Stephanie is in recovery from alcoholism and she gets to spend her life living in gratitude. Stephanie didn’t even realize she was dealing with alcoholism for many years. After all, her life didn’t start with any ominous warnings. Stephanie grew up in cornfield country where she says parties went on almost all the time when she got old enough to attend. She thinks her dad’s alcohol use disorder affected her, but she not sure how much.
There weren’t any perfect days growing up because her dad’s alcoholism and health went up and down. The alcohol addiction, diabetes, and a host of other medical problems took her dad’s life unexpectedly one day. It was a day they were going to be together to watch a championship game. Stephanie didn’t make it to his house to watch the championship game because she was drinking and wanted to drink some more. She found out later her dad died late that afternoon. You don’t know what Stephanie’s thoughts are about this, as she doesn’t speak about it again. But as she is telling the story, her eyes hold pain.
Drinking and Driving
Stephanie continued to drink and drink a lot she says. She never used any other drugs because her drug of choice was always alcohol. Stephanie worked at a job full-time as a General Manager in St. Paul, MN. She never drank on the job, but one day she did get fired. Stephanie says she doesn’t know why. Shortly after getting fired she got drunk and flipped her car over. The emergency technicians took her to the hospital but the hospital released her right away.
She does state it was after this accident, she had to go into a drug program and start wearing an alcohol monitor. After this, she got a job working at a restaurant in Green Bay. Because she had DUI fees she needed to pay, she had to tell her boss in order to get them deducted from her paycheck. Her boss promised to deduct her DUI fees and penalties, but out of nowhere a few months later, the police came, and picked her up for not paying her fines. She found out later her boss never sent in the fines from her paychecks, which he told her was a complete accident. She never knew if what he said was true or not.
Going to Court
When she went to court, the courthouse employees and the judge were nice to her, Stephanie says. They sent her home if she paid the back fees she owed. She borrowed money from family to pay the fees then walked away. However, she still didn’t quit drinking. Explaining this, her presence radiates happiness and you can see that recovery brought her to living in gratitude.
As she continues to tell us her story, she says she used to wonder why her family didn’t have an intervention because she recognized her own alcoholism. Knowing that her drinking wasn’t getting any better and was actually getting worse. Then one day, her loved ones ended up staging a family intervention, and she went to a treatment center. The problem was when she came out of treatment, it felt awkward to her to be around her loved ones. It felt weird because she started drinking alcohol again. She didn’t want to disappoint her family or the people who cared enough to talk to her about her addiction to alcohol.
Difficult Sources of Recovery
She decided to move in with some friends, but it soon became apparent it wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t a great situation to live with her two friends because they drank to excess. In what may be described as a last, great effort an effort to save herself, she started working two jobs as a waitress and living in a homeless shelter. She worked all jobs she could find, sometimes two at a time, so she had some money. In the meantime, she moved in with a guy who kept his money separate from her and wouldn’t help her with much of anything. Stephanie lived with him in the hotel room, and he decided this would be a good time to beat her when he felt like it.
Finding a Treatment Center
Although Stephanie knew she needed treatment, she often wondered why she was trying again. Her sister and friend, Deanna found her a new treatment center. Stephanie was willing to try, but she thought if someone else told her what to do and how to do it, her hair was going to catch on fire. But she did it, because she realized in her head, that she had to do it to save her life. Her sister and her brother-in-law ended up paying for substance abuse treatment, so she owed it to them and herself to graduate.
Her determination paid off and she graduated successfully from treatment. Getting through treatment is only the cornerstone of success in addiction recovery and living in gratitude. She got hired at the same treatment center to help at the front desk. Then fate started helping her. A friend passed her on the street one day when she was walking to work in the rain. The same friend called her later on that evening and told her he had passed her on the street, and he wanted her to have his car. It was a generous gift which she believes she needs to pay forward. Life and fate are allowing her to do that. Because awhile later her brother-in-law’s dad could no longer drive, so she gave someone else in need that car.
Living in Sobriety
She works in recovery now and along the way she got her driving license back. Her job in recovery allows her to see the different journeys all people who suffered from addiction travel. Stephanie says you can only stay sober if you keep open your possibilities. Working in recovery she sometimes sees the same patients over and over again. But, sometimes she gets to see them get married, have children or just get on with their own lives in a healthy manner.
Stephanie life is spent living in gratitude and she is staying sober. But she wants everyone to know there is nothing easy about living sober. Every decision she makes brings her further away from addiction or more towards it. There are so many things she wants she knows she cannot have, yet. Stephanie says she knows she can afford a puppy, but maybe not the upkeep of having one. expressing some sadness about that, she remains hopeful and looking forward. Every day, she gets up and tries to help others who are in the same place she once was. Today Stephanie is now living in gratitude and tries to think a step ahead instead of trying to catch up with life steps she missed along the way. If you are looking for resources or need help finding treatment, we can help – reach out at (866) 578-7471.