My name is Caroline and I am a woman in recovery.
I can say this today with joy and gratitude and wonderment. My life has transformed – is transformed. Every day I get to walk in the light of a renewed life. My past has been redeemed and when I think about my future, I have hope.
It has been a long road. As a child, I wanted to escape life, always dreaming that I was somewhere else. I never felt like I belonged; and wanted to hide and be invisible. I was continually seeking for something outside of myself to fill a deep void that left me hollow and to the point of despair more times than I could count. I began using drugs and alcohol at a very young age and this only led to pain that multiplied: to trauma and broken relationships, to a hatred towards the world and my self that felt like it was poisoning me from the inside out.
But, THIS IS NOT WHERE MY STORY ENDS. Today, I am here. Today, I can say, I am a woman in recovery.
I am married to an amazing man. I am a mother to precious twins, a boy and a girl: my heart’s desire and truly a miracle and blessing from God. I have friendships and healed family relationships; a good job and college degrees. I have traveled around the country, learning what women in recovery are doing to support their sister’s transformations. I get to work with communities and organizations to meet today’s problems with real recovery solutions. I get to witness, every day, people changed like butterflies with new wings.
How did this happen? A loving God (who was there with me thru it all) gave me the strength to persevere. A loving God also worked through other women to show me a better way. They encouraged and loved me when I did not even believe that I was worth loving. I also found a community of young women who were seeking recovery. We supported each other, laughed together, screamed together, and worked thru the traumas of our past together. We shared our experiences of pain and isolation, the devastation of drug and alcohol use; and it was in this shared life that we learned it was going to be okay.
Today I share my story because I know it is possible to heal. A community of women have showed me – and show me daily – what it means to be loved and how to love, how to be a friend and how to be a friend to myself. Today, I live in a world that I don’t want to hide from – I want to be fully present. I thank God everyday for this opportunity and I pray the same for you, my sister.