Jennifer G’s Recovery Story

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jennifer g mountainside alumni

My story is a story of up and downs, of defeats and triumphs, but it’s mostly a story about not giving up. And knowing that I’m a work in progress and I’ll never be done. But since leaving Mountainside in 2021, my life has gotten both difficult and beautiful. Most importantly, I faced it without drinking. I can’t really say what exactly it was about my last time at Mountainside that was different, but I can say that it’s when I finally started to wake up. As my good friend Lincoln said when I got there for the FOURTH time, “Jennifer, your house is on fire and you’re acting like it’s not.” For some reason, God always presented me with people that say the exact thing I need to hear at the perfect moment, and for me, that was a big one.

He was right, I had become so seasoned at going to rehab. I knew what to say, I knew how to act, I just didn’t know how to stay sober. And I fought. And fought. Acceptance wasn’t part of my vocabulary when it came to my alcoholism, and I had to learn to truly accept what I was: an alcoholic. I had some sobriety at times but I literally drank every day during Covid and it felt exactly like the story in the AA big book about the farmer and the tornado. The storm was ravaging everything around me but I’d been living in my bunker with my eyes shut, my ears closed and a bottle in my hand. I had been down there so long, I forgot what sunshine felt like. But deep down, I knew I had to come out. My disease was screaming to die, ‘don’t make that call, you’re not worth it. Your daughter is better off without you…’ but something way bigger than me that day emerged and I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired…I had no idea what would happen to me but it had to be better than what I’d become and I made the call.

Mountainside helped me to see that I was worth staying sober for. They told me the truth. They helped me see that even us strugglers can someday live free. And that my disease was not just about my drinking. It’s about my thinking and about taking responsibility for my life. When I drank, I lived in fear and shame. I didn’t really believe that I could ever stop drinking. The hold has been that great, but no matter how many times I’ve tried, the point is, I still tried. And slowly, with the help of my friends and my family, I began to believe.

By the grace of God, I’m sober today. I’m not a dabbler, I’m in or I’m out… My disease wants me dead and with one sip that can easily become my reality once again. Today, I have no delusions about alcohol, I’ve tested the waters too many times to not be real with myself. The road from the sip to the jail cell is real and I no longer have to wake up and learn that lesson firsthand. I can play the tape… and that’s a gift that I’m so grateful for. I’ve got a huge arsenal now to fight back against the dreaded disease and I know when it’s talking. All things seemed to take forever to learn, but I’m awake, I’m aware and this work in progress is ready for any 24 hours, one day at a time.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Mountainside can help.
Click here or call (888) 833-4676 to speak with one of our addiction treatment experts.