All this month, MDC will be sharing different individual’s journey in recovery for National Recovery Month. This week, Desiree Bowers, shares her journey. Thank you Desiree for sharing and all you to do help those in addiction and recovery.

How many times had I stated my name and was very reluctant in announcing my public secret, “I am Desiree, an addict” to a group of strangers, some whose appearance were vague in my memory. Several months in 1994 passed before I could honestly share my public secret from the pits of my soul and not just from my vocal cords. What a relief to finally participate in step one, part one. “Admitting I am powerless over my addiction.” Wow! This meant I had to own up to being a drug addict? Na, I just liked being numb. It was not until part two of step one, where I had to take a look at my life’s unmanageability. “Pay the rent or my drug of choice?” I take doc for $20 please. Now my mental tape is in rewind mode and I need to share with another addict who is in drug/life recovery, who is living sober. I can’t do this alone; this program was not meant for recovering addicts to do alone.

This monster (disease of addiction) crept like a thief in the night, a predator. I was not innocent. My soul was dancing, dancing in a very dark place. The year was 1980 the first time a glass pipe pressed between my lips while my breath inhaled the contents from it. I had no idea for the next almost 20 years of my life I would give in willingly to the monster. I tried many times not too engage in the dance, everywhere I went the monster was with me waiting on my cravings. And most of the time I would begin just where I left with much more intensity.

I have learned most of our stories are the same, for some the ending is different.

“I owe a Power Greater than myself my life and service today. There was a time I was lost. They sent a search party looking in the hall of respectability and could not find me there. Grace went down to the station of integrity and inquired about me. Grace stopped by the temple of piety and could not find me there. And then Grace went out to the streets of virtue, displayed my picture and nobody recognize me there. Grace concluded He was looking in all the wrong sections of town. He went across the tracks to the dreary ghettos, went down to the morning gardens, hung out with vagabonds, derelicts, and thugs, perverse prostitutes, and hoodlums and Grace found me lying on the streets beaten and bruised, robbed of my dignity, robbed of my pride, suffering from spiritual bankruptcy. It was His Love A Power Greater than myself that lifted me up.”

That night was September 17, 1994; however I celebrate my testimony and sobriety September 18, 1994.

I celebrate life every day I can live it for Him! Today I am a mother of 4 adult children, 4 grandchildren, I love my family and they love me. I have written 2 non fictions based on true stories. God has blessed me to soon open Chance House of East Tennessee Recovery Living for Women.

Prevention is a choice. The tools are positive people, places and things. “Drugs were not my problem; I learned I was my problem.” We have to learn techniques of problem solving without numbing ourselves with mind altering substances. We have to learn to deal with physical pain with the natural substances that is provided by mother earth. I remember sitting in a meeting one day a long, long time ago and I blurted out to the group, “ my man got me started doing drugs.” The counselor looked at me and asked, “Did he put a gun to your head?” I answered no. She then told me to sit back, listen and be quiet. I have always given thanks to her for that day in helping me to take ownership of my drug addiction, and my recovery.

Yours Truly,

Desiree Bowers