Carmen’s Post: Today is my half-birthday

4/22/16: Today is my half-birthday. My six month mark in my journey of recovery. It’s the adventure I’ve always dreamed about only I never looked at it this way before.

I started from nothing and left everything I know and love to take on a quest of saving someone I had only hoped was still there. I’ve fought demons and monsters inside of me I’ve been alone and scared, I’ve lost a loved one along the way, I’ve been so low at times I feel like I barely dragged my body on, I’ve been faced with life changing decisions and based on my new found knowledge I chose the right paths, and I’ve chosen the wrong ones but was able to turn around and start over. I’ve made allies and I’ve trusted enemies but every time I’ve learned and I kept fighting.

I trusted in my faith and it led me to the place I’ve been searching for. To the girl I’ve been searching for.

I don’t know if there is a happy ending to this story because for once I’m enjoying the happy beginning.

Thank you to all of my supporters, my family, and my friends. No hero ever got by without some help along the way. To you all I am grateful.

Painted by Carmen’s mom, Laura: I was inspired by the Hope Rising and Phoenix theme, enough to paint from my imagination, which I can rarely do. It’s still in progress, but strangely, it looks like Carmen. I just sent her a picture of it and told her she is my Phoenix and that I’m truly inspired by her commitment to her sobriety.

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Hope Rises

I’ll never forget my conversation with this young lady in her mom’s kitchen. She curled herself up, knees to her chest, arms wrapped around them perched on a kitchen chair, sometimes dropping her head onto her knees, sometimes suddenly extending all her extremities out at once saying, YES! And explaining to us what she was going through in active addiction. Her pain was raw, her honesty was brutal. For her mom and me, it was a new glimpse into a world we can only try to understand.

If you pause and listen to those addicted, you will learn so much.

She told us of her pain, the life controlled by pills, heroin, the next fix. The physical pain each time she tried to quit. The emotional pain of knowing her family suffered and worried. The mental pain of losing control of her own life.

She told us of her fears – fears that the rest of us who have never been addicted would never guess and have a hard time understanding. Without the glimpse into her world and her mind, we could never fathom.

She said, “What if being sober isn’t any better?” “What if I go through all of this, I work so hard to get sober and then 6 months down the road, I die in a car crash? Then, what would have been the point?” She said she feared finding out who she really is because it had been so long since she was a person not under the influence or control of a substance.

This young lady from upstate New York who had never flown before decided to be brave beyond measure, to face those fears and get on a plane and fly to Phoenix Arizona to be picked up by a stranger and taken to a treatment center to find out the answers to all of these questions.

Hearing from her, reading her posts, watching her journey gives us strength and hope to carry on. We are adding a page to our site called “Hope Rises” in her honor from a post she made with the S.A. Sachs’ quote, “Hope rises like a Phoenix from the ashes of shattered dreams.” On it, we will share posts from her in addition to the recovery stories others submit. You can share your story of hope too. Click on Share Hope on our home page.

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