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"Those people"- 2019 Graduate Story

Addiction comes in many shapes, sizes and professions. It does not discriminate, it lures you in and slowly, quietly takes over your life.  You rationalize that you have REAL reasons to be taking these meds.  You tell yourself, “Self, I have documented PAIN, verified by several physicians." You rationalize over and over again until reality slaps you in the face.  But even then pride tells you I’m not like THOSE people.  

You tell yourself, “I got this. I’m smarter, stronger, more educated than THOSE people.” THOSE people were my patients, the ones that I cared for, cried with, medicated and eventually learned to despise because they reminded me too much of myself.  You see my addiction didn’t snatch me up in my 20’s or 30’s like the majority of my peers here, oh no, it was there like a predator waiting for me in the middle of my nursing career.  I could blame all the sorrows that life deals out IE: my brother’s deaths, a miserable marriage, divorce, chronic pain, job changes, loss of my parents and moving from one location to another.  You know, LIFE.  Some might even say, “Who could blame you? It’s not your fault.  It’s a disease.”  Right… The truth is I was spiraling out of control, trying to fill the emptiness inside with anything that would numb the loneliness, bitterness, anger, regret, and pride I felt.  And trust me when I say I tried EVERYTHING: food, alcohol, pills, shopping, travel, smoking and yes, at my age, even sex!  All the while knowing that Jesus Christ was knocking. Yes I knew I was being convicted but because of my rebellious spirit I was going to do things MY WAY. Well, God had other plans for me.  

On November 15th, 2018, I received the phone call that would change my life.  My daughters were on the phone informing me to get help or they were finished.  And what that meant would change my life forever. You see my daughters and my grandchildren are the very best thing in my life.  My love for them is unconditional and without them in my life I knew my own demise would be near.  Because of Gods beautiful grace, love, plan and design I was able to find my way to Through The Gate. It took a girl from MO who moved to AZ to befriend my sister, who counseled with a woman, who had met Steve, that lives in Indiana who just happened to run a rehab.  Yeah it was all a coincidence (HAHAHHAA). A woman I didn’t even know, would be my stepping stone into TTG. On November 19th I entered TTG agreeing to only stay 30 days.  Well 30 days turned into 60, then 90, and then oh what the heck?  I really want that ring and quilt (graduation memorandums)! OK I’ll stay, but I won’t…and I’m not going to…and nobody is going to tell me what to do… Well they did.  And I let go. A little. And God began His work in me: transforming the stubborn, prideful, arrogant, selfish heart that was too old for change.  

These past few months have been truly extraordinary. Who else at age 59 can say they were put in a room with 12 other ladies to sleep on bunkbeds and then be told I could have my cell phone back in 3 months…WHAAAAATTTTTT???????  When I started to view TTG as an opportunity and not a punishment, my heart and life truly began to transform and change.  I will not only take with me all that I have learned through our classes at “Jesus Boot Camp”, but also the memories I will always cherish, the friendships that were made, and the songs and laughter that hopefully will torment these girls for the rest of their lives. To Steve, Janet, Jason, Bella and Lindsay I say thank you for your devotion, love, patience, forgiveness and sternness.  You are all truly God anointed people.  I also want to thank my daughters for loving me through everything. To my son-in-laws for being there for my daughters, to Angie, my BFF, for always reminding me that Jesus isn’t sick of me.  But most of all to God for choosing me and loving me enough to give me another chance. I love you all.

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