Lisa: So, the other 7 times, did you not want to get clean and stay clean?
Kristie: I did but, I didn’t want it for myself. I wanted it for my family, mostly. I’m not saying they aren’t something that helps keep me going but, I needed to want it for myself. I think that is the most important thing and the only way anyone can stay clean and sober. You have to do it and want it for yourself.
Lisa: How often do you think about heroin?
Kristie: Every single day.
Lisa: How have you stayed sober for 2000 days when you think about it every day?
Kristie: I work my program. I put myself first. I stay focused. I go to meetings. I talk with my sponsor. I am a sponsor. I have a great support system around me.
Lisa: Tell me more about your support system? How did that come together?
Kristie: That was not easy. I had some family members and friends that were supportive but, I also had friends and family that were addicts too. I had to distance myself from anything and anyone that was going to jeopardize my recovery. That was scary. I had to make new friends that I knew would keep me accountable. I made a lot of friends going to meetings. It’s been my saving grace at times when I have felt triggered or around holidays when I didn’t want to be around family members that were using.
Lisa: What advice would you give to someone who is fresh out of recovery?
Kristie: Work your own program. There is no cookie cutter road to recovery.
Lisa: How has your life changed over these last 2000 days?
Kristie: Well technically it’s 2003!
Lisa: My bad! How has it changed over the past 2003 days?
Kristie: I’m a new person! I feel alive and grateful and full of hope. I’ve worked hard and have taken two amazing trips that I could finally afford to go on. I’ve met the love of my life and have been married for just under a year. I wouldn’t have anything that I have now if I was still using. I’m finally the person I have always wanted to be!
Lisa: Do you have a quote or saying that you could share with others that keeps you going?
Kristie: In the words of Bob Marley, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”