While I was in treatment I was given Recovery Workbook by my one on one therapist. There were many sheets on which to detail the progression of my disease. When I was in active addiction I would try to write, but the work was depressing and shitty, and it was nothin I wanted to share with my readers.
The first worksheet I tackled was the one titled, Who am I? The instructions at the top of the page told me to start simply with my name, age and type of work and that’s exactly what I did. What amazed me is that the words that had been dammed within me came out in torrents, and I became a writer again.
Below are the words I shared with my group, below are the beginnings of my second act.
I am Renee, the daughter of Patty, Don and Bonnie. I am 50 years old, and in my professional life I am an administrative assistant at U of M Michigan Medicine. I have worked at UM for almost 30 years! I started working there at the age of 20 in 1989.
In that same year I became a wife, and 11 months later I became a mother to a blonde haired, and blue eyed baby girl. When my daughter was six weeks old, I had to go back to work. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. 15 months later came my second child, a dark haired, and skinny legged baby boy.
For many years I was a wife and mother with no other plans to be anything more than that. I’m a woman with high anxiety and clinical depression along with a food addiction. I didn’t drink for 17 years, but looking back, I realize that I had untreated alcoholism and I took it out on my children.
In the past 12 years I’ve become an alcoholic, a poet, a published short story writer, blogger, estranged from my son and morbidly obese. Though many of these things are negative, there are miraculous things that I’ve become. I’m a terrific friend, a huge support for the recovery and LGBTQ community, with drag queens included. Plus, I’ve become the Gaga to a special boy named Christopher.
I’ve done many bad things, and I’ve hurt myself and my family in many ways. Being here at this treatment facility is my next right step to mend my brokenness.
I have a story to tell, and the only way to tell it is to stay sober.