Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Residents Week - Day 2

"It gets easier, this life of recovery. Not saying that you will not run into holes and brick walls, but if you can, just remember your reasons for change and live for yourself. YOU CAN DO IT!

I’m a resident at Guest House. Have been since April 27, 2011. I came to Guest House because I needed to transform. I needed positive role models. I need support. I know today I can’t walk this walk alone. Even being in a safety zone, when I walk out of the doors of Guest House temptation will always be there.

I had a test of temptation put forth towards me. I had just been at the Guest House for 2 weeks. After doing time in prison for 3 years and 10 months, I got to go out on my own. I went to Social Services to apply for food stamps, which was one of the things on my daily “to do” list. Just so happens there was no other resident of Guest House who could escort me that day. I went alone. Everything was fine, until on my way back when I was trying to catch the bus. I had just sat down at the bus stop and cracked open my soda can, when the nicest car I have ever seen drove by. The rims shining and the car was spotless. Not only was the car fine, but the fellow that was pushing them wheels was fine as well! He looked like money. He circled around and drove right up to me. This was truly a setup for a woman of my type! He pulled up to the bus stop and I started to smile. Boy was this the dream of any woman who just got out of prison! He rolled the window down and coolly said to me “You are fine!” and I couldn’t help but blush. He went on, “I circled the block about 3 times trying to find a way to introduce myself to you.” I was incredibly flattered and almost didn’t know what to say. Then, he asked the question that I have been running from, “Do you smoke?” My attitude instantly changed. “Smoke what?” I replied. “Crack” he responded, just as cool as before. “No, no I don’t. I’m in recovery and I’m a resident of the Guest House. I’m trying to live a clean and sober lifestyle!” I stood up, rolled my eyes, and began to walk off. He watched me walk all the way down the street, not moving his can an inch. When I got around the corner, I started to pray. Wanting to cry because I am a woman who has been an addict for 14 years – someone who had no desire to stand up for themselves and say no to drugs… alcohol… the whole lifestyle. That has been my LIFE. If there were no drugs then there was no me. Not today. Today I have a desire to say no, and mean it. I won’t stick around to be asked why or to try to be pressured, my life is too valuable to waste the time.

When you get tired of the lifestyle, the loss, the hurt, the consequences, and the lock-ups, your “no” will not even be a thought. It will flow. It may be scary because its new, but it gets easier. Practice. You are worth it. I’m not trying to say that any single instance will stop the temptation. But once you start saying “no,” it gets easier each time. You will feel in control of self. I did. I’m free. I’m clean and sober. I’m happy.

So stand up for yourself. Say no. And remember why you can do this. I know how it is. I did it. Enough is enough."

- - L.C. Resident of Guest House

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