Danielle is Recovery! Ending Her Stigma Here... – SubstanceForYou.com
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Danielle is Recovery! Ending Her Stigma Here...

I am recovery. I am a woman. I am strong. I've been through hell and back. I am an alcoholic. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife and a friend. I have a home. I own a car. I am unstoppable. I am recovery. 

I have a bachelors degree in business. I party sober. I love my dogs. I love fashion. I love the outdoors. I live in the city with a view of the ocean. I love to travel. I am a baker. I am recovery.

I'm passionate about ending the stigma of addiction. I want to change the way people see addiction. Take away the stigma. This is me. I have removed all the masks I used to wear. I am sober, and I am free. I'm proud to be in recovery, one day at a time. 

Alcoholism was a progressive disease for me. When it took me down, I fell hard. My addiction was short in the sense that when I started spiraling out of control it happened pretty fast. I was severely depressed, having panic attacks, and extreme anxiety. I drank a lot more during that time. I felt like no one could help me, and alcohol was the only thing that made me feel 'normal', and not a prisoner in my own body. I used alcohol to escape from my problems, and pain. I was living a double life for quite a while. Pretending I was fine, when I was falling apart inside.  

I honestly remember walking outside one sunny afternoon, not a cloud in the sky, and all I could see was darkness. I was so depressed, I never thought I could get out. But I did. 
In 2013 I started recovery. However, I was in complete denial that I had a problem. After getting sober and turning my life around, I relapsed. Hard. All over again my life began to crumble around me. 

Finally, I was done. I accepted that I was an alcoholic. 

Mar 16, 2015 marks the day I got sober, and have been ever since, O.D.A.A.T. Recovery became my life, fellowships, group therapy, meditation, service work, new friends, new hobbies, a new life. 
The gifts of sobriety truly do keep on giving. These last two years have been the most amazing years of my life. Finishing my degree, getting married, earning my families trust back, meeting and reconnecting with the most incredible people. But life is also life when you are sober, and it throws you curve balls all the time. I never knew how strong I was until I got sober.
In August of 2015, I woke up one morning with extreme pain in my head. A very long, long story short, a team of doctors, tests, scans, lying in an MRI tube on New Years Eve, hospital visits, 23 months later (still no real diagnosis). I've finally have had two neck surgeries to try get rid of my chronic pain. I have been in pain everyday for 23 months, coming up on 24. Still sober, one day at a time. 

I want to let anyone know who is struggling with any of the above that I get it, and you are not alone. I have been through the good, amazing, bad, ugly, and the beautiful sober. 

One of the most important things I've learned is that in order to get through pain of any kind, I have to go through it. Feel those emotions I used to try to escape from. That is the only way to move on, and finally let go of the past. Numbing out the feelings just delays the inevitable. Sobriety has given me the gift of life. The gift of resilience. I am finally comfortable in my own skin, and I am making my dreams come true.

For a while I just existed, now I live, and I live out loud. I live in the moment, and I'm full of gratitude. I don't take any of my days for granted anymore. 

I have learned there is nothing to fear but fear itself. I am sharing a part of my journey to help end the stigma of addiction, and what it looks like. That I am recovery. At first glance, you may never have guessed it. At the beginning of my story I seem to have a 'normal' life with my s**t together. Well, I do now. And that is because of sobriety. Stay strong warriors, be fearless, stand out, and don't let anyone bring you down. You are magic! - Danielle 💋xoxo @faithmaddy (IG)
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