GUEST COLUMN: Addicts need motivation to keep fighting

By Daily News • Last Updated 12:30 pm on Monday, July 23, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is the third of four first-person accounts written by a woman who is participating in Adult Drug Court of Ionia and Montcalm counties. The woman’s identity won’t be revealed, but her life of addiction and recovery is an important story to tell in her own voice.

Anyone interested in becoming involved with adult drug court or a court mentoring program may contact Jeffrey via e-mail at for more information.

In order to succeed, in anything, you must have motivation. Athletes have a reason to train, writers have a reason to finish the story, businessmen have a reason to close the deal. This holds true for us addicts as well. We need to have reasons to keep fighting, to keep trying, to persevere. The odds are stacked against us, because we have a disease that tells us we don’t have a disease, and our biggest deterrent to success is ourselves.

Our specific reasons vary individually, but our end goal is the same. We all have something, some driving force motivating us forward, keeping us from deviating from our goal-continued sobriety. For me, they are vast and varied, but each just as important as the last.

My motivation surrounds me, I see nothing as a reason to use, because when I was using, I noticed nothing. My motivation lies in the thousand little moments that make up my 24 hours. It’s the traffic jam on my way to work, it’s the vehicle I drive. It’s the dishes I do and the dinner I make, the laundry I fold, the house I clean, because these mean I am taking care of my family.

It’s the job I have, the bills I pay, the responsibility I feel. It’s the people I’ve met along the way. It’s the sunset over the lake near my house, the flowers in bloom, the beauty of nature. It’s the song on the radio I sing along with while my boys laugh at me. It’s the game of street football we play, the tennis I taught them to play. It’s watching them grow, and laugh, and smile. It’s the places I’ve been able to take them, the memories we’ve made. It’s the hug from my oldest son who hated me 16 months ago, wouldn’t look me in the eye. It’s the fact that I am my youngest son’s favorite person in the world. It’s both of them telling me I am “nice mommy again.”

It’s the kiss from the man who wants to marry me, the smile that means I am special to him. It’s the “I love you” I hear, from my sons, from my boyfriend, my siblings, so many people. It’s the look of pride, rather than disappointment, I see in my mother’s eyes when she looks at me. It’s the fact that she can trust me again, depend on me, believe me. It’s the open invitation to “come anytime” to my brother’s house, a place I am now welcome. It’s the confidence I feel, the joy I find where before, there was none. It’s the laughter, and the serenity I feel through to my soul.

My motivation is all these things, and my ability to view them for the blessings they are. But it began within. I stay sober for myself; I have come too far and worked too hard to lose it all again. I do it for myself, because I never again want my children to feel the neglect I caused. I never want my family to feel the embarrassment they once felt. I never want my mother to worry, to walk out to her car in the morning and survey the yard for my body, dead from an overdose. I never again want to let any one of them down. I am stronger now, I am conscience, I am happy, with my life, with myself. I am here. These are my reasons, this is my life. This is my family, and this is where I belong.

July 9: “People don’t understand what addiction is”
July 16: “Finding rock bottom in the Montcalm County Jail”
Today: “Addicts need motivation to keep fighting”
July 30: “Addicts need motivation to keep fighting”

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