I made it to two years in recovery!!!
December seems to be a big month of dates for me to celebrate, along with the holidays.
December 2nd marked 2 years in recovery
December 8th marked 3 years of being released from prison
I was curious as to why I should celebrate the fact that I hadn’t been back to prison or jail, but after learning the data of recidivism and watching so many people I knew either go back or get re-arrested, I realized that I fell into the small category that didn’t. Not only that, but I’m living proof that the Corrections Officer that told me that once I have a “number”, I will always have a number and I will always be back because prison is a revolving door, is wrong.
To get back to that data, since it’s pretty shocking, here’s where I fall into the data:
I’m part of the 32.2% that DID NOT get re-arrested, part of the 23.1% of drug offenders who did not get rearrested, and the 30% of women who did not re-offend.
Those stats are scary and as I was looking them up, I found out that the US has the highest rate of incarceration (2.2 million incarcerated. Louisiana incarcerated 816 per every 100k people in 2014 and is aka “the WORLDS prison capital”).
What are your thoughts on that?
I have the privelege to serve on the CT Alcohol and Drug Policy Treatment Subcommittee, where I surround myself with some powerful people in CT as we figure out ways to better CT (or DMHAS refers to it as promoting high quality effective treatment and reducing barriers). I mean yeah, we do that, but sometimes I get angry at these meetings because you discover the lack of humanity and compassion in some of the most powerful people in CT. Like in all honesty, put some commissioners and politicians and CEO’s of some places, that swear and promise they are “doing the best they can at serving CT residents and improving services”, in prison for 24-48 hours and I GUARANTEE they would put action to their words. In fact, you don’t even need to do a mock incarceration experiment, but instead put ONE undercover officer in any of CT’s prisons and that would make a difference.
Thank God for the courageous people that advocate. Many of those advocates have been people who have been incarcerated themselves or have been impacted by a loved one’s incarceration.
Anyways, TWO YEARS OF RECOVERY!!!
Very grateful to be celebrating this milestone!
Although I celebrate, not every day was a celebration. There were several times I faced loss and grief, temptations and trials, confusion and frustration. In times of weakness (which I experienced often), I fell to my knees and was reminded that when I am weak, He is strong. I didn’t make it here alone. God is always there and He blessed me with encouragement and love from my family, friends, church family, co workers, my colleagues and supervisors, and of course my pets. My family never stopped praying for me when I was sick and have shown the testimony of the power of prayer.
And to the families who courageously share their stories of their loved ones… you inspire me daily to fight the good fight. Thank you for being brave, so that in moments of my weakness, I can find bravery too. Thank you to the people who believed in me to share my story to crowds I never thought would listen.
Thanks to recovery, I no longer am suicidal, I finally have self confidence I never believed would exist for me, I have a career that blesses me with witnessing miracles, I’m a full time college student again, and I can be the daughter, sister, and Godmother that my family prayed to have back.
If you are reading this and are struggling, or know someone who is, please never lose faith, don’t doubt yourself, and remember that you are worth healing and recovery.