Gina F.'s Recovery Success Story Part I
I came into Sober Living by the Sea a broken woman. My dreams and hopes smashed, my life in scattered pieces. My name is Gina F. I was 42 years old on Sept. 21 2005 when I came through the doors of the house on 45th street.
A Miracle of Redemption - Gina F.'s Story Part I
I knew very young that I was an alcoholic but being the last child in an Italian-Catholic home I just figured drinking was part of living. I soon found out that the way I drank was not normal. I was raised in a loving home by two parents and I have two older sisters. I had everything I could have asked for, normal by anyone looking in.
I was married at 21 but nine months after our son was born my husband walked out on me and the baby. I went to work in a hospital as a unit clerk and went back to school. This was my bright idea: I would go back to school and become a alcohol and drug counselor and get recovery that way. I could save my family and myself the embarrassment of admitting I was an alcoholic and get a career at the same time while providing for my son. This sounded completely logical to me.
So that’s what I did: I went to school and continued to work while being a full time single mother. At night when my son was asleep, after the dishes were done and the lunches were packed and the laundry was going, I would sit down to study with a drink in my hand. That went on for two years. I graduated from that program and went to work in a hospital based treatment center.
Much to my surprise that didn’t keep me sober - in fact my drinking became much worse. My son was getting older and the demands of every day life were becoming overwhelming - but I had to keep up this façade that I had it all under control. About this time I injured my neck and was put on disability and the doctors were freely prescribing pain killer. I became hooked on the pills along with the alcohol.
Pitiful and Incomprehensible Demoralization
Around the time that my son was about 14 and a freshman in high school, I felt he no longer needed me or wanted me around. I was no longer working and I felt useless and without purpose. I decided that killing myself would be better then living, this was the first attempt out of four, time after time I ended up in the emergency room of the hospital that I worked at.
So again I decided that I needed to go back to school. I applied to the university and started working on my bachelors in Sociology and a minor in criminology. As more years passed by, my drinking and pill popping became so bad that I needed my son to drive me to school, I went so far as to take him out of school the last semester of his senior year so that he could drive me around, telling everyone it was because of my neck injury and in reality it was because I was blasted out of my mind on drugs and alcohol. That’s an amends I will never be able to make right - he missed all his senior activities because of my selfishness.
My son and I graduated the same year one night apart. I had my bachelors, he had his high school diploma. Now what??? I began to see that something wasn’t right with him soon after graduation, I suspected it was drug related and I was right. Soon he started getting arrested and there was nothing I could do to stop this runaway train that was speeding through both of our lives.
I was helpless, hopeless and scared at the time of my last 5150 and detox. After about a year of being institutionalized and going in and out of detox my family had been through enough. The morning of my last detox I was informed that I was not going home but someone from a program called Sober Living By the Sea in Newport Beach was coming to pick me up and I was going to a 90 day treatment center. This was the day before my son’s 19th birthday.
"Great," I thought, "at least if I am miserable I can drown myself in the ocean."
In the next blog entry, you can read about Gina's experience at Sober Living by the Sea and life in sobriety.
Gina F. is a community staff member at Sober Living by the Sea. Gina graduated in 2000 from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelors is Sociology and a minor in Criminology and emphasis in social work. In 1998 Gina graduated from Chaffey College with an associate degree in liberal arts. Gina has been a CADA I since January of 2009 and has been on staff for three years. Gina is also a Certified Criminal Justice Professional. Gina is soon to celebrate four years of sobriety. Gina is a proud mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, girlfriend, employee and sponsors two girls in the program of A.A.
Gina F. is a staff member who is also an alumnus of Sober Living by the Sea. Many of our staff members are alumni of this treatment program.