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Her name is Texas, and she lives in Central Florida, spending her time these days doing author readings and book signings for her book, Deep in the Heart of Texas. In it, she recounts her story of addiction and recovery, 28 years of it spent in Naples, Florida, where she was arrested multiple times and eventually jailed for trafficking cocaine.
For Texas, a huge part of her story was informed by spirituality. She was raised by a Southern Baptist pastor, and she often felt that she had to go to extremes to get his attention. She said at a recent reading in Naples: “I grew up in a home where Dad was a (Southern Baptist) pastor. My parents were on a mission, to save the world. I couldn’t get their attention unless I was doing something wrong.”
From there, she lived a hard-fought life that would resonate with many in recovery: running away from home, trading sex for drugs, stealing for drugs, and eventually ending up in prison for several years. It is safe to assume that she got the attention of her parents. She calls her life a “horror story,” and many who have lived through addiction know intuitively what she means by that.
She went to addiction treatment several times, only to return to active addiction, and finally, it was through a return to her religious roots that she found a sense of peace that sustained her and helped her to do the hard work to stay sober.
Said Texas: “How many times have I walked into a brick wall, been laid out flat on my back, and said, ‘God help me.’ And there was God saying, ‘Get up, girl.’”
Texas is quick to make it clear that she is does not assume that her path is right for everyone or even anyone. She attests specifically to what worked for her, acknowledging, “I can’t say, do this or say this, and you’ll be okay. Each of our processes is different.”
Like everyone in recovery, she knows what has worked for her and is grateful to have figured out what worked.
She told the people who came to her reading in Naples: “If broke down, busted, can’t be trusted Texas made it out, so can you.” And she’s right.
Finding Your Path
It takes trial and error to figure out what combination of treatment services, situational support, medical care, and in some cases, medication will help you to find equilibrium in recovery. It almost never happens that someone steps off the street and into a treatment program that is perfectly designed to meet their needs. Rather, it takes a full evaluation and assessment process to identify appropriate treatment goals and a schedule of therapies and treatments that will best address those goals.
Next, with a treatment plan in place, it is time for treatment providers, medical care providers, and most importantly, the client, to identify changes that occur. Improvements that are needed, requested alterations, and challenges that arise are all taken into consideration, and whenever it is necessary, adjustments should be made to the treatment plan. This can mean changes in lifestyle choices, such as eating habits and workout routines, and it can also mean a shift in therapies, new holistic treatments, and/or a change in medication.
Everyone’s path to recovery is unique. No matter what has happened in the past, there is a way forward for each person. Health and healing start with comprehensive addiction treatment, and they are sustained by long-term aftercare and support in recovery.
What Do You Need to Begin the Recovery Process?
If someone in your family is in crisis or if you are considering the option of treatment, now is the time. Though many who recognize that they are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction problem around Thanksgiving decide to wait to enter drug rehab until after the holidays, it is not recommended. The holidays can be a tough time for people living in addiction – emotionally, physically, and financially stressful – and the urge to overindulge and/or escape those feelings can lead to overdose.
Is now the time for you to consider changing your life for the better?