Both Sides of The Fence

by Melanie Shomate

(Atlanta GA)

I grew up with addicted parents. Watched my mother and father struggle in addiction all my life. Swore the whole time I would never end up that way.

At 23 I had an operation and was prescribed pain pills in which I became addicted to. From there I went back and forth in my addiction and each time I went back to using it got worse and worse.

At 25 I was on IV drug use and that led me to abscessing my arm and being referred to a methadone clinic.

I did good there for like 9 months but when my home life didn’t change any at all I became craving again and eventually turned to crack for my new high.

Once on crack I lost everything very quickly. Fought with that addiction off and on for 5 years. Most of my off times were due to jail or prison and not to my wanting to stop.

After getting out of prison the last time I went right back to my old boyfriend and old ways but it was way more progressed and worse than ever.

In 2008 I decided that I couldn’t keep that lifestyle up. I had been beaten, raped, and abused in so many ways that I would have never even imagined. I left town with the boyfriend and attempted to clean my life up but I still was clueless to how many ways I really had to change in order to survive as a clean and sober woman.

A year later I was back in jail but this time nothing to do with drugs and instead it was money. We had found a new addiction. While in jail for that year I was completely alone. I turned to church and the church ladies for guidance and support.

One lady in particular stood out and believed in me. She supported me the whole way through and still to this day does. I have been clean and sober for 3 years and out of jail for over a year now.

I found a great boss who has given the position of program coordinator in a residential recovery program where I lead approximately 27 men and women to their recovery daily. I know God has had his hand on my life the whole time and has turned my mess into a beautiful blooming rose.

Both Sides of The Fence

by: Lynette

Dear Melanie,

Thank you so much for sharing your story! It sounds SO similar to what my son has gone through. He is now in jail for DUI and violating probation. He was clean for 7 months the last time he got out of jail and then relapsed. He now says he is ready to change and to embrace the Alcoholics Anonymous program.

Thank goodness for the Al Anon program as well. Going there has helped me so much. I also see a counselor, talk to my minister and see a physician’s assistant. I agree with you strongly that you need support but that we are NOT alone.
Every day I give the day over to God and that has been the best thing I can do.

Best wishes to you and I will pray for your continued success-Lynette

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