By: Rosie C., Transformations Alumna

Life over three years ago looked like this: my son felt sorry for me, my daughter hadn’t spoken to me for over two years, my mother’s suffering was weakening her, my dad said to everyone I was a lost cause and my siblings couldn’t care less if I was homeless. They just wanted me out of my mom’s house.

I am the oldest of five and my dad left when I was 12, which made me take care of my siblings while my mom was working over 10 hours at a place that was an hour away from our house. It was a bit hard for us but we always had a roof, food, and people to care for us. Yes, both of my parents made mistakes, and even though I was constantly watched by them, mine was definitely not a bad childhood. My grandma would always talk about my weight and compare me to a cousin that was around my age so anything I was, I was never satisfied with. Drinking was never really done in my house, just at family gatherings; my grandfather and uncles would get so wasted that those gatherings would end up in fights and we’d leave. I never cared for drinking then but when high school came, I would sneak with my friends to drink. Once I came home drunk and my mom called my father and I was in TROUBLE. Needless to say, I never came back home drunk again. I would go out and “have fun.”

I was pregnant and married (for six years) at 21 to a very good man; I realized this about six months after we divorced. That’s when my bad drinking started. I would take care of the kids, work, and on my weekends without the kids, I used to binge, bad. Blackouts, waking up, and regretting where I was, which led me into a toxic relationship with whom I tried cocaine. Darn, I was losing so much weight and could fit in anything! I felt I “looked good,” and could drink as much beer and tequila as I wanted and would still know what was happening around me. I felt I could take over the world. But then I started to lose everything I had; my house, my job, my kids… I even found myself stealing from those I love. So I moved up with an aunt to try and get my life back together but that was completely unsuccessful. I moved back with my mother and I was sober for three years. When everything was finally getting into place, I succumbed to my addiction once more. Drinking, blackouts, excessive cocaine use, not meeting deadlines; everything I had lost and had gotten back, I lost again. But this time it was worse; I mixed up with another toxic partner with an addiction similar to mine, lost every single job I was hired at and money would last just a few days. Also, I was really hurting my children, I was even stealing from them.

In September 2018 I had excruciating pain in my chest, one that I had never experienced before. My son was with me and all I can think of was, “what if I die here with him and he sees me like this? I don’t wanna die!” I contacted my mother which had offered help several, several, several times before and I asked, “is your offer of helping still on the table?” and, of course, she said yes. After browsing several places in Florida I stumbled upon Transformations; it was the best decision of my life. It was just what I needed all of those times that I tried. They gave me the tools that I needed to keep myself alive. I thought I was coming to Florida for just 30 to 45 days; I’ve been here for over three years.

Thanks to that September 2018 decision, my life looks like this today: I have a great job in retail in which I started as a cashier; today I’m an Assistant Manager. My children moved to Florida, are working, and have their own place. My relationship with my daughter, mother, father, and siblings is the best that I’ve had in years and, who could’ve thought that I could’ve ever been able to love again? I have a wonderful man in my life who supports me, who knows my story and it’s still by my side. And most importantly, I’ve accepted myself as I am. Do I get cravings? Of course, I do! I’m human and I was for years drinking, even if it was to eat a burger I would drink a beer, which is my toughest craving. What do I do? I read the 12 steps, I reach out, I talk about it. I also look around at what I’ve built, the people I have with me in the place I chose to start over, and think “is it really worth losing all this for a beer?” because I know, and you too, that it’ll not be just one. Two weeks ago, for the first time in years, I got to celebrate my birthday with my mother and my kids. It was wonderful and I felt complete. For the people I love, I live and will fight to keep myself alive.

Life is good, even in the hard times. Hang on to what you believe in and everything you desire and wish, I assure you will have. I never thought it would be possible for me and here I am, still standing and stronger than ever. I believe in myself… And I believe in you.

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