September is National Recovery Month. Who knew? I did. I celebrated 2 years of continuous sobriety on September 17th.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Dayna and I’m an alcoholic and an addict.
I choose to be loud about my recovery because my experience can benefit others and my silence will benefit no one. It’s that simple. I spent years simply taking up space on this planet; existing and sucking, not offering anything. I took a trip (many, actually) to the dark side and lived to tell the stories. I’m convinced the reason I lived through these hellish, shameful and sickening situations – any one of which could have killed me – is to show others that they are not alone.
I respect all the traditions and I don’t plan on breaking them. I understand it’s not acceptable to publicly announce that I am part of a specific group. I love that specific group and would not be sober today without out it. That said, it is not written anywhere, nor is it helpful to anyone, that I keep it a secret that I am a recovering addict and alcoholic. That secret is the reason I was able to start drinking again when my father passed away. And it nearly killed me.
I wholeheartedly respect a person’s right to privacy; I would never out anyone. There are many people who will never be on my show due to a deep-seated fear of being judged for past behaviors. I respect their feelings. However, it is my belief that we should be judged on what we’re out there doing today, not our past mistakes. Actually, I don’t think we should be judged at all but hey, shit happens.
Recovery Month isn’t just for addicts and alcoholics. It’s for our families and loved ones. The very people whose lives have been torn apart because they chose to love us. The biggest thing that I can do for others (in my humble and often wrong opinion) is to be completely transparent. The audio that you are about to hear is an open conversation between my mother and I. This isn’t just about me. It’s about my father being the first addict she had ever experienced, only to have her daughter become one after he’d been sober for years.
When I was strung out and on the streets, I looked around at how godawful bad things had gotten, shocked at how quickly they had gotten that way. I thought, If I make it out of this alive, I’m going to get honest and help someone else know that they aren’t as alone as I feel right now. And if I can do that one thing, I have served my purpose.
I hope this helps someone.