Meet Faith, A Grateful Addict Who’s Recovering From the Disease of “More”

My name is Faith R. and I am a grateful recovering addict. I’m from Colorado Springs, Colorado. My clean date is December 12, 2010. Many people will tell you they are a recovering alcoholic, or that they are recovering from cocaine addiction, or that they are a grateful recovering heroin addict. Me? I am recovering from the disease of more. When I was in my addiction, my drug of choice was MORE. More opiates, more coke, more meth, more weed, more booze…more, more, MORE!

Like every recovering addict I’ve ever met, I had to go through a whole lot of pain before I made the decision to get clean. I had to hit a really rocky bottom before I finally reached out for help and decided that, no matter what, I was done using drugs. It took a long time to get there, but I am thankful I made it out of my addiction alive. SO many addicts don’t.

Those early days of recovery were quite difficult. I will never forget detox. It was so painful.

After detox, I did thirty days of in-patient rehab, I did outpatient treatment for three months, and I lived in an Oxford House for a year-and-a-half. Looking back, I know without a shadow of a doubt that putting my recovery first was the best gift I could have ever given myself.

Now that I have experienced some of the blessings of recovery, I want to tell you 5 wonderful things about being a sober woman.  

#1 Freedom From The Bondage of Addiction

Even though it’s been seven years since the last time I got low (I call it getting “low,” not getting “high!”), I still remember that last binge. I was in total bondage. I was a slave to my addiction. Everything about my life revolved around drugs – the getting, using, and finding ways and means to get more.

Today, by the Grace of God, I am free. I get to choose what I want to do with my day. I am free to spend my money how I want to spend it. My mind is not consumed by the obsession to use drugs. I am not shackled by the chains of addiction. I am free in my mind, body, and spirit. Freedom – it’s the most wonderful thing about being a sober woman.

#2 Having Money In The Bank And Nothing In The Pawn Shop

When I was controlled by the disease of addiction, I was in and out of the pawn shop, hocking my most valuable possessions. After months of paying high finance fees, I would get everything out, only to put everything back in again.

A savings account? Forget it! More like hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees every month, never-ending negative account balances, and blood-sucking payday loans. Ugh. I was always in dire financial straits. Now that I am a woman with some sobriety, I have a savings account. I have decent credit. And, all my valuables are at home, safe and sound…where they belong. Financial stability – it’s another wonderful thing about being a sober woman.

#3 Looking People In The Eye

When I was getting low, I carried the shame and guilt that comes with all the things you have to do to stay loaded – lie, cheat, and steal. In my heart, I was a good person, but I compromised all of my values to maintain my habit. I was terribly ashamed of the things I did, and I felt like I didn’t deserve to look people in the eye.

Today, I live an honest life. I am a productive member of society. In sobriety, I have righted my wrongs and changed for the better. I am clean and sober, and I can live out loud. I don’t have to hide. I can walk down the street, hold my head up high, and look people square in the eye.

#4 Being Able To Forgive Myself And Being Forgiven By Others

That shame and guilt I talked about? It was because of things I did to support my habit – things I thought I would never be able to forgive myself for. In active addiction, I carried a burden in my soul; a heaviness in my spirit. The realities of my past would keep me up at night.

After completing the process of working the 12 steps, I have been able to find forgiveness within. I have also been granted forgiveness by others because I have made proper amends to those I have harmed. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing because it has allowed me to move on from the past and look hopefully toward the future. I talked earlier about being grateful for the freedom I enjoy from active action. Another wonderful thing about being a sober woman? Finding freedom through forgiveness.

#5 Restoration of Physical Health

When I was using drugs and alcohol, I was in horrible physical condition. I would wake up terribly hungover from all the drugs I had been doing. I had the shakes and the sweats. I can still remember how tremendously painful it was to pull my aching body out of bed and put my feet on the floor. I would have to drink whiskey or use some kind of drug first thing when I woke up so I wouldn’t get dope sick or go through the symptoms of withdrawal. Yuck.

Now that I am free from the bondage of chemical dependency, I no longer suffer from the physical sickness that accompanies drug and alcohol addiction. My physical health has been restored. It took time. I first had to walk through the pain of detox and give my body permission to readjust to a normal state of functioning without chemicals. But, now, being comfortable in my own skin is a wonderful thing.

I Love Being Sober, But It Didn’t Always Used To Be This Way

If you are new to recovery, I don’t want to read the words on this page and think, “Good for her. She’s recovering quite nicely. Whoopity-do-da for her sparkly rainbows and yay for her la-tee-da rays of sunshine. She has no idea what it’s like to be me! This sobriety thing sucks!”

You are right. I don’t know what it is like to be you. You are unique in your own one-of-a-kind story and nobody knows what it’s like to be you – nobody except you, of course.

If you’re not at a place where you think it’s wonderful to be a sober woman, that’s okay. Don’t use no matter what and you’ll get there.

I can tell you with absolutely certainty that my early days of recovery weren’t easy. They were uncomfortable. They were difficult and challenging and painful. I used to think sobriety sucked. There were times that I cried out into the night, “God, help me! I want to get high!”

But, I can tell you – I will even promise you – that sobriety gets easier. It gets more comfortable. It gets better. If you stick around long enough, you too will think that it’s wonderful to be a sober woman!

Here’s 8 reasons why being a sober woman in recovery will change your life for the better.