I will be totally alone this weekend and I AM SCARED TO DEATH! Addicts have triggers, and if they say they don’t they are lying. I have many but one of the biggest one for me is emotions, loneliness is an emotion that I have not ever been able to cope with (that along with many lol). So this weekend is something that is going to be hard.
                Well to be honest this week has been tough, at least I have had Kelli there and family just up the block, but I MISS MY MOMMY!!!! So Monday morning and yesterday morning I have woke up early-I mean really really early- to have coffee with my mom while we talked on the phone. When I was living with them I couldn’t wait to get my own place, not because I didn’t like living there, but because I wanted to feel “normal” again. Now i'm wondering if I moved to soon.
                I don’t want to slip and I don’t want to go back to that life. But it is a struggle everyday, sometimes we move faster then we think we should in order to look and feel “normal”. I need to realize what is normal to other people might now be the best option for me.
                But I have made it 9 ½ months with out any mind altering substances…I can make it tell the end of the day. Tomorrow we will see, one day at a time. That’s all I have to do right now is stay clean and sober today. Tomorrow is not here yet and yesterday is gone.
                I shouldn’t worry about this weekend I should take joy in this being my first weekend by myself and I can get a lot of stuff done…like getting my house in order and without so many boxes. Yep that’s what I’m going to do!

                I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday!

                REMEMEBER: Just for today everything is all right within me!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The other side of addiction!

             I know in my active addiction that I hurt a lot of people. After I became sober I realized even more. But after reading this blog ( I didn’t realize how deep it ran!
            To all those I hurt in my addiction I apologize profoundly. I can not change the past but I am working on changing the future.
            I want to thank my mom, dad, family and friends for standing behind me as I walk this road! I appreciate it very much and if it wasn’t for you guys I don’t know what I would have done!


            You guys are the best! I love you all!!!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

That could have been me

            So today’s blog was going to be about how life is falling into place and that I feel like everything is great for me at this point in time. But after finding out that Amy Winehouse died my whole blog changed.
            When I heard the first thought that went though my head was “that could have been me” and then sorrow for the family. Amy Winehouse was 27 years old, I am getting ready to turn 27 in a couple of months, she is an addict, so am I, although she was in her active addiction where I am a recovering addict.
            I have been out of prison since April of this year. I got the help I needed, it was forced but I still realized that I needed that help. There were 63 other women in my wing with me, some are back in prison and most are using again. I would say that there are only about 10-15% of the woman on my wing not using ANYTHING again. Thankfully I am in that percentage.
            Amy Winehouse has been in and out of rehabs so many times and was still using, most people would say well just don’t pick up. It’s not that easy. NA says many addicts will stop using when one of three things happens. The addict is put in jail, the addict is put into an institution, or the addict dies. Unfortunately those are the only options that addicts have if we keep using. I had to be put in jail before I reached my stopping point. Amy winehouse died before she reached hers. This disease is a tough one and is unfortunately not curable. I think the saddest part of this disease is that an addict can be sober for 10 years and slip. That slip can be fatal.
 It is horrible that such a young life has ended before it began, but hopefully this will open the eyes of other addicts and the same thought will run though there head “that could have been me”

 RIP Amy Winehouse 1983-2011

Amy Winehouse-Tears dry on their own (

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stupid Things!

My mom bought me a book called 12 stupid things that mess up recovery. I have read this book once already but picked it up again last night because I am having an issue in my recovery. As I was looking at the table of contents I see stupid thing 9: playing futile self-improvement games. As soon as I read that I thought “Ummm maybe I should read that chapter again.”
            Now I don’t know about “normal” people or other addicts but I have a hard time facing things about myself that I don’t like. Which is probably why I am having such a hard time starting step 4-made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves-and which is probably another reason I became an addict in the first place. I run from the truth. I distorted the truth and I twisted reality. I was the queen of self-deception and manipulation. Not something someone likes to admit about themselves.
            But in order to recover I need to fight the temptation to run away and be open minded and keep and open heart. In the book Dr. Allen Berger gives us examples of many common games people play in active addiction, I will just list a couple that pertain to me:

Helpless Harry: Harry is incapable of thinking on his own. He doesn’t want to make his decisions because he is afraid of being wrong. Harry doesn’t take a risk so he plays it safe and has others think for him. He never grows up.

