On today’s episode of The SHAIR Podcast Christy D, now 6 years clean from drugs and alcohol takes us through 18 years of drug abuse and alcoholism. Starting at the age of 13 huffing gas and drinking alcohol she would eventually graduate to smoking weed, Vicodin and heavy doses of Xanax.
At a very early age Christy marries a member of one of the most notorious Motorcycle Clubs in the world and her life becomes a living nightmare. Surrounded by violence, drug dealing and countless other forms of criminal behavior Christy hits rock bottom and contemplates suicide. It’s in that moment that Christy has a spiritual awakening and makes the phone call that would guide her into recovery. It’s a powerful story you don’t want to miss, join us now.
Clean Date: July 30, 2009
Here are Christy D.’s SHAIR Podcast interview highlights and suggestions for the Newcomer:
Christy: Okay, typically on a day to day basis Monday through Friday I’m one of those people who are not really a morning person. So typically my husband wakes me up about 5:30-6, we have coffee together. He normally leaves before me. I get ready, and have my prayer and meditation.
It’s kind of interesting the work that I do, I process drug tests and background checks all day. It’s very humbling as an addict to see positive tests. Then I typically go to a meeting. I sponsor some girls that are in an institution, I pick up one of the ladies and take her to a meeting. That’s generally my day to day routine.
O: Would you say that that is the foundation to your recovery today?
Christy: Oh of course. I’m grateful for the area that I was in when I first got clean. I had a sponsor who was a service junkie so before I had 90 days I was going to area outreach, going to H&I meetings and going to treatment facilities to basically just observe. In our area you can’t share until you have six months. Today, that is my firm foundation in recovery.
O: Yeah to sit in a meeting for six months and not be able to share, that’s solid.
Christy: I was actually sharing with someone today about how it was, like way back in the day like some of the old timers I’m friends with they’ll literally say ‘shut the fuck up. You have nothing to share’ and today you can’t sponsor people like that. You might get shot. Just the difference in how times have changed. It’s amazing. Even the time I’ve been here it’s changed.
O: I don’t know what happened or how addicts got so sensitive, but I grew up in that same ‘take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth and shut the fuck up and listen’. That’s how I came in and I remember sharing my story a few times and people going “wow that sounds hard core”, but the old timers were like ‘yup, that’s how it was when I was getting clean’. It helped me humble myself a lot.
Let’s talk a little bit about your past now. How old were you the first time you drank or used drugs and more importantly, how did they make you feel?
Christy: I remember being in elementary school and being caught in my room huffing gas. Just regular gasoline, like with a gas can. I was in elementary school. I’m thinking like 4th or 5th grade. The first time I actually put a substance in my body I was in probably the 6th or 7th grade and it was alcohol. I remember even with huffing gas the euphoria feeling. I liked it. Just being outside of yourself. I lived in a household with an alcoholic father so just that feeling of escape I would say is pretty much what I fell in love with.
What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Christy: At the time I would say I was more worried about him than me. It kept me using for a lot of years because I was scared to be alone. I needed that validation of a man and it kept me sick for a lot of years because I felt like I couldn’t do anything else. I was sharing my story with being with my husband at the time. I honestly believed like you heard, I ended up using the first time I tried to get clean because of that relationship. To me that relationship was more important than anything and I honestly believed that I couldn’t do anything better.
At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that ‘aha’ moment in recovery where you accepted that you were powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed a hope that you could recover?
Christy: For me, I remember we were headed to a town called Columbia to see, at the time my husband’s mother, and I was reading The Basic Text. It’s in step one and it talks about how when you truly surrender you know in your heart that you’ve really, really had enough and you realize that the struggle is finally over. That was my ‘aha’ moment. I don’t remember how much clean time I had and then also realized that day after seeing that statement that the desire to use had been lifted and that was just like my first awakening. I will never forget it and I just cried. I didn’t know another way to express myself than wow this is really working and I’m going to be okay.
O: Tears of joy and gratitude.
Do you have a favorite book that you would recommend to our listeners?
Christy: For me, I would have to say just because I had one of those sponsors that believed in the literature, she was a literature junkie, my book today looks like a coloring book and to me The Basic Text saved my life. She was one of those that believed in highlighting, underlining, discussing, writing about it and for me she made the literature come alive and for me that literally just saved my life in the beginning.
What is the best suggestion you’ve ever received?
Christy: It’s so cliche, but I would have to say keep coming back because like I said, when I got here, I didn’t know if I was going to stay. I didn’t know if I wanted to stay. I didn’t know how I was going to stay. All I know is that I needed to do something different and at that point I was willing to try. If y’all would have told me if I jumped off a 20 story building, I probably would have tried it because I was willing to do something else because what I had done for so long did not work. I got to the point where you’re ready to say “I’m done” and take yourself out, that woke my ass up.
If you could give our listeners only one suggestion, what would it be?
SUGGESTION’S FOR THE NEWCOMER!
“Give yourself a break. Don’t be so serious”
Christy: Give yourself a break. Don’t be so serious. Nobody works a perfect program no matter how they share. They just don’t. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to stumble. You’re going to fall and you’re going to do stuff wrong. You’re going to do stuff right. It’s like a roller coaster literally. Like you have ups and downs. Just don’t take yourself so seriously. Life’s too short for that. I mean I didn’t get clean to be miserable.
Thanks again for your SHAIR Christy!
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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.