My name is Jenny and I am a 24 year old addict who found the tools necessary for my sobriety 2 ½ years ago during my stay at the treatment center and through my mother’s attendance of Biker Betty’s meetings, her adherence to the program and Betty’s support to her and our family.
Despite having countless drug and alcohol counseling sessions through out my numerous stays at an inpatient treatments, I found myself seemingly unable to get a grasp on sobriety for more than a few weeks at a time.
I also had parents that despite the best of intentions were enabling my addict behavior because they did not yet have the information on what qualified as enabling and because addicts have an incredible penchant for manipulation. I had every excuse and ploy you can imagine to get my way and to basically make my parents feel like they owe me everything and anything because, hey, I have a million and one problems and, despite lack of any actual evidence, it was their fault. I left treatment with my on and off again, drug dealing boyfriend. At this point, I was unaware of the relationship forming at The Right Step between my mother, Betty and the Al-Anon program.
After a 2 week binge, I went home. I initially thought there was a problem with my house key when it didn’t unlock the front or back door to my parent’s house. It didn’t occur to me they might have changed the locks. Sure, before leaving treatment they warned me I would no longer be enabled by them in any capacity, but I assumed it was another empty promise easily broken by my master’s degree education in manipulation. My dad arrived home early from work and informed me I need to leave the property. When I asked about my ill fitting house key he stunned me by responding matter of factly that the locks are changed. No shelter. No food. No family. No cushy lifestyle. NOT A DAMN THING.
When my mother came home, I realized that everything I had known was done. Their actions were different, their behavior was different. I did not get a chance to put on my master manipulator hat, they knew my game and had figured out how to beat me at it.
Upon hearing the mention of Al-Anon and Betty being the driving force behind this complete 180 degree change, I certainly had profanity and scathing comments to be said about both. The next morning, I returned to the treatment center.
Through the grace of God, I did complete treatment. I had never planned on going to sober living. I had been at the treatment center for a total of 45 days throughout my nearly back to back stays, I’m cured enough! Once again, there was not an option for me to do anything else but go to sober living. My mind definitely had an internal dialogue of scathing comments for Betty and the Al-Anon program.
Sober living would have probably been the best thing for me had I gone into it with every intention of adhering to the rules of the house. I did manage to stay sober but that was really all I accomplished during my stay there. My go-to excuse for everything was that I can’t do anything productive since my parents won’t allow ME to have MY car because Betty and Al-Anon influenced them to stick to their word and not allow ME the privilege of a vehicle until I gained six months of sobriety. (Words capitalized were spoken especially whiney.)
Finally I was given an ultimatum: you stick to every rule of this sober living house or you have to leave. I chose to leave. I started hanging out with an old (sober) high school acquaintance that led to an unexpected romance. And an unexpected pregnancy. Overnight, it seems everything I learned about battling addiction and living a real, full life clean and sober came into play for me. I think initially this baby was the reason for my change, but quickly it turned into the only reason any addict ever can stay sober: for themselves. And truly, it was only possible through the power of God, the constant support of my family, the tools gained through the treatment center and AA literature and the education provided to my parents through the Al-Anon program and Betty. The combination of those truly saved my life.