Self-effacing Sam: His game is to always be wrong. He apologizes rather he has done something wrong or not. He is always finding fault in himself. Sam’s ploy is to manipulate others into telling him what a wonderful person he is.

            Looking back in my active addiction I can see many ways that I played these games along with many others depending on the situation. And to be honest sometimes I see myself playing them now in recovery. Dr. Berger also gives us recovery games people play (only going to list a couple):

Next Time Ian: Ian’s game is to do better next time. He lives in the future. He can justify and rotten behavior because he “will do better next time.” He avoids taking responsibility for what he is doing right now by making promises about the future. He is all talk and no action.

Let’s Just Get Along Louise: Louise wants everyone to be happy. She is incredible at minimizing and understating problems. Louise doesn’t want to see things as they are because it means that she won’t have any control and conflict may follow. Louise’s game is to avoid conflict at all cost possible.

            Reading this chapter again has been good for me. I can see what I am doing wrong and work on it. Recovery is a process not an event. We have to work on it daily, it’s not something we do once and we get it. Recovery is hard work.
            Dr. Berger says our game playing is based on a lack of faith in ourselves to be able to deal with life on life’s terms. To be honest I have been living with this addiction and lack of faith in myself for 12 years and I am sick of it! So it looks like I have 2 choices: Keep playing games (which will keep me emotionally immature, alienate people, and frustrate those who try to help me and myself) OR grow up ( which will be difficult and I will have to face emotions that I would rather run from, and be honest with myself).

            I choose to grow up!

            What do you choose?

Just for today: I accept whatever is put before me, knowing that acceptance is fundamental to spiritual growth.

12 stupid things that mess up recovery By Allen Berger, Ph.D. pages 67-79

For more information about this book check out this site:

Or to just buy the book go here:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I don't have all the answers!

I was reading today’s Just for today and I thought that it fit perfectly with an email that I received last night.


July 21
Surrender Is For Everyone

"If, after a period of time, we find ourselves in trouble with our recovery, we have probably stopped doing one or more of the things that helped us in the earlier stages of our recovery."
Basic Text, p.92
Surrender is just for newcomers, right? Wrong!
After we've been around awhile, some of us succumb to a condition particular to old-timers. We think we know something about recovery, about God, about NA, about ourselves-and we do. The problem is, we think we know enough, and we think that merely knowing is enough. But it's what we learn and what we do after we think we know it all that really makes the difference.
Conceit and complacency can land us in deep trouble. When we find that "applying the principles" on our own power just isn't working, we can practice what worked for us in the beginning: surrender. When we find we are still powerless, our lives again unmanageable, we need to seek the care of a Power greater than ourselves. And when we discover that self-therapy isn't so therapeutic after all, we need to take advantage of "the therapeutic value of one addict helping another."
Just for today: I need guidance, support, and a Power beyond my own. I will go to a meeting, reach out to a newcomer, call my sponsor, pray to my Higher Power-I will do something that says, "I surrender."
pg. 211

