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The Short Version (Because I'm Old!)

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Michelle, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Michelle

    Michelle Member

    My name is Michelle, and I am a very grateful recovering alcoholic and addict.

    I was a heroin addict for 18 years. From the age of 14 until I was 33, I was a drug addict, and alcoholic, a thief and a prostitute. In fact, if there was a law that I didn’t violate, it was not out of any set of principles or a matter of conscience. It was because it had not presented itself as a way to make money. I had abortions, I stole from my family, I habitually lied. I ignored my daughter and everyone else who loved me.

    By the age of 33, I had spent about half of my life locked up in one place or another: juvenile hall, home for wayward girls, jails and prisons. During that time, I had been shot at, stabbed, abducted, beaten, and raped. I had overdosed to the point of hospitalization repeatedly, and I watched numerous friends waste away and eventually die of AIDS.

    I can only thank God that He allowed me to live long enough to finally realize that I could get and stay clean and sober.

    Usually, when people would disappear from “the scene,” it would mean either that they were dead or doing a lot of time in prison. Every now and then, someone would disappear, and word would eventually filter back that he or she had “found Jesus.”

    When I would hear so-and-so was off the drugs and doing well, I would think to myself how lucky that person was, but amazingly, I never stopped to think that anything would ever work for me. I don't mean that I considered it and dismissed it. I mean, it never once occurred to me.

    It was not until more than a decade later that I realized that this was a symptom of my hopelessness.

    I contented myself with trying to remain as numb as I possibly could, just marking time until I could die. Ironically, I did not believe in heaven or hell, yet I wanted to die anyway.

    In the late 1980s, I was in prison more than I was out. At one point, I was out for two days before being arrested on new charges and sent back to state prison on a parole violation.

    I won’t go into the long, boring details, but I ended up leaving prison in 1988 and entering Delancey Street Foundation, a 2-year drug treatment program in San Francisco. It was a week before Thanksgiving, and I was 33 years old. I stayed there for 5 years.

    This was not a "wear slippers and pajamas" treatment facility. Delancey Street is what is called a "therapeutic community." That means that they yell at you and sometimes shave your head. They also taught me the very basics of civilized life which my parents did not: things like honesty and character and caring about someone else.

    I could go on and on, but I'll spare you having to read the whole lengthy story. :)

    Let me just say that it's good to be here.
    Jen S. likes this.
  2. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    Hi Michelle, I just want to say you continue to stay strong. You've have joined a very supportive group here. And even though you have a long story to share, we will be here to listen. Enjoy your stay with us;)
  3. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Community Champion

    I've heard of Delancey Street and from what I remember they have a high success rate. Some people need places like that that are more "boot camp" then day spa to help them. The hard core helps you to keep focused to.
    I congratulate you on your success. Keep strong!
  4. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    Hello there, Michelle! I can see that you have been through a lot, and I'm sorry to hear about the bad experiences. Nevertheless, I'm happy to know that you are now recovering and on your way to being clean. I hope everything goes well and remember that we're always here if you need someone to talk to.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    As always said, it is never late to turn around and choose other path on this life. Nice to know that you are recovering and always have hope that better days are coming. It is good to be in a place where you know someone cares and listens.
  6. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    Wow. You have such an amazing story! I hope you know that Jesus has forgiven you for everything! You are so strong and I can just feel the smile as you typed your story. I hope your story hits a lot of people as a wake up call beause I think that one day you are going to be telling a whole crowd about your story. It is amazing what Jesus can do and it is very apparent that he lives in you!!!! Good for you. I am so proud of you!
  7. Michelle

    Michelle Member

    I do, jackslivi! My testimony, from which part of the above was taken, is here. :)
  8. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    LOL! Michelle, that is the best title ever. Thank you for sharing your story, and welcome to our community. I can relate to a lot of what you said. It's stories like these that made me consider the possibility of living differently.
  9. Mallard

    Mallard Member

    Hi Michelle!! I'm old too!! LOL! And spent the better part of my life addicted to opiates and methadone and have been clean now for 5+ years. It's time for us to finally live our lives the way we were meant to, being free. I give you such props for coming out of the situations you have been in, and want you to know you I felt what you called the "basics of civilized life" in your post. I feel your honesty, character and definitely your caring for others, otherwise you wouldn't be here. Keep up the good work!
  10. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    Welcome welcome my dear"Michelle, post: 4914, member: 316"]My name is Michelle, and I am a very grateful recovering alcoholic and addict.

    I was a heroin addict for 18 years. From the age of 14 until I was 33, I was a drug addict, and alcoholic, a thief and a prostitute. In fact, if there was a law that I didn’t violate, it was not out of any set of principles or a matter of conscience. It was because it had not presented itself as a way to make money. I had abortions, I stole from my family, I habitually lied. I ignored my daughter and everyone else who loved me.

    By the age of 33, I had spent about half of my life locked up in one place or another: juvenile hall, home for wayward girls, jails and prisons. During that time, I had been shot at, stabbed, abducted, beaten, and raped. I had overdosed to the point of hospitalization repeatedly, and I watched numerous friends waste away and eventually die of AIDS.

    I can only thank God that He allowed me to live long enough to finally realize that I could get and stay clean and sober.

    Usually, when people would disappear from “the scene,” it would mean either that they were dead or doing a lot of time in prison. Every now and then, someone would disappear, and word would eventually filter back that he or she had “found Jesus.”

    When I would hear so-and-so was off the drugs and doing well, I would think to myself how lucky that person was, but amazingly, I never stopped to think that anything would ever work for me. I don't mean that I considered it and dismissed it. I mean, it never once occurred to me.

    It was not until more than a decade later that I realized that this was a symptom of my hopelessness.

    I contented myself with trying to remain as numb as I possibly could, just marking time until I could die. Ironically, I did not believe in heaven or hell, yet I wanted to die anyway.

    In the late 1980s, I was in prison more than I was out. At one point, I was out for two days before being arrested on new charges and sent back to state prison on a parole violation.

    I won’t go into the long, boring details, but I ended up leaving prison in 1988 and entering Delancey Street Foundation, a 2-year drug treatment program in San Francisco. It was a week before Thanksgiving, and I was 33 years old. I stayed there for 5 years.

    This was not a "wear slippers and pajamas" treatment facility. Delancey Street is what is called a "therapeutic community." That means that they yell at you and sometimes shave your head. They also taught me the very basics of civilized life which my parents did not: things like honesty and character and caring about someone else.

    I could go on and on, but I'll spare you having to read the whole lengthy story. :)

    Let me just say that it's good to be here.[/QUOTE]
    Welcome welcome my dear, this is a great community for you to be a part of and I am sure you will feel at home here. Your story was truly touching, it gives me a new hope for my father who is now 46years old. He spent the majority of his life doing crack and marijuana and I almost gave up on him completely until I read your story. Thanks for sharing, truly motivational.
  11. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    Hello Michelle. It is very good to read that you are doing so well and your life is much better now. God bless you now and always.
  12. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    Greetings Michelle,

    Thanks for sharing your very interesting story on this forum, that's one helluva journey in life! Hey, maybe you can write a biography about your experiences and get money from it selling the book or even pitch a film script about your life, because I've seen a few movies concerning ex-convicts that did this.

    Glad you are far better off now, because most people are not lucky as you. Be well and take care.