September is National Recovery Month and our staff would like to share their experience, strength and hope.
“Don’t Drink or use no matter WHAT!”
I remember someone saying that to me in a meeting 34 years ago. I couldn’t have imaged “WHAT” the journey was going to be like. Well, in short, it has been incredible. As I remember, in that same meeting another wise member also mentioned to “strap on your seat belt for sobriety; it’s a hell of a ride.” Now that was some truth. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some difficult moments, hours and days. But there have been some sweet, sweet times also. Working here at Turning Point of Tampa for the past 24 years has been one of the sweet ones. I have met and worked with some of the most dedicated people to recovery, clients and staff. I am grateful for where the journey has taken me. So in essence, Alumni, don’t drink or use no matter what, make sure your seat belt is secure, be of service, and trust in your Higher Power, for the ride of your life! — Joan B.
At the end of my drinking my cynicism about life and the world was only exceeded by the shame I felt about being Jim Dwyer. I remember clearly the realization I had about two weeks into rehab that if I was going to stay sober I’d have to start caring again…about myself, this life, this world…and let me just admit that caring again scared me more than trying to live without drinking….but here’s what I saw when I started to attend AA…beautiful, fallible, mixed up shook up, brave and crazy people trying to stay sober and care about each other, trying to accept life on life’s terms, trying to do some good despite their own shortcomings, despite the often inexplicable pain of this life…I was inspired to follow their lead and I’m grateful that I did…it’s a messy world and I am a bit of a mess myself, but because of sobriety I’ve been able to make a small contribution at times to decreasing the amount of pain in the world…it’s a decent and honorable way of life…addiction is slavery…recovery is the chance to be free. — Jim D.
“Don’t leave 5 minutes before the miracle,” “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” and “a grateful addict will not use” were all things that I heard early on in the rooms that really stuck with me. After 11 years of “One Day at a Time” I could not be more grateful for the life that recovery has afforded me. Today I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. — Ashley N.
People used to tell me-“Don’t give up before the miracle happens”. Well, I haven’t given up and the miracles keep on happening. Thank God, thank AA, and thank God for other recovering people. — Hans L.
Turning Point of Tampa truly saved my life. While I was here I was defiant, unwilling and totally detached from my Higher Power. I didn’t see the point in working a program or being in treatment. I thought the only thing I had to do was to stop drinking and using. This thought process led me straight to a relapse. I simply wasn’t ready. After many failed attempts at getting sober, I finally reached my bottom and spent over a year in jail. During that time, the only hope I had at preparing myself for staying stopped was to use the tools I gained from Turning Point. I had to stop being the center of chaos. I had to stop glorifying my use. And I had to get honest that I can’t do this by myself. I am not responsible for my disease but I am responsible for my recovery. Today I work a program of recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous. I have a sponsor who has a sponsor and I sponsor other women. I practice the 12 steps to the best of my ability and thanks to my Higher Power, AA and Turning Point, I live a life I am grateful for and continue to progress spiritually, mentally and emotionally. One Day at A Time. — Molly S.
To all alumni and friends of Turning Point of Tampa, I hope this writing finds you happy, healthy and sober. Although this is recovery month, we in the rooms know our program is a recovery day, a recovery hour and sometimes a recovery minute that we rely upon. I know for me I don’t always see my recovery program working in the moment. It can take some time passing, some perspective from my sponsor and network or some awareness from my higher power to see. What always reminds me of recovery working is when I see and hear the success stories of our alumni at Turning Point. I wish everyone continued happiness, joy and freedom on your journey! — Logan C.
Early recovery for me was about learning to do what I didn’t want to do. I realized that I did what I wanted to my entire life and all sorts of bad things happened. When I first came to AA I hated myself, but I allowed the women in the program to love me when I thought that I was unlovable. Through their love and the love of my Higher Power I began to see my worth. When I began to take direction from my sponsor and women with long term sobriety my life began to change. I learned I can’t do this alone and that together we really can recover! My life got better and everything around me got better. Today all the promises have all come true for me. Today I love myself, I’ve realized that I am worthy, capable and strong and that I have something good to offer this world. Through recovery I get to experience total freedom from my addiction Through recovery I get to experience total freedom from my addiction and no matter what comes my way, life is good. Really good!! — Beverly W.
“Recovery is my parachute, it is my safety net….the umbrella I open above me, every morning.” — Mark M.
“Nothing tastes as good as abstinence feels!” I’m coming up on 30 years of abstinence, and when I first heard that quote 3 decades ago (OMG, THREE DECADES!!), food still tasted much better than anything I was feeling. But now, thousands of meals down the road, my abstinent food now tastes great AND I get to feel happy, joyous and free much of the time. I may not always feel happy and joyous, but I always feel FREE. Living in recovery is as good as it gets! — Clara W.
“An addict alone is in bad company!” Call your sponsor and your support network. ” — Steve M.
I found the peace in my life on the day I stopped keeping score. I learned how to stop keeping score by working the 12 steps! — Mike H.
Turning Point of Tampa gave me hope when I absolutely believed there was no hope. How grateful I am and what a gift it is to be able to share that hope one day at a time with others. — Ellen S.