            Do you remember when you were a teenager and you thought you knew everything? This is what this Just for today reminded me of. When we first become sober we are learning all these tools to use in our lives to remain sober (our pre-teen years) then down the road in our sobriety we get comfortable-complacent if you will-we think we know everything and can do everything by ourselves (our teen years). When things get tough we don’t call our sponsor anymore or go to meetings or ask for help from our supportive recovering addicts. We are more likely to relapse and then it hits us that we can’t do this on our own we need help! We are sick and can’t not help ourselves, if we had cancer we wouldn’t expect to get better on our own will power; we would go to a doctor. And we shouldn’t expect our willpower to carry us though our sobriety.
            This brings me to the email I received last night, I was asked if I had a doctorate in substance abuse and if I didn’t what made me think I had any right helping anyone in recovery (just a summary of the email). I do not have a doctorate; in fact I don’t have a degree at all in anything. Unfortunately school was one of the things that I lost because of my addiction, along with many other things. Although I might not have a degree I do have my experience with this struggle. This blog is to help me as much as it is to help other addicts realize they are not alone. I am an addict trying to help others in hope to help myself. I don’t have all the answers nor do I think I do.
            We just have to understand this is not easy and we need all the help we can get. I struggle with this disease just like I have always done and many other people do. But today I know and choose a new way of life. I have been sober 9 ½ months thanks to god, my daughter, my family, friends, my sponsor, and other recovery addicts in the groups that I attend.
            To show that I struggle on a daily basis I am posting a journal entry that I wrote just the other day:

                        July 19th, 2011

I want to just say screw it and get so high right now. They say the longer you are sober the easier it will be, I sure hope that’s right, because I can’t do this. Sometimes I wonder if it would just be easier to go back to my old life, I didn’t have to put up with anyone’s crap because I could just tune it out. Now I have to listen and feel and it sucks. I don’t like to feel, it is the worse feeling in the world. People say “yeah but you weren’t able to feel the good times either” who gives a shit! Right now I would trade a million good times that I can feel for just one more time to not feel a bad time. I sometimes find myself putting that mask up telling everyone. I’m ok, everything’s fine! I just want to go to sleep and wake up and be ok. No more problems, no more hurt, just rainbows and sunshine (yes I really did write that in my journal lol)
(Note: Please understand that this was how I was feeling at the time. We go trough many ups and downs. Right now I am in a good place. It is amazing what talking to someone and just going to sleep can do for you!)

            There is no shame in asking for help. As well as there is no shame in being an addict. We are who we are!
            My mom has a saying that she always tells me “It doesn’t matter what we did or who we were it only matters what we are going to do and who we are going to become.”

            Who do you want to become?

            That’s all I have for today and in the words of Haystak “I stayed strong endured the rough weather, I ain't fully recovered but I’m doing much better” It does get easier!

            For more Just for today visit here -> (

            Haystak my first day (

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My story of becoming sober

This is my story of how I became sober. It does not go into my history of addiction, none of that really matters, what matters is getting into recovery and staying there. I wrote this as I was sitting in prison waiting to go home.

This is my story:

