Meet Recovery Rockstar, Gwinn

Many words could be used to describe the pain I felt growing up as a child in less than perfect conditions.  To identify myself as someone with the disease of addiction, I never felt like enough and always wanted to be loved. In order to gain those feelings, I would compromise myself at all cost... doing anything to "fit in". 

Looking back now,  I think it has always been an issue of Love.  Because I was unable to receive love properly, I was also unable to give love properly. 

Instead of intimacy being taught in a loving manner, it was handed to me brutally- in the dark.   Fear became my driving force in life and like most addicts, I learned early how to keep secrets & be dishonest.  I could tell many terrible stories that would make you say poor girl but what I want you to know the most is that I always pointed fingers.  

I always played the victim.  If you had the life I had, and experienced the pain I did, you would use drugs too.  Being in "victimstance" gave me an alibi to abuse substances.  

I couldn't see that if I would allow myself to become the problem,  I could also find a solution.  

See I am powerless over "others".  For example, how other people love me. But if I am the problem, then I have a solution.  Freedom to a different way of thinking. 

I would love to say that I figured that out before becoming a mother myself, but I didn't.  Instead, I became a way worse mom than my mother ever dreamed of being.  You should never judge until you walk a mile in someone else's shoes.  My mother loved me with everything she was capable of, perhaps she was spiritually sick too?  I am grateful that today I live by a code of love and tolerance.  

Mothering while administering drugs IV takes your children on a wild ride.  Locked in cold cars, helping me through seizures or storing clean urine.  These were ways in which my kids and I spent time together. 

Personally, another low for me was when I began to prostitute.  Not only to strangers but to that man who had molested me all those years ago. I had a brilliant thought, "I have what he wants and I will play on his illness!"

I believe this was my all time low.  It is one thing to be forced, however, another to chose. Any fire I still had for life was distinguished that day.  

Still in that moment, change didn't occur and I wanted it to, badly. I didn't know how to change. I could not fix myself. I cried out for help.

It wasn't in a prayer position.  I was rolling around on the ground, with snot all over my face.  It was not a pretty sight.  With a fist raised.  I said something like, "whatever you are up there, you better come and do something because I can't.   You know my heart, and I love those babies more than anything else.  I would die for them but I put dope before them.  Why?  You have to help me!  I cannot do this.  I just can't change.  I keep ending up at University Hospital overdosed- barely alive. I give up.  If you don't help me, I am going to use until I die."   In that moment, all I wanted was to just wake up one day and not have to put a needle in my arm.  That is all.  I wasn't worried about a job, a car or getting my kids back.  I just wanted to take a breath sober.  

And God met me halfway.   My supernatural star breathing God took the desire to use Heroin out of my heart for the next 24 hours.  What a miracle. Typing this still puts tears in my eyes.  I couldn't go a few hours.  I am still blown away.  So I asked again the next day!  And this is the practice that I still do each and everyday.   God, please remove the desire to drink and drug from my heart for the next 24 hours. 

Most importantly what this did is establish a relationship, a true friendship, between me and God. I realized that he cared about me. That love that I had always wanted, it was always there- and I didn't have to be good or perfect.   In fact, I did nothing to earn it!  God reached down to me when I was in my darkest hour.  When I was what society would consider a pretty horrible person- my loving papa thought I was worth saving.  More than that, He found me worthy of the life I live today. 

Because he loved me so much, I began to believe something different about myself.  I became willing.  Open to the possibility of other things he could do in my life.  

When asked, "what habits help you stay sober?"  Its simple.  I believe something different.  Because of that, my actions naturally follow and then I confess it!  

Basically, I realize that I have the DNA of a King.  That makes me pretty special.  I have reclaimed my identity.  I am becoming who I was always intended to be.  Our disease is cunning.  It is out to destroy and rob us, never wanting us to amount to anything.  

Today, my past has become my greatest asset.  I am a soldier on the firing lines for Recovery.  And I confess it.  Words are powerful.  That is my action.  I speak out everywhere I get the chance.  I speak life over myself and recovery!  I stay humble and remember that I am an instrument of the spirit.  I give back what was given to me!  But also remember that although it is action that keeps me sober-  I am just willing, it is Him who performs the action!  My sobriety is contingent upon my spiritual maintenance. I stay close in my relationship with God.  I depend on him and I trust him with all things.  I clean house, trust God, help others.