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Jennifer G. Shares Her Journey From Addiction to Recovery

From episode: EP:011 Jennifer G.

So when I was going through my training as a substance abuse counselor, we have this thing called the circle of change or the stages of change. And the way that I learned the stages of change was to use the idea that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. And a lot of people will sit back and, the way I describe it to clients is like, somebody's really happy with the patch of dirt that they're sitting on right now and they're comfortable with it because it's familiar. But the recovery side on this other side, on the other side of the fence, it's new, it's shiny, it's scary. There's a lot of things that are questionable, like how can I get over the fence to that? What's going to happen when I put my feet down in the grass? So there's that what we call ambivalence to either wanting to stay what's really comfortable or putting yourself into a situation that's taking you outside of yourself and hopefully going to make yourself a little bit uncomfortable. So can you tell me a little bit about the journey that you've had with recovery and with addiction and where that has taken you? Sure. Well, my addiction was alcohol and I've, I guess I was in denial for a while knowing I had a problem. I noticed that I would be happy at one point, having a few drinks, you know, living a life in a happy moment, but by the end of the night, the depression would begin and then sadness and say things, do things, call people, text people, and then look at my phone the next day and have that anxiety like, oh my gosh, no, I'm okay, I'm okay. But really I wasn't. I would end up blacking out. I just got to the point where I'm like, God, this is so embarrassing. This is not who I am. I don't want people to worry about me. Am I really okay? So the journey was just struggling with my own thoughts and feelings of just being in that happy moment and be like, okay, I can handle this. I would quit for a while, you know, let's just take a break, okay? Things are getting out of control, telling people, hey, you know, I don't want to really go out, I don't really want to be drinking, just, you know, I'm good, just I'm really trying to get my life together, alcohol is really kind of like being more of a downer now. That was the hardest thing, just kind of admitting to people that, hey, you know, I really need to cut back. And then I've gotten to the point where, you know, oh, I can have a couple. Well, I did have a couple or two, but I would never feel that happiness. It just felt like I was just drinking like a pop or something. So then I would drink more. Well, then I would get that buzz back and then again, I was going to the blackout stages where it was just normal and I wasn't feeling anything unless I was going to be blackout sloppy drunk. And then I would take my breaks and God, those breaks, it would be, I don't know if it would be like a week. I'd be like, all right, I did a week. All right, I'm only going to drink once this week, you know, and I'd count down, do that for a while. Well, then it turned into two or three times a week and then I would take five months off. But every time I took a break, God, I was so blessed and thankful that the energy, the clear mindedness, the just how good I felt inside and out. Like I felt like, God, this is how my life made it, everything together in my happy mood constantly when I was around people who drink and like, man, I'm so glad I'm not feeling what you're feeling right now. It great, was the recovery part, because you're like, man, just there's so much more to life than being stuck in a feeling. Like you're kind of saying in that dirt and green grass, you're stuck in a feeling but you're only stuck in that feeling because you know you're feeling something and you want to feel something so that that dirt that you're sitting in feels so good and comfortable. And then when you go over to the other side and that grass is there like, hey, this is really cool. This is nice. And you never look back at that dirt.

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