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My Road to Recovery: Making Internal Peace and Freedom a Personal Reality

by Susan Colig

The mind is a powerful thing — capable of learning, understanding, reasoning, and creating many things. But for years, there was one silent question that plagued me. Why can’t I stop drinking?

I don’t know exactly when I stopped asking myself that question, but I did. I had resigned myself to the facts before me. I would always drink. That’s just how it was going to be. My mind couldn’t conceive of it ever possibly being any different than that. And on I went, literally drinking myself to death. I got to a place I thought only I knew. I could no longer endure living with alcohol, but I knew deep down, I could never survive without it.

What happened next would be a blessing beyond measure, but at the time felt like a whole new depth of despair and devastation. At 40 years old, I found myself at 11503 Parsons Road. There, I was to be told the truth. And for the first time in my life, I became able to hear it. The inexplicable question of why I drank was finally answered, and a journey began. The next several months were not without pain. From that pain, came the unexpected: a fragment of hope. A hope I saw in the women who stood before me. They demonstrated strength, belief, and faith, qualities I longed to possess. So I watched them, I listened, and followed directions. It sounds so simple now.

Two years have passed since I arrived on Parsons Road that day in September. My life looks nothing like I ever could have dreamed possible. My children are healthy and thriving, relationships with my family are being rebuilt, I have a job with a purpose, and I can stand on my own two feet. Above all, the internal peace and freedom I so desperately sought, is now reality.

For years, the words “I am grateful” never crossed my lips. Today those same three words seem immensely inadequate.