Grace Thompson #MyPreventionStory
My sobriety has to be my number one priority, without it I lose everything else. I have a long family history of addiction, and somehow believed it would skip me. I falsely believed it was a matter of will power; that lack of understanding nearly cost me my life. I became addicted to alcohol at the age of 25, and I lost nearly a decade of my life enslaved to alcohol. I am not defined by the disease of alcoholism; I am much more than that. I am a mother, a wife, a sister, an auntie, a daughter, a niece, a granddaughter, and most importantly I am a person who has overcome an addiction. Every struggle I endured as a result of addiction has made me stronger, more compassionate, less judgmental of myself and others, and for that I am truly grateful. I describe myself as a grateful alcoholic, this might sound like a contradiction to some, but to me it rings true daily. I intend to dedicate my life to helping others who suffer with the disease of addiction, ensuring that no matter what stage they are in they know their value as humans. The calling on my life is to help others, and make a difference. I will continue this journey and continue to trust the process one day at a time.
Sobriety date: 5/25/2017
What made you interested in being a part of Break the Mold?
I am interested in being a part of the change I want to see in the world, and have endured a lot of negative stigma related to my addiction. I wanted to participate in Break the Mold to help spread awareness, and to allow people to realize that people with addiction are just like everyone else.
Why do you feel it was important to share your story?
I have felt a lot of shame related to my story, because it involved child protective services, and losing custody of my children. It is important to tell my story to encourage others that have been through similar situations, or are possibly in the midst of a similar situation. I want people to know there is hope after going through a CPS investigation. I am allowed to see my children whenever I want to now, and have a wonderful relationship with all of them. This is thanks to my sobriety.
How does Break the Mold tie into prevention from substance use disorder?
Break the Mold ties into prevention by allowing people to see that addiction does not discriminate, and anyone can become addicted. This allows individuals that believe they are immune to the disease of addiction to see themselves in the stories of others. This might be eye opening enough to cause them to pause, and be introspective about their lives and coping skills (or lack thereof). This might cause someone to get mental health help before becoming addicted.
How has recovery affected your life?
Recovery has allowed me to have a life; without it I would likely be dead, or close to it. My recovery is the foundation of all aspects of my life. I lost so much to my addiction, and fought like hell to gain my life back. Recovery not only saved my life, it also gave me a life worth living, for that I am grateful daily.
What do you want people to know who are struggling with a substance use disorder?
Know that there is help, and there are people all around you that are willing to help you achieve sobriety. You never have to face this thing alone! I remember feeling like I was completely alone in my addiction, I felt judged by everyone around me. Just know that there are people that care about you, and know what you are going through. Reach out boldly, and know that you are not alone.