Melissa Johnson is someone I met in the cyber world of recovery. I find her such a powerful force in the recovery community as she lives her life sober and shares it with the world. She shares her courage, faith and love every day. She’s also part of the young women in recovery movement, and I just think getting sober at a young age is so awesome and the best gift you can give to anyone, especially family. Melissa started a nonprofit last year to help other struggling Mom’s in recovery and she gets to pay it forward every day.
My relationship with alcohol in the past was a toxic love/hate relationship. It didn’t matter how much trouble it got me into or how many times I promised I’d never go back, I always did. The first time I tried to really get sober it felt like I was in mourning, my life was in shambles because of alcohol yet I missed it just as much as I missed my kids who were in foster care. I laid in bed crying like the love of my life had just died.
I have no desire to drink today. I have no desire to mess up my life again or the lives of the ones that matter most to me, my babies. To drink is to die. It may sound a bit dramatic to some but that’s the truth for me.
My relationships weren’t the best. I always felt like a disappointment to my family. I feel like I hurt my sister and my mom more times than I can count and they could never talk to me about my drinking because I would hear nothing they had to say. I was an obnoxious drunk and I know they couldn’t stand to be around me most times. They were extremely angry at me for a long time. Understandably so.
Our relationships are so much better than they used to be. I’m actually fun to be around and I finally feel like they like me.
I always chose to date men that drank like I did. I tried dating a couple guys that drank “normally” but it never worked out. My drinking was a turn off for them and to be honest their “normal” drinking was a turn off for me. I wanted someone that closed the bar down with me and had no issue with drinking a beer first thing the next morning. Unfortunately most nights ended in black outs and fights.
I’ve been at the same job for little over four years and I’m grateful they didn’t get rid of me long time ago. They put up with a lot from me. Now I’m a better friend and coworker. I show up when I say I will. I’m more reliable and easier to be around. I was either half drunk or hungover if I showed up at all.
I adopted one of my cats a few months before my kids were removed from my home for the first time in 2013. She would sleep on my pillow next to my head, it was like she knew I was struggling. She’s been there for me though all the ups and downs since then. I have a few other cats but she’s my baby, she seems to know when I’m having a hard time. She hasn’t slept on my pillow next to my head in quite some time but she did last night, hours after I admitted my son into a mental hospital. She knew I needed the extra love.
Through recovering out loud I have been able to help other women who are struggling to get the help they need and to know they aren’t alone. I have also been able to pay it forward to other women in recovery through my nonprofit I began in May of 2016, Clean Life.Clean Home.
Bio: I am Melissa Johnson. Hope spreader. Truth teller. I have been in recovery from alcohol addiction since May 19th, 2015. I am a single mom of two beautiful children – that mean the world to me, but have unfortunately suffered because of my addiction. After my kids were removed from my home for the second time in 2015 I felt I was being led by God to share my story. I began my blog My Truth Starts Here where I share my messy truth. I recover out loud in hopes that my story will help others, especially moms, who may be struggling to see that recovery is possible. As a way to pay it forward I started a nonprofit In May 2016 called CleanLife.CleanHome. I get to share amazing recovery stories of moms that have worked hard to better their lives for them and their kids and then I do a one-time cleaning for them. It’s a way to pay it forward but it’s also a way to shine the light on addiction we rarely see, RECOVERY.