The Makeover

I grew up believing in God but felt I was different from everybody; not pretty, no father, not normal like other children.  My mother was single and worked very hard raising 3 children with the help of her parents.  I attended church regularly, was a Confirmed Lutheran, Girl Scout, H.S. graduate, got married to an abusive man, had a child. One year later I was divorced.  Started dating another, got married without family approval, had 2 more children.  Lived in a somewhat happy atmosphere but was still unsettled, always wanting MY WAY. I divorced my 2nd husband and then decided to un-divorce him, 6 wks later he abused me and I filed for divorce again.  I did not know this wasn’t normal.  Everyone got divorced if they weren’t happy.  Then I moved away from Omaha and continued my spiral down, got married, divorced then got pregnant again.

WHY? Because I would turn to alcohol and drugs instead of God.  I would silence that voice that told me I wasn’t being too smart by using alcohol and cocaine.  Over a 20-year period I became Mother of 4; divorced 3x – Alcoholic, drug addict, bulimic, thief, depressed, suicidal.   Turning my back on God and everything? Selfishness, self-centeredness I learned was the root of my problems.

When I used alcohol and cocaine I couldn’t stop, no matter how I tried.  When I did eat I would eat so much that I would throw up because I felt I wasn’t skinny enough, I wanted to be perfect.  I could not think clearly anymore, all I could think about was my next drink or hit and in the end even that did not satisfy my desire for ‘the something’ I was looking for.  I had damaged my brain; my thought patterns were all out of whack.   It became a disease like cancer; it is an allergy to alcohol and chemicals.  Could not clean, could not cook, could not take care of my children.  Could not function as a normal human being and didn’t CARE too.  Didn’t care or love anything anymore.  Lost my interest in life.  DEAD on the inside, I wanted to die and tried to kill myself over and over but it wasn’t working, nothing I did worked. I couldn’t do enough drugs to kill me because my tolerance was so high.  April 1, 1995; I had parked my car on the RR tracks because I wanted my ex-husband to believe that a train had hit me.  Upon leaving the car something INSIDE (which I believe now to be my Higher Power) reminded me – ‘what about the other people who love you; your Mother, your children, your Grandparents that cared for you watching from Heaven? ‘ Do you want them to suffer this mental anguish YOU would be causing?” Of course the answer was NO.   I panicked, getting back into my car, tried to get the car back off the RR tracks, but it would not go in reverse, so I plummeted forward into the ravine.  The car was off the tracks.  The next morning I realized that I should get the car out of there, ASAP, before it was discovered by anyone (like the police).  I called a towing company. Sitting on the hill watching my car get hauled backwards out of ravine, I remember praying asking God why WHY I was still alive?  Little did I know He had other plans for me.  I went on until July 4, 1995 blotting out all the things I had become, scared to let anyone help me.  Why should I ask, who am I, I had let everyone else down?

July 5, 1995 I called in sick to work (like I usually did the day after the holiday) and my supervisor called my bluff.   I had run this gambit with them before.  They said I would lose my job if I did not comply with the EAP (Employee Assistant Program), So I started an outpatient Treatment for Chemical Dependency (again) per their suggestions.  I discovered with the help of a lot of friends (angels) that my problems had not only become physical and mental but also spiritual.

With the help of Cocaine Anonymous, I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God.  It was very hard to surrender; I still wanted control. I remember one time when I was in In-Patient treatment that my Pastor called me and I was whining to him “what about my children, I need to be with my children” and he said “Becky, if you take care of yourself, God will take care of your children”.  I learned that once I had done this, accepted that my life was unmanageable the way I was living it, accepted my character defects, asked for forgiveness, tried to follow God’s will – all my sins had been removed. The desire to use mind-altering chemicals was removed.  I would learn to trust God and pray instead of using drugs and alcohol.   I would learn to face my fears knowing God was my support.   God did for me what I could not do for myself.  He restored me to sanity.  EVERYTHING has been restored and more.

I learned humility.  I no longer feel like I have to pretend to know everything. I can ask someone for help when I don’t know the answer.  I have learned to be responsible. If I cannot do something, I try not to make excuses, but I tell the truth.  I have learned that I cannot change anyone but myself and that I need to rely on God to help others.  I can help them by praying for them, but even then I do not ask for things.  I pray specifically for God’s will to be done.  Even when I had to admit I was a newcomer again it was relatively easy because it was the right thing to do.   Honest, Open and Willing.

How much did this makeover cost?   It was FREE- but I have to give it away to keep it.  I try to help God whenever possible – which was part of my deal with him.  Besides my full time job and part-time job, and being a full time mom, I attend 2 CA meetings regularly, Area Sec, GSR, Treasurer (one in a homeless shelter, monthly in the Work Release Center for Jails); sponsor other addicts in need, serve on committees for that group, I volunteer and attend church regularly, sing in the Choir, teach Sunday School, am a member of church committees. I give rides whenever needed (how else do you expect God to get His children to practice they can’t drive?).   What have I gained besides MY LIFE??   Many Blessings:  All 4 of my children are part of my life again, I have seen 3 of them confirmed and graduate from H.S., my niece, my daughter’s and my brother’s weddings, the birth of multiple children in my family; I have maintained my Job for over 10 years now, become a Choir Director (and can see how that has blossomed). I play the piano now (which really amazes me that I can learn something new).   I OWN a home now and each day when I back out of the drive I thank God for another day to serve Him.  I try to carry an attitude of gratitude in everything I do today

I tell my story because this is the foundation that God has laid for me.  I have built up from the pits of my own hell and have built a wonderful life in serving my Higher Power.   I turn everything over to God and He helps me match chaos with serenity.   6 words sum it up- Trust God, Clean House (BE Honest), Help Others and God will take care of the rest and DOES!!!

– Becky L.