Relying on Faith
I began using marijuana when I was a young teenager, using it every day, multiple times a day. My parents found out when I was 16 years old and put me into an outpatient rehabilitation center. It was a temporary solution, but my heart had not yet changed.
We later moved and I found new party friends in my new town. I was a senior in high school and began drinking heavily along with my marijuana use. I was barely able to graduate. I moved out to begin college where I drank and partied almost every day. Because of this, I never went to classes and flunked out. When I got evicted from my apartment and saw where my life was headed, I finally decided on my own that I needed to change. I was 19 years old when I admitted myself to an outpatient rehabilitation program, but after a few months I became discouraged and quit. I easily returned to my old habits.
A couple of years later, I met a man I was interested in and we started dating. I soon realized that the life I had lived so far was not the life I had dreamed of. I wanted a temple marriage. I quit my addictions in order to save our relationship and get married.
Although I remained free from my addictions, I had other issues I had not yet resolved before marriage. So after five years together, my husband and I filed for a divorce. To deal with the pain, I planned to return to my former partying ways. Instead, my parents gave me much-needed support and suggested I go to counseling.
I began seeing an LDS counselor over the course of the next year and a half. I started to deal with the pain of the divorce, and I finally began working through my addictions and other issues I had buried since my early teenage years. My counselor suggested I regularly attend Addiction Recovery Meetings, even though I had been sober for over five years. The meetings, however, helped me learn more about the gospel principles that are found in the12 steps. Through counseling, the Addiction Recovery Program, and continued activity in the Church, I learned to rely on my faith in order to get through the most difficult time of my life. I have learned that the Atonement is not only for repentance; it can heal our broken hearts and teach us to forgive others who have hurt us.
During this last year, I celebrated a decade of sobriety. I am intensely proud of this accomplishment. I met a wonderful man and was re-married and sealed in the temple. My life is now calmer and more peaceful than it used to be.
I believe the Addiction Recovery Program is an incredibly useful tool for any type of addiction. It has made a difference in my life and introduced me to people who have been an inspiration and help to me on my path to find happiness.