            I was arrested on October 4th, 2010, for possession with intent to sell. One minute I was high, having fun, laughing with a friend, and driving home. The next thing I know I have flashing lights behind me. I know I wasn’t speeding. My seat belt was on, and I didn’t think I had crossed any lines or swerved. When the officer pulled me over he asked if I knew my front plate was missing. Of course I knew and if he would have ran my plates he would have known too because it was reported lost/stolen. Now I know that the cops in that small town pull over people all the time if it’s not a car they know. But that’s of no relevance.
            The officer knew I was high and I was also on probation, so he asked if he could search my car. Being on probation you cannot refuse to be searched so I had to say yes. Having no time to hide the drugs that were on me I stepped out of the car knowing I was going to jail and in my mind trying to come up with some way out of it. The officer searched all over finding nothing, stepped out of my car and then grabbed my purse. I know I was done.
            In my purse he found my “tool kit”, 3.5 grams of methamphetamines, 20-30 empty baggies, scales, 20-30 unused needles, and a dirty spoon. I knew he found it because he dashed away from the car and towards me as if I was going to run and told me to put my hands behind my back and cuffed me. As he was leading me to his car he asked me if I knew what he had found, playing dumb I replied no. I sit in his car, thoughts racing though my mind, having no idea what I was going to do.
            “Ms.McGuire I found meth in your purse.”
            “What?!?” I replied acting as if I had no idea.
            “You didn’t know it was in there?” He asked looking at me as if I was the stupidest person in the world.
            “No, what do you mean I have meth in my purse?”
            I really don’t remember that much of the conversation after that. All I remember is watching my friend walk by the police car I was in, to another one behind me. At that time a tow truck pulled up to tow my car away.
            They took me to the station and started asking me questions. All I was worried about was calling my mom to have her pick Kelli (my 5 year old) up at school. Having to tell my mom what I was arrested for was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. She didn’t even know that I did meth, let alone drugs at all.
            I kept denying that the meth was mine. They asked me to take an UA. I knew that if I took it, it would come back dirty. So I just told them I couldn’t go. They gave me 2 cups of water and then sent me to a holding cell. Lying in the cell on a flat mattress with a full bladder that I couldn’t relieve for fear of a dirty UA, I cried. I felt lost, hopeless and scared.
            I prayed to god then, “God what is going on, how could you let this happen to me?” and other prayers to that effect. I have never been religious or spiritual. But I have always believed in God. I was what they call a fair-weather Christian. I prayed when I was in trouble or needed something and I only went to church on holidays if even that.
            After what seemed like hours of lying on that mat they took me out and put me in another cop car to transport me to the county jail that is about 30 minutes away, without their UA. I asked what happened to my friend and they told me they let him go.
            When I got to county jail they informed me that I was going to be on a 24 hour hold. If I was not charged in 24 hours I would be free to go.
             A lady led me into a bathroom and stripped searched me. I was so uncomfortable and embarrassed. They went though my purse and all my belongings and then threw them aside as if they were nothing. Then a call came though the radio that they were ready for me. Assuming I would be taken to a cell but instead they lead me to an elevator. I asked where I was going. They informed me that the judge was ready for me. Already? I asked if that was a good thing. The cop looked at me and just shook his head no. I was so scared. I didn’t know what was happening or going to happen.
            I was lead into a courtroom. Nobody was in there, just me and the officer. The judge finally came in after what seemed like forever and charged me with a class B felony possession with intent and sat my bail at 25,000 cash or surety. My mouth dropped. I didn’t understand how my bail could be that high for just a little meth. Still in shock of being arrested and then having such a high bond I was lead back to the elevator and back down stairs where they gave me my bedding and took me to a pod. I walked into a dayroom filled with 13 other ladies. They all just stared at me as I walked upstairs to my room to put my bedding away. I had to get to the phone, I had to get out of there. I hurried back down stairs and picked up a phone. Still high I had to figure out how to work it. Not very successful but after a time a lady came up and showed me how. Getting though to my moms house collect with my dad answering the phone seemed like it took forever. I told dad what my bail was and that I had to get out of there. They had to come pick me up now. They said with pain in their voice there was nothing they could do.
