Story Submitted By Kori
My name is Kori. I’m a grateful recovering alcoholic/addict. I’m 36 years old and mother of 3. I just celebrated 6 months of sobriety. I owe this new way of life to a 12 step recovery program and my faith in the God of my understanding. I truly have never felt more peace and freedom in my life than I have today. I’m more excited about the future and less afraid if it than I’ve ever been.
My story might sound familiar to some and tragic to others. I only hope it gives hope to someone.
My parents and grandparents were alcoholic. I grew up in a loving but dysfunctional home. I was the youngest of 3 and so my older sisters paved the way for me to follow in their footstep as they followed in my parent’s footsteps. I didn’t stand a chance. All I ever wanted was a “normal” and “happy” life. I didn’t know the hell I would endure until I learned to love myself and accept that while I may never be “normal” there is hope for change. There is hope for healing. This is how my drug use started which has made me appreciate everything I have today. Some don’t get so lucky to have the life I have today. I should be dead.
I took my first drug at age 13. It started with a little bit of pot. When I was caught by my mother instead of being punished or having consequences; I now had someone to supply my needs. My parents were the neighborhood pot dealers. She gave me the drug behind my father’s back, or; I was stealing it. Later, I found out their drug use also included meth, heroin, cocaine and acid. Most of that ceased before I was born. My father sobered up but enabled my mother’s behavior. After I tried pot then came the pills then alcohol. My mother also helped me acquire those substances. My father never knew. I went from telling myself I will never be like her to very curious what all this was about. What was so powerful that kept my mother in its clutches the times I begged and cried for her to stop getting falling down drunk? Or listening to her heart beat when I was 6 years old checking to see if she was alive when I got home from school when she passed out on the couch. She promised she would stop but never could. If she loved me why couldn’t she stop? I would later understand that for myself that she didn’t love herself. I saw her in and out of institutions at a very young age. I was traumatized. I was a very nervous, anxious and withdrawn child and I carried a lot of pain. My biggest fear was that my mother would die. I quickly took comfort in the effects drugs and alcohol had on my moods and personality. I was more comfortable in my own skin and confident with others. I could forget my worries for a while. So I’m now growing in active addiction drinking every day and smoking a lot of pot as a teenager also developing issues with anorexia and bulimia. I craved the attention of my father and I would never receive it. This was the foundation of dysfunctional relationships for me later in life. I was an all-around mess. My drug use which was more experimental than full blown addiction would take a halt shortly after the birth of my first child in 1996. I had my first spiritual experience at 16. I never wanted to hurt my children by my lifestyle the way my parent’s lifestyle hurt me. So when God entered my life the first time and by surrender to my faith that kept me sober a number of years. If God didn’t intervene when he did I would have killed myself before my 18th birthday. I have no doubt about that.
When I was 19 my mother’s addiction took her life. Three months’ later addiction took the life of my daughter’s father. He died on her 5th birthday. I got married and my husband became abusive towards me. I stayed in that marriage 3 years too long. I was now a battered woman grieving the deaths of two very important people in my life. I was “mostly” sober during that time and highly functional but terrified of being a parent and felt very alone. The people I needed to help me raise my daughter either died on me or betrayed me. I couldn’t imagine the turn my life was about to take.
I met my sisters drug dealer when I finally left the abusive husband. I was 22. He was handsome and treated me gently BUT He introduced me to Crystal meth, ecstasy, cocaine, inhalants and a lot of it. We went to rave parties and clubbing every weekend. That became destructive fast. Crystal meth being the primary problem. I was hooked. I used nearly every day, or at least 5 times a week for 10 months. It worked wonders for my eating disorders. I lost a lot of weight and was obsessed with being a size 0. I didn’t think I had a drug problem though and I didn’t as long as I was high. The come down was too much and it was then I had a problem. I needed to fix that feeling by doing more. I was an addict and couldn’t believe it. How could I let this happen? I finally had enough and knew it was life or death. If I continued to use the way, I was I would die and I knew it. I cried out to God and by a series of events and some tragedy I was able to fight and I mean literally fight to put the meth down. I never thought I could but I did. It was coming up to the anniversary of my daughter’s father’s death (also her birthday) and I couldn’t let her loose her mom the same way she lost her father and same way I lost my mother. My boyfriend quit meth with me and he stopped selling drugs. We spent 7 years together and I had my 2nd child. A little boy. I put myself in outpatient treatment and began to touch some of my issues with PTSD, anxiety, depression and disordered eating. I didn’t disclose to my therapist I had issues with substance abuse. I stopped using meth but turned to alcohol which also quickly began to take over my life. Then cocaine came on the scene. My new drug of choice was alcohol and cocaine. I could do that “socially” or when I worked as a bar tender and felt like it was nowhere near as bad as my meth addiction because I thought I had more control over it. Not true. That was an illusion. Drugs and alcohol would be the downfall in the relationship with my son’s father. He went back to using meth and I would not and could not. I haven’t used meth since 2010. I continued to “socially” drink and use cocaine. I eventually put down the drugs and only drank for about 3 years sometimes moderately sometimes not. I was putting forth effort anyway. I was “trying” to be better for my kids. Drinking always led to other drugs and I knew I couldn’t drink like a “normal” person when all my efforts failed me. I was able to keep appearances kind of “normal” keeping a job, clean house, bills paid, etc on my own with two kids but still struggling to like myself and still carrying a lot of pain. My children deserved a happy and healthy mom and I didn’t know how to give that to them. I felt lost, empty and hopeless. I continued to drink after I met the man who would be my 2nd husband who was also an alcoholic. He might of been worse than the meth head! Each one sick in their own way. I was growing sicker as well but I was able to keep some fight in me for my children. Now having my 3rd child I couldn’t fail them. I reached a place that I knew something had to change. I was desperate to try anything. I tried a 12 step recovery program for the first time in 4/20/14. With the support of that program and tools I learned to use I achieved 9 months of sobriety. I did have a relapse that lasted 18 months when I let my husband back after a separation. I learned the hard way there and on my way to divorce again. I made my way back to the rooms and surrendered to the program again. I found a sponsor and I’m learning to work the steps. For this woman in recovery it’s the only thing that I have found to work for me. This program has provided me the opportunity to give my children the happy, healthy and sober mom I always wished I had and always tried to give my children before but didn’t know how. I’m living in the solution now not the problem. I’m still learning about me, my disease, codependency, healing past Trauma and it’s a daily struggle sometimes but I now stand a chance because of my faith in my Higher power and connecting to others in recovery. I’m not standing alone. Thanks for letting me share.