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On this journey...

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You may not relate to everything I say and you may not identify with my story, but I hope to inspire or touch someone here tonight.

What it was like. Growing up with an alcoholic mother and an absent father didn't seem so bad. I didn't think I deserved anything more than that, but as far back as I can recall, I dreamed of something better. A different mom sometimes and even though my dad walked away from us he was all I wanted. That was a theme in my life...wanting what I couldn't have and missing what was possibly right in front of me. My step dad was abusive and he was also a drunk. My grandparents thought the sun rose and shined because of me. If only I had believed that myself. But I learned how to use that to my advantage, another theme in my life. Wanting what I couldn't have and using the love others had for me as a way of getting what I wanted. Self doubt and manipulation. Add to that the predisposition for addiction/alcoholism and the combination was a deadly snowball effect in my life. For which I blamed everyone of those people.

I grew up in the rooms of AA. I even did service work. I went with my mom to a lot of meetings. I don't know that I gained anything good from that. Remember, I was seeking attention and I found out exactly how to get it in those rooms. When I would see an entire room of people clap for someone and hug them after the stories I just heard them tell...I thought how do I get to be like that? So I knew some of the AA giants like Ivan and Jimmie and Denny and so many more. Today, I am thankful I knew there was a seat waiting for me in those rooms and I would be welcomed even though I felt the lowest of lows, nobody there would think of me what I thought of myself.

I went to school in Lordstown and in 1985 a tornado changed the course of my life. Our junior high was used for the students in Newton falls whose high was damaged by the tornado. So I needed up in high school in the seventh grade. It's no coincidence that I actually went to my first treatment center in the seventh grade. I also failed seventh grade for missing more than thirty days! But that day I got picked from school by my mom, who never did things like that. She brought my best friend and said we were going to dinner. She knew I would not have went any other way, but I was pissed at her for that. I learned way more about drugs than I knew while in that treatment center and the hookup scene...well. I also heard the for the first time the phrase "look inside yourself" and I didn't know how. I also heard the term co-dependent...my counselor said I was co dependent of my mother. Aren't you supposed to be? So I tried staying sober. I changed my people, places and things. I started going to meetings, picked the same home group my mom once had. I even stood up and gave a 25 minute lead. I had a great support group. Even attended my first convention in 1988. I loved it! We ran all over going to meetings and having so much damn clean and sober fun. Then my mom met a guy, got married, sold her job at gm and we packed up and moved to Florida. Bam. So tell me how does a 14 year old learn to "look inside herself" and learn how to live a life that is not affected by her mothers behavior? Well, in this case she quits school, gets pregnant, moves out and gets married. I showed her!

I moved back home three years later. Of course things had changed. Everything but me had changed. I was pregnant again and I had left my husband. I was abusing benzos again. I wanted that child I was carrying to have a chance that I didn't believe I was capable of giving him. I met an amazing woman who tried for 22 years to have a child of her own. Her and her husband had already adopted two little buys from Korea. This would be their first infant child though. It was truly what was meant for me to do. Again, though I had no way to cope, no one to talk to and I found my peace in alcohol and drugs. My husband and I ended up back together. He moved here and we got a place in Lordstown. My best friend lived across the street and my neighbors partied like rock stars. I was in my element. I had no plans on being a mother and a wife, I was 18! So the alcohol flowed and the drugs were plenty. I managed to convince my husband he was better off finding someone else because I no longer needed or wanted him. He had overstayed his welcome in my life. I moved in with my mom and my younger brother and my soon to be two year old daughter. Not even a few months later I was dating a guy who promised to be by far the sickest relationship I have been in to this day. We would spend our weekends partying with his band and that was just the scene for me. Up all night sleep all day, except for that two year old...I had to keep an eye on her and I did and resented him while he slept the days away. STAY TUNED FOR MORE...

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