            I remember slamming the phone down, I was so angry. Nothing they could do? They could bail me out! How were they going to let their only child sit in jail? How could they do this to me? I sat down at the table and a girl looked over at me and asked me if I was high, and what I was there for. I told them no I was not high and then went into a long story of why I was there and that it wasn’t mine.
            Dinner finally came. 2 bologna sandwiches, no mustard, no ketchup, no mayo, just bread and bologna, a bag of chips, 2 cheap Oreo cookies and a glass of milk. Not very appetizing, although I couldn’t have eaten even if I wanted to. Meth has an effect on some people where they just can’t eat when they are high and I am one of those people. So I just went upstairs and laid on my bed and tried to force myself to go to sleep. After what felt like forever and probably was I went to sleep, only waking up to go to the bathroom and call home. I didn’t eat until I was there for 3 days and I didn’t really wake up until that long too.
            I begged my parents, tried to manipulate them, and tried to guilt them into bailing me out. They kept saying they didn’t have the money. So I tried my grandma-same thing. Nobody had the money and nobody was getting me out.
            I sat in county going to court every 2 weeks each time it kept getting continued. Everyday I lied and told everyone in the pod with me, even my parents, that it wasn’t mine and that I didn’t use. Everyday I was drained and exhausted and getting more and more depressed.  I wanted to either get out or die. Those seemed to be the only choices I had and I didn’t really care which one it was.
            My prayers were the same every night. “God get me out of here.” Yet still every morning I would wake up in jail and every night I would go to sleep in jail.
            I was in county for 3 weeks when I just couldn’t take it anymore and I prayed “God I know that what I was doing was wrong. My life was going no where, I don’t know how it happened or why I started but I need help, I need to get home to my family and my daughter. Please help me.” I was in so much pain and hurt. I had never been away from my daughter for that long. I was going to miss Halloween. Kelli’s first tooth was loose and a lot of other stuff I was missing. I couldn’t take it anymore. I sat there and cried with my bible in my hand. I asked god to give me something-to give me hope. That’s when I opened up my bible and the first passage I seen was Hosea 5:15 “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face, in their affliction they will seek me early.” I knew after reading that what I had to do. I walked downstairs and called my parents. My dad answered. I didn’t say hello or anything other than it was mine and I had been using. He wasn’t angry or yelling all he said was “I know, and its going to be ok, I love you” I know they were very disappointed and hurt.
            On November 1st I went back to court and they continued it again until the 15th of November. I told my lawyer that I wanted this done and over with. I was ready to go home. She told me she would do the best she could. So I was sill in county for another two weeks.
On November 15th I went back to court, my lawyer told me what the prosecutor was offering. I was in shock, but I took it because I wanted out of jail. They offered me 120 day treatment in prison, 5 years probation starting when I get out of prison, and a ten year back up. Could I have told my lawyer no, try for something different? Yes! Should I have? Probably. But it didn’t matter to me. I had been in jail for 42 days and I wanted out. I told my lawyer I would take it only if I got a furlough. We got up in front of the judge and I pleaded guilty. Seeing my mom, grandma, and best friend of 17 years in the court room watching me plead guilty in my orange jumpsuit with shackles on killed me, but I had to get out and really in all honesty I wasn’t thinking about anything but getting out. Thankfully the judge granted me a 30 day furlough. He told me I had to turn myself back in on December 15th at If I showed up late, showed up dirty, or didn’t show up at all I was going for my back up. I told him I would be there.
            I went back to the pod and started packing up my stuff. 3 hours later I was walking out the door. At the time it was just my mom and dad. My grandma and best friend had to get home. As soon as I got into the car I lit up a cigarette and started telling my parents how horrible it had been and all this stuff about jail. After stopping off at a gas station to pick up some cigarettes if my own and something to drink we were headed home. The car ride was quiet until my dad started to speak. I no longer had my own place, so Kelli and I were living with them. Dad told me there were going to be some rules. To be honest I don’t remember what they were or what all he said, I just slipped in my yes sirs and ok’s whenever it seemed appropriate. And was texting and thinking in my head, whatever you guys don’t really know what you’re talking about or what I “need”.
We finally pulled up in front of my parent’s house. All I wanted to do was run up to the door to see my baby girl. I will never forget the look on her face. She didn’t know that my parents were coming to get me. She opened that door, saw me and with this huge smile on her face yelled “mommy”, and literally jumped in my arms. I sat on the couch with her and would not let her go. She is the light and love of my life. I had just missed her so much it wasn’t even funny.       
