Twila Johnson | Survivor of Addiction

"I have found that the best way for me to stay well is to help others that are seeking solutions."

For  much of my life, my identity revolved around my kids. As they got older and didn’t ‘need’ me anymore, I had to discover who I was all over again. I felt I didn’t have a purpose or enough self-worth, so I turned to alcohol.

Drinking had always been a part of our social scene, but suddenly I was using it as a solution to my unhappiness.

In my mid 40s, a mother of three grown children and more than 20 years of experience in nursing, alcohol became something I didn’t know how to function without.

As a nurse, I knew what addiction was. I used to see the “frequent flyers” come into the hospital. I soon discovered that alcohol addiction is so much more than the physical symptoms like cravings and withdrawal. It’s a hopeless state of mind, body and soul.

My drinking affected my marriage, my relationships with my kids and eventually my job. I thought about treatment multiple times, but that meant I would’ve had to admit my failures. I was afraid and unwilling to get well, even after multiple DUI’s.

After going to work drunk, I went to treatment feeling very defeated and embarrassed. I started going to meetings, I had a sponsor, but I still wasn’t ready to get well. I got another DUI. I was very broken, and I wasn’t willing to take my disease seriously. I didn’t realize how undisciplined I was. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t figure this out. I was an educated woman who had raised a family, held a steady job – why couldn’t I figure this out?

2016 marked my first year of living a life of recovery. I now have 18+ months of continuous sobriety – one day at a time.

I have found that the best way for me to stay well is to help others that are seeking solutions. If I can help another person in that hopeless state of mind, then I can help myself. As long as I put the needs of others before my own, I will continue to have a chance at my own recovery.

  

Read more about Twila’s story here.