My story starts in a small town in South Jersey (Chatsworth) with a loving family and pretty much anything I needed. However, from as far back as I could remember I had always feared something. Whether it be death, failure, change, confrontation, rejection, success it didn’t matter I was fearful. I was pretty quiet growing up and shy for some reason I remember hearing it said kids should be seen and not heard. I liked to be at home I wasn’t much for socializing. I was an only child until age ten. When I was told about my mom’s pregnancy, I had an overwhelming fear for her well being and my unborn sister as well. All went well and although I had my sister, I still very much still felt to be an only child because of the age difference. During my teenage years, my fear became more of “Am I good enough?”, embarrassment, intimacy, feelings in general. Then my twenties seemed to bring even more fears and I became so uncomfortable with myself.
“I HAVE BEEN TAUGHT ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCEPTS IN MY RECOVERY HERE – INTEGRITY.”
However, I did find alcohol to be some what of a mending agent. At this time I didn’t abuse it though I’ve been around alcohol my whole life. I believe myself to have been an alcoholic long before the substance entered my body. Whatever the fate may be, my drinking did progress around thirty eight and continued for about seven years. At that point the only fear I had was not having another drink. After a very tiresome bit I found myself hospitalized yet again and looking at treatment options. I was given an opportunity to come to the Wilmington, DE Salvation Army. Having no idea of what it was, I almost welcomed insanity, and said sure! Now I felt that some old fear creep in and I felt that fight or flight response I’ve always had, and something, maybe someone kept me still enough to make it to Delaware.
I was able to graduate from the Salvation Army program after nine months, who than referred me to the Friendship House of course with this move meant more fear. Was I ready? Should I think about going home? Again I felt the need to sit through this uncomfortable feeling for each time I have I seem to feel much better. Thank goodness for those other thoughts!
Friendship House has allowed me to ease back into society and be sure to take care of myself first and foremost. Through their counseling, outside therapy, different support groups, volunteers, AA, my sponsor, and my roommates, I am able to start facing my fears one day at a time. I am now employed with Parks and Recreation in the City of Wilmington because of a job opportunity presented through Friendship House by the Delaware Center for Horticulture called Branches to Chances.
I am forever grateful for the Friendship House, all persons involved, staff, volunteers, past and present. Also, to those we have lost on our journey. One last thing in closing I have been taught one of the most important concepts in my recovery here – integrity.