As I look back on this year, I cannot help but be thankful for all it has taught me. I usually don’t look back because for a long time my years were all the same. Pain, misery and suffering. This past year has been a total transformation from old to brand new. I am grateful. I would like to share a glimmer of the hope that I have experienced in 2014.

My year started off in darkness and cold. I got clean on October 26, 2013 and on December 9, 2013 The electric company finally had enough of me using their services and not paying for it and cut my lights off. I had 43 days clean and I was living in darkness. On top of that I had not had gas service in my home for 3 years. I was using a electric heater to heat my home and on that day my whole life came crashing down. I remember feeling like I was using because the darkness reminded me of some of the crack houses I used to frequent. God kept me strong and I found other ways to maintain. I got a payment plan with the utility company and was able to make the first down payment to get service restored after only 3 weeks. I feel it important to say that through my down period I did not use and everything eventually worked out. I payed off the light bill and also payed off the gas company and I am comfortably living with lights and gas this winter.

Here is a rundown of the events of my year.

Lights and gas shut off
Lights and gas turned on.
I got a raise at work.
I suffered from back pain and was diagnosed with sciatica.
I met someone special and got into a relationship.
I brought a brand new car.
I got my drivers license.
I revived my blog and now have my own web address.
I celebrated my first year in recovery.
My relationship ended.
I made a bunch of new friends and now have a awesome network.
I have a brand new relationship with the God of my understanding who brought me to and through it all.

I went through a lot of ups and downs this year. Some happy moments and some not so happy. I made recovery my priority and I have learned that nothing that I go through is a reason for me to use. I have struggled and through my struggle I gained a strength that I have never experienced before. I have learned that I have choices today and I do not have to continue to do the damage that I have done to myself all my life. I will not allow anyone else to do it to me either. I have a stronger relationship with God and a spiritual awareness today like never before. I have changed for the better its amazing how much better my life has become and I know that as long as I do not use. There will be many more good years ahead of me.

So if you are new to recovery or have been struggling in your recovery, No Matter What we never have to use again. One day at a time. It does get better. Just believe in yourself and give yourself a break.

I want to take this time to wish you all a