24 Jul Michelle’s Story (she is asking you to vote)
Hello, my name is Michelle; I am a daughter, a supportive sister, a fun auntie, an active mother of three wonderful daughters, a grandmother, an activist, a mentor, and a productive member of society.
I have struggled for over twenty years with the disease of addiction. In 2007, I relapsed after a few years of being clean and sober; my addiction was out of control and for the next two years, I used daily. In late 2009, in a drunken-drug induced rage, I tried harming my partner and his mother. The worse part of the incident was watching myself doing it, screaming in my head to stop but could not. Being disgusted with myself, I worked very hard to achieve recovery. At eight months of recovery, my partner raped me. This led me into a downward spiral, feeling hopeless and helpless I began my mission to die.
While trying to kill myself I totaled my car and received my first DUII. Finally, this was my bottom, my first true step to stop using. I asked my parents to bail me out once more, however, this time something was different; they put a limit on my stay in their home, how much they were willing to help me.
I learned to put one foot in front of the other and did deep down honest work on Michelle. I got into a women’s shelter and it forever changed my life! The hard work has allowed me a number of gifts today.
I am blessed and truly grateful today! I had access to resources that helped me into the life I have today. I am a woman in long-term recovery; I am a productive member of my community. I have my own place and a good job; I pay my current & past bills.
I am a volunteer domestic violence & sexual assault advocate, a mentor where I get to help run a support group at the same shelter I lived in sixteen months ago. I have other volunteer positions in the recovery community but most of all I can look into the mirror and love the woman who looks back today.
As I went to a vigil service a few weeks ago, to remember all those who died from overdoses this year. I became aware that one hundred people each DAY die of an overdose. That is just wrong!
If you are reading this, I would ask you to register to vote, know the people you vote for, make sure you know the policy makers you help elect to office, ask them to stand for causes we are talking about today.
I ask you be an activist and speak up in community meetings, talk to your legislators, federal, state, county and city. Ask them as they vote to be smart and prudent with our precious dollars as they create our budget.
If you tap your finger into a lake and watch the number of ripples span out, you will see that one small action makes a difference. Remember one voice can make a different and your voice counts!