top of page

Humbled. Part Two.

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

I walked to the dorm room building. I was stationed on the second floor by the supervisor's room (Norma). Norma Jean called me her baby and sugarplum from the very beginning. She was an older lady who had graduated the program years earlier and had taken care of the girls' dorm room for a few years. I was escorted by my dorm leader, Jamie, the bubbly, country-girl that greeted me. I walked into my new room where a few girls were helping a young, beautiful, vibrant blonde- girl pack-up to leave for her outpatient program (she lost her life a few months later). I was extremely overwhelmed with anxiety and fear of the unknown. This rehab center was completely different and unlike the others I had checked into. There were two bunkbeds that resembled the jailhouse ones, two dresser drawers, two closets, one mirror, a beautiful painting, and a small table with a couple of chairs in the middle of the room. I did not have a beautiful plantation cottage to sleep in nor a serene pond to gaze upon. I had an anointed building of God which was worth far more than a nicer outward environment to accommodate my own ego. I was slap-dab in the middle of the ghetto streets of Bessemer, Alabama. I needed to be humbled. I did not understand it back then; I do today.


I slept on the top of the bunk bed for the night until the pretty blonde left the following day. The next day, I settled in and unpacked my stuff. I claimed the bottom bunk; at-the-time I did not have anyone else on my side of the room. Across the room was a beautiful, long-black hair woman who looked like the Disney princess Pocahontas. Her name was Sonya who became my best friend. The first couple of days are a bit hazy to me. Sonya recalls walking in on me practicing yoga poses which makes us laugh to this day! I assume I was trying to center myself and calm my nervous system down. Everything was new for me. I was surrounded by girls all-the-time! I was shy, introverted, and tried to keep to myself. I was a loner and liked to go my own way; I had no choice but to engage a little as I was bombarded with questions. I was not use to that many women and the drama/intensity that comes with a group of women under one roof. I had gone to co-ed treatment facilities, which the Foundry does have a men's program but are very strict with the rules. Although, I had zero interest in a male distraction. I had already experienced that rabbit hole from Blueridge. You cannot look at the opposite sex and will be kicked-out if you dare try to engage with one of the men. Unfortunately, Fraternizing is a common theme in treatment facilities that the employees at the Foundry definitely stay aware of. It is not only a stupid distraction but harmful to one's recovery and life. Take it from me- if you land yourself in a long-term treatment facility you have been walking on deaths doorstep. Your focal point should be you.


I found myself in the desperation stage of addiction. I do not believe in hitting "rock bottom" because I view it as death. My old sponsor was accurate about a many truths involving recovery and one of them was this: It gets worse with every relapse. You hit a new low you thought was not possible and call it a blessing if you make it out alive. Ahhh, truth serum.


As I laid on my new bed, I looked out the window and contemplated walking out. It had been over a month since I laid eyes on my babies. My body ached from detoxing and from the hurt and shame I carried from drinking the day of Halloween when I did not pick up my babies from school, instead I found myself in a jailcell. The pain from feeling emotions sober immobilized me. You want to talk about encompassing pain- I laid in bed knowing the reason, I had been stripped from my own kids was my fought and I was the one causing them to hurt. I was breaking my own heart. I thought, "I will never get over this. I want to die. They are better off without me." Jodie had taken all of my numbers, so I did not have anyone to call to pick me up. I was debilitated. I prayed for strength and for God to forgive me as tears flowed down my cheeks. Sonya talked me out of my shell and made me laugh! We had many things in common and I did not feel so alone. Come to find out...God had me surrounded by girls who was facing or had faced similar circumstances. I was not alone in my battle! I could cry in my own self-pity or get up and fight. I did both.


After a couple of days, I had the lovely experience of the thrift store. Another humbling moment as I walked through the back glass doors to the Foundry's thrift store. It was a huge warehouse in the back of the store where the participants worked sorting through clothes, tagging clothes, hanging clothes, and scanning bins for saleable items. This was where I would work during the day. I had never been in a thrift store before of my knowledge. My mama did not shop at thrift stores. My mama always made sure I had the best of everything. Even as an adult, she dressed me in the finest new outfits because I could not 'keep up with Joneses.' Eric did well financially for our family; but any extra cash went toward our children or sadly our unhealthy habits. (I appreciate Eric so much more now than before. My eyes were blind to the sacrifices he made for me to be a stay-at-home mother to our babies. And still does!)


As I walked around the different workstations, I was astonished! I thought, "I am better than this! What have I gotten myself into? How can this help me recover from addiction tagging clothes all day long?" Then, I walked to the front of the store to shop! All the girls are handed a clothes voucher, if needed. Well, when I shopped at Walmart (another store I would never willing buy clothes from back then) I picked out comfy leggings which is prohibited. Any clothing that is tight around the booty or exposes your boobs are banned. Men are highly visual beings; that by nature, easily distracted by women and especially revealing body parts. Unhappily, I had to shop at the thrift store for appropriate items that met dress code. I was so terrible that I would not wear secondhand clothes unless it come from my mama's closet. To say I needed to be humbled is an understatement. I quickly fiddled through the clothes picking out a couple of jeans, and tops. Surprisingly, when I arrived back to the dorm, I loved my secondhand clothes! Turned out, shopping at a thrift store was not all that bad. When I had what appeared to be nothing, a feeling of gratitude, the nucleus of our most vital part- the heart, developed in me.


{'Death of the ego' or ego dissolution is a term used often in recovery. "It is described by people who have experienced it as a feeling of losing one's self. It is termed so because it has been reported as feeling like a form of dying in which one lets go of their sense of self and identity." First, what is the ego and what is its role in our lives? In a nutshell, it is your personal view of your identity and what you identify with. It is essentially the part of the mind that embosoms your beliefs and morals. Our ego is developed as a child along with our self-esteem by the age of five years old. It plays an intricate role in our lives as we develop as an adult. For example, I grew up attending a Baptist church. When asked what my religion was, I stated unconsciously, "I am Baptist." As I have experienced my own 'death of the ego' I do not identify as Baptist no longer. I attend a non-denominational church that preaches the word of God. When asked now, I say "Jesus." No church brought my dead soul back to life; Jesus did. My personal opinion, religious platforms will not get me in heaven; my relationship with Jesus Christ will. In saying all of this, my ego dissolution was a process. I had to let go of everything I had known and dive into what God says about me. God did not call me to believe I was unworthy, not good enough, and to remain in bondage from others' opinions about me. And on the flip side, God humbled me. I am no better than the "junkie" on the street in God's eyes. His love for me is unwavering along with all his children. Things on earth are not eternal. God is. I had to release false beliefs that had been engrained in me and trust God, his divine power. I never experienced spiritual warfare until I wholeheartedly died to my old self and surrendered myself to God. My identity had been run my whole life by beliefs from this fallen world of how to look and be successful in life. I had a comfortable life with nice things and still found myself miserable because...I was feeding my ego with fallacy. I will continue to walk you through my own experiences that changed my perspective which changed my life.}


The following weeks were bewildering. I had to accept my current reality and the fact that I had no other choice but to stay if I wanted to see my kids. I did not want to admit defeat and to come to terms with my own failure. I had no interest in the program at first. I was merely trying to go through the ropes and stay as invisible as possible. I carried a heavy load on my shoulders from all my suffering. I was not energetic as I worked at the Foundry thrift store tagging used clothing. Back then, I could not fathom what God was doing in my life. All I did know; I had to change or die. Come to find out- God saw the bigger picture. God knew I would fight when given the opportunity. God knew I was his child and bringing me back to him was my destination. It was time to come home.


James 4:14


Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.




140 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page