But it didn’t take long for me to go back to my old ways. Oh sure I didn’t use and I have been clean since I got arrested and I still prayed and read my bible everyday. But as far as my attitude and how I treated my mom, family, friends, and really everyone else, it was no different. I had a sense of entitlement as far as I had a lot of stuff go wrong in my life. I felt my real dad didn’t want me, I was divorced, single, and a lot of other stuff that I could relate to my victim stance.
I yelled at my mom so much because “she didn’t understand” I knew I was hurting her feelings but I didn’t care because I had “problems”. I never stopped to think that she was hurting as much as I was, he only child was going to prison for 4 months. She felt about me the same way I felt about my daughter but I couldn’t see that.
Every chance I got I would go stay at my ex-mother in laws house because I was feeling “trapped” and “smothered” instead of feeling loved and protected like I should have.
I was getting ready to go to prison for 4 months I should have been spending time with my family as much as possible but my own selfishness prevented that.
            Then before I knew it December 15th was here. That morning my mom, me, and my daughter woke up to get my daughter ready for school. The whole time I was on my furlough I kept preparing my daughter for the day I left and now the day had come. While mom was getting ready to take us I sat with Kelli on the couch and told her that today was the day that mommy would be leaving but that I would be back very soon. It broke my heart when I seen tears well up in her eyes, I tried very hard not to cry. She understood as much as a 5 year old can but it was still very hard. After all of us were ready we got in the car and drove to school, mom and I walked her to her classroom, I didn’t want to let her go, she gave me a hug and a kiss and went into her class. I just wanted to stand there and watch her all day. But with tears rolling down my face I turned and walked down the hall with my mom holding me the whole time. How I could be mad at her and hurt her when all she gave me was unconditional love the whole time growing up and even now that I was on my way to prison. I will never understand that, the only thing I did know was that I was sick-not in an “I have a cough” sick but in the only way addicts could be sick.
We returned back at the house and I continued to get ready to turn myself in. Before we showed up to the jail we had one final family lunch with me, mom, dad, and grandma.
We pulled up in front of the jail and I was not prepared with my over whelming desire to run. During my furlough I tried to come up with ways to run, just Kelli and I, to take off, change our names and never be found. To be honest if I’d had the money I would have. Now sitting in front of the jail I wanted to just hop out of the car and run until I couldn’t run anymore. But at last I walked into the jail after saying good bye to everyone. I walked through the doors to the back part where I took a UA, breathalyzer, and proceed to get stripped searched, then put in oranges and taken to a cell until my trip to DOC.          
On December 17th they woke us up for breakfast and told us to pack our stuff; we were headed to Vandalia prison. I slept most the way there just so I didn’t have to think about going to prison. When we showed up to Vandalia all we saw were red barn looking buildings and the first thought I had was, well this wont be so bad, the buildings looked innocent enough.
            Inside I found out the true meaning of stripped searched, what they had in the county was nothing compared to this. The strip search, the lice treatments, the medical checks and all the administration hoop-la wore me out; by the time they took us to R&O housing I was exhausted and ready for a nap. They gave me my room assignment and opened the door to the day room that looked like it was filled with hundreds of women. I was scared out of my mind. I have seen a lot of things in my life dealing with what people called “the dope game” and I have never been scared until that moment.
            At that time I just told myself I will sleep away my time, boy was I mistaken. In R&O we could not even lay down, let alone go to sleep until , but we had to wake up for the count and then we could go to sleep and had to be up for breakfast at 3:50 in the morning. After we went to breakfast we could lie back down until but then we had to be up and awake all day. From we were allowed to lie down and sleep but that was it. And the CO’s, well if you were not getting talked at like you were stupid you were getting yelled at for being stupid. I was miserable. We got to call home every night so that was a plus. I talked to Kelli every night, I told her I loved her, I missed her, and that mommy would be home soon. Then I would talk to my parents. Most nights I would be mad and upset and hurt and I would take it out on them, very few of our conversations were good ones.
