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Road Trip. Part Seventeen.

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

After speaking to my daddy, I had much relief. He did what he said he would never do again...moved every material thing I owned five hundred and seventeen miles away to my new home Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Honestly, at this time in my life, furniture and clothes were just stuff that could easily be replaced. I wanted more of my sentimental items such as: the kids baby clothes, my grandmother's China, my diamond ring and bracelets, Bentley's original "baby", my journals, baby books, and so on... When my daddy and younger brother Dustin visited and dropped off the trailer to unload...It felt like Christmas except with my own things! As I 'pilfered' through the boxes, I noticed all of my most prized possessions were lost or left behind in a storage building in Georgia. My heart hurt and I immediately wanted to point a finger at Eric. I did not. He left 'my stuff' behind in between moves. It was one of those moments that I had a choice: stay bitter or get better. I focused on my now and adopted the phrase that I have used hundreds of times to preserve my sanity..."IT IS WHAT IT IS." I encourage you to memorize it and take it 'out of your pocket' when needed. If an issue is out of your control, let it go and let God. I know, it is easy to say, and a lot harder to put into action. The more you talk to God... worries of this world seem obsolete. I ask myself quite it worth my energy? Most times than not- the answer is no.

The first week or so I spent my time unpacking and making the house feel "homey" to me. I was very happy and almost felt undeserving. God had given me a second chance at life. I still feel this way at times. I think about all the "addicts" who are still suffering or who had lost their life. It could have easily been me. I am a forever grateful recovery addict. I know, in the faith-based world of treatment centers relating back to the addiction is not something you say. I get it. Do I think I am an alcoholic or drug addict anymore? No. But------------- I am in recovery. For me, acknowledging where I once was and helping others today who suffer helps me live out my faith. The controversy: the statement used in 12-step meetings; "Hi. I am Hope. I am an alcoholic." I always say the word 'recovery' prior to however I identify myself. Why? Because I no longer abuse alcohol or substances. I have been clean for over three years. I still have days when I am triggered by my past. Now, ninety-nine percent of the time it has little to do with an urge to drink or get high. It is the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) I accumulated through painful trauma and events I have experienced. Like other disorders in the mental health field- PTSD is tossed around a lot. I feel like the diagnosis may get a bad reputation and patients are easily mis-diagnosed. (It is only my opinion) Literally, every human being if analyzed properly could be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or some other mental health label. Welcome to 2023 where anti-depressants are the norm. (I take them, so I am not bashing.) HAHA. It is a part of my self-care. My mental, physical, and spiritual body I work daily to remain healthy and nourished. Some days I struggle and others I excel. It is the ebb and flow of life. Finding your balance is essential to a more wholesome way of living.

{"Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event."}

Life was good. I was happy. I was reunited with Eric. I had my babies back in my physical arms and I soaked up every moment of affection directed my way. Adjustments were coming...I had freedom, but I was not free from my consequences while in active addiction. I graduated from The Foundry in June 2021. August 2021 was my first court date. I had been in contact with my lawyer (Ms. Wise) weekly throughout the process and complex plea deal arrangements. Ms. Wise had already prepped me for house arrest for three months (90 days). The District Attorney would not budge. And he was giving me grace. The rehab for a year was my saving grace. I would have been incarcerated if found guilty on all my charges. I was a nervous wreck. I walked around the house daily blaring my worship music; cleaning and praying. I had an inner knowing and trusted God that no matter what happened it was a part of his will. Faith over fear. I had no valid driver's license. Although, I was content at home alone away from everyone. It was only the beginning of my birthing pains.

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