RECOVERY STORY OF THE MONTH!
Sobriety Date: June 8, 2018
My name is Jasmine and I am an alcoholic. My sobriety date is June 8, 2018. I have a home group, a sponsor, a working knowledge of the 12 steps, and, most importantly, I have a God of my understanding.
I was born in Lorain, Ohio to parents that divorced two years later. My mother and stepfather got together when I was five and we moved to Sheffield Lake. I always had everything I needed and almost everything I wanted. As a child, I was taught respect for others as well as myself, morals, values, to be hard-working, the value of an education, and how to be a lady. I also learned that alcohol was present during holidays, birthdays, concerts, sporting events, births, deaths, weddings and even some divorces. It brought laughter, happiness, and joy. It also brought pain and anger but I always forgot that part.
I was an only child until I was 12 years old and my sister was born. Somehow, someway, I became responsible for her and my resentment for my mother started to grow. Around 14 I had my first actual drink. I had tasted it before that but this is when I went for effect. I have always been a stickler for my education and all that started to change when I hit high school. I was skipping classes and I started hanging out with people who liked to do the same things I did. I was constantly getting grounded by my mom because I didn’t listen to her and I was always getting suspended from school until my junior year when I finally got expelled. My mother had had enough of me, we got into an argument, and I moved out.
My mother had had enough of me, we got into an argument, and I moved out.
I called my biological father and he let me move in. Throughout my life up until this point, he was in and out of it due to numerous incarcerations and his battle with alcoholism. I remember thinking that when I grew up I would never be like him and the sad part is that’s exactly what I became. He tried his hardest to establish rules and boundaries but I never listened. I always did what I wanted to do regardless of consequences. He finally had enough of me, my attitude, and my behaviors.
So I moved out. When I did, I met a boy. He became everything, and within a few months I was pregnant and within a few more we were married. We bought a home, he established a career, and my alcoholism took off. It was so bad that we almost lost our son. Fortunately we didn’t, he joined the Marine Corp and we moved to North Carolina. While there, I had a daughter and established a career. I didn’t drink at all while there, which made me think that we had only gone through a phase. Everyone does that when they’re young, right? We eventually grew apart and I moved back to Ohio with my two children.
My cousin let me move in with her, and her life consisted of going to the bar every night so I joined her. Two months later I sent my children to live with their father. For the longest time I said I did that because I was a good mother, however, the reality of the situation is I am selfish and having my two children around got in the way of my drinking.
This was 2002. From then on my life became a series of jails, institutions, and death. Doing what I wanted, living how I wanted, and not fearing or caring about who I hurt or any consequences. All that mattered to me was getting my next one and I didn’t care the price I paid.
All that mattered to me was getting my next one and I didn’t care the price I paid.
In 2013, I was sent to CATS (Community Assessment & Treatment Services) for a parole violation. I met an amazing woman that became my sponsor (only in name), and when I was kicked out (for doing what I wanted) and sent back to prison, she stayed in touch. She suggested that upon my release I go to a sober house. Up until this point I have never followed a suggestion, but for some reason I listened. When I was released from prison she picked me up and took me to the Jean Marie house. Walking through the door my intentions were to follow directions and to achieve sobriety, but that didn’t happen.
I met a man and he became my world. He became my higher power. I started lying, being deceitful, and being manipulative. I got kicked out and moved in with him and within three days I relapsed and died. I had awoken the beast. I am the type of alcoholic that the only way that I will stop is if I am put behind bars and that eventually happened. December 5, 2015 I was arrested and later sentenced to four years in prison. Here I am, 36 years old, on my way back to prison for my sixth number. For the first 2 1/2 years I was dry. I went to college while there thinking that if I did that, I would change. I didn’t do anything to treat my alcoholism.
On June 8, 2017 my father passed away and I had no defense. I drank. 364 days later I still had no defense so I drank. While sitting in the day room in prison on my sixth number a friend pulled me aside and said, “Do you want your kids to feel how you feel right now because that’s what’s gonna happen if you keep this up,” and something clicked. I woke up the next day and got busy. I became as active as possible in AA while there. I joined IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) because I knew I had a thinking problem and something had to change. I became active in the recovery unit. I wrote Katie a letter and asked if I could come there when I was released, she said yes, and that’s what I did. I’d like to say I followed rules but I didn’t, and two months later I got kicked out.
I’d like to say I followed rules but I didn’t, and two months later I got kicked out.
But this time was different. I chose to do what I had been taught. I prayed. I went to as many meetings as possible. I stayed in contact with my sober support. I got a home group and became active in it. I followed suggestions. I stayed in contact with my sponsor and most importantly I was completely honest with her. A friend helped me get a job and I eventually got my license and bought my very first car. I walked out of prison with 82 college credits. I was told that if I worked hard I could graduate college with three degrees in a year. I started in August 2019 and since then I’ve graduated with my associates degree in business management, community and social services, and criminal justice. I did it in under a year. I recently obtained my peer recovery support certification and I will start working on my Bachelors degree in criminal justice at the end of September.
My sobriety hasn’t always been easy and at times I’ve fought for it with everything in me. My mother is in active addiction and setting boundaries with her was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I did it and I stick to them. My children are both diabetic and for a two month period my son was in and out of ICU. I’ve never been a mother so to finally be able to be there was new to me. At a year and a half sober I got in a relationship. It didn’t work with us and two months later he passed away as a result of this disease. Luckily I have God, tools, and people in my life that helped me get through it.
I’ve always had a relationship with my son but my daughter was a different story. I just had to give it time. Today I get texts from her everyday. She wants me to be in her life. We have dinner dates and we’re going on a trip for her birthday. I’m going to be a grandmother in February and because of God and the 12 steps my son is excited for me to be in his son’s life.
I go to sleep every night knowing that I didn’t hurt anyone today. That my children and family aren’t worried about getting that phone call. This is the life that I remember praying so desperately for. To say that I am grateful is an understatement. I was taught many years ago that grateful drunks don’t drink and it wasn’t until I fully surrendered that I knew exactly what it meant. If I can do this, anyone can.