            I missed a lot while in R&O. I missed my first Christmas and new years ever. Kelli finally lost her tooth and many other things. The only way I got to experience these events was though pictures. And no matter how bad or how hurtful I was to my parents they made sure I had mail, pictures, and money on my books. And if that was not enough on January 8th my mom and dad came to visit me. Even though I was still distant it was a good visit and I did get to hug them and touch them, after 4 hours the visit ended. I cried. I didn’t understand why I treated them the way I did if I missed them and loved them so much.
            On January 18th at they woke me up and told me to pack my stuff I was going to be transported to Chillicothe Correctional Center for treatment. I was thankful for 2 reasons, first and foremost I wanted to get the heck out of R&O and second the whole time I was in R&O I continued to hear that Chillicothe treatment was way better then Vandalia’s treatment. All in all everyone said Chillicothe was just plain better than Vandalia. I packed my stuff and it was taken away. I went back to sleep only to be woken up what seemed like 10 minutes later for breakfast. After breakfast we laid down for a bit more and then at we left for Chillicothe. It took about 4 hours to get there. We were shackled the whole way. It was the most uncomfortable ride of my life.
            When we finally reached Chillicothe we drove into a garage-looking thing and were let out of the van. Again we started the whole procedure over again. Stripped searched, medical, and administrative stuff. When we were finally done the officers started to lead us to our housing units. We stepped out in the freezing cold and were face to face with many concrete buildings. It looked like something out of locked-up raw. If I thought I was scared before at Vandalia I can’t even describe what I was then. All I could think was “what the heck did I get myself into”. Chillicothe looked10 times worse than Vandalia. We were led to housing unit 4. We were told what wing and room we were in and then people from that wing came to help us bring our stuff in. they seemed nice enough, but looks are deceiving and I didn’t trust them at all. That night we went to our first group where they blessed us in. All 64 women were in a circle sitting on these stools called ‘buddies’, they went around the room saying their names and positions in the ‘family’. Nobody went by their first names, we were all Ms. Last name, when it was my turn I did what all the other new girls had done, “Hi my name is Ms. McGuire and I’m new.” In perfect unison everyone replied “Hi Ms. McGuire, welcome.” Followed by a series of short claps. All I could think was that they had put me in a cult. When it was finally over, I went back upstairs to my room, lay in my bed and started to pray “God just please help me get though it.”
            That was over 2 and a half months ago. Now I know they are not a cult but a family filled with sisters who truly love and care about you and your recovery. I have met some amazing women here that I will never forget. This program helped me grow up in a sense. I no longer blame anyone but myself for the situation I am in now. My parents and I have a better relationship then we have ever had. I no longer yell at my parents, each conversation is filled with love instead of anger and I look forward to calling home.
            I now know that I am good enough and that I no longer need to use to feel better about myself. There are times I want to use but they are few and far between.
            As I am writing this I have 8 days before I leave Chillicothe and go home. I am really looking forward to going home and having a fresh start. I miss my daughter more then anything and can’t wait to go home and be a sober mom. I now have the tools I need to do this and will be forever grateful to god for putting me here.

I know this story was long but I really hoped it helped. I have been out of prison for 3 months now. I have had my up and down days but all in all it has been much better then before. I have a good job, I have a car that is my own that I got myself by working legally, my family relationships are much better, and my relationship with god is much better. I thank him everyday.

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Hi my name is Brandi and I am 26. I am an alcoholic and addict and have been for 12 years. I am currently in recovery for Alcohol, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, and Sex. I am on probation for the next 5 years of my life for possession with intent to sell.
You might ask me; why I am putting this all out here on the Internet for everyone to see? Well, my answer to that question is that we can’t do this alone. Many addicts think that they are the only ones with this problem and that nobody understands them. I thought this at one point and I am here to say that I do understand. Also NA say that if we want to keep what we have (recovery/sober time) we need to give it away (help others). So I am here to give it away.
My story is not unusual in the addicts circle. I started drinking when I was 14. Then it turned into cocaine when alcohol was not enough anymore, then when that stopped working it become methamphetamine, with sex though-out. I will post my story on how I became sober in another post. 
This blog will be about my struggle with sobriety and hopefully will be helpful to other addicts. Feel free to ask questions and tell your own story I really hope this helps others.