The day I started my recovery journey
Posted on 28th March 2023
Today 25 years ago, I had a bad car accident. It completely changed my life. Not immediately, but within the following years I made some magnificent changes in my life on the back of this accident, I realized that I didn't want to die. Before this point I'd actually been slowly killing myself with my lifestyle, my use of substances, and my inability to live in my own truth
The accident happened on March the 28th 1998. I had been working as a chambermaid and in a bar in the evenings. This particular day I was leaving the hotel on my two hour break in between morning chambermaiding and my afternoon/evening shift in the bar.
I got in my car to come home. I was tired, exhausted. Having had a bad night the night before. I'd felt absolutely desperate. I had just wanted to end the pain that I was going through. The emotional pain, the drudgery of the daily routine. Just trying to maintain my sanity, my energy, or my addiction. That night I had said a little prayer to I don't know what, but the prayer was just to get me out of the situation that I was in.
I wanted the emotional pain to stop. I wanted to feel better. I wanted my life to feel better. I wanted to be able to function without constantly needing to use something, some drug, to make me feel okay every day.
The days had become filled with managing my addiction. The need to find the drugs so I could function. The need to wake up in the morning before the children so I could take the methadone so I could actually get out of bed to get them ready for school for the day. I could not move until the methadone had started to circulate in my system.
So this prayer had been a one of absolute desperation. Reaching out for some kind of help. I just did not know what. So on this day, I was driving back from work from the chambermaiding job in the morning and all I think about was the fact that I needed to score some drugs. My body was hurting, my bones were aching. I was tired. I was exhausted. I was in withdrawals. All I wanted to do was go to bed but I had to go home and keep going. I had children to look after and a home to keep.
As I was driving along the road I suddenly saw a car coming towards me. The car was out of control veering onto the wrong side of the road, heading straight onto my side. I only had a second to see this and to try and pull over.
But it was too late. The car had hit me head on. I ended up on the verge and hit a road sign the other car bounced off me off my car and then back on the other side of the road, in fact, nearly in the river, which ran alongside that particular road.
I came around in the car with people all around me asking me if I was okay. I was panicking. My legs were trapped. There was buzzing in my ears. There was blood in the side pocket beside me.
I knew that that car had hit me. I was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and treated for major injuries but I had to tell them that I had an addiction, that I was addicted to opiate medications. So they put me on a program that gave me counselling, acupuncture and support. I was put on a methadone programme. It took two years but from that time on, things started to change. I enrolled on a counselling program and started to address how I could change.
I started to look into my life. I discovered that I could change, that I could have a different life. But I had to take responsibility for it and make the changes. It was a tough, difficult thing to do.
But on that day, in March 1998 everything changed. I was given the ability, the realisation, and the help that I so needed, to start to make changes. So in a funny kind of way grateful for that day. Despite the injuries that I still live with today. It was the best day of my life.
You can read more about my recovery jouney in my book 'The REBEL method' by Vanessa Wallace which can be purchased on Amazon
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