What Success Means to Me

I guess you could say that my life before Tamarack was probably not too different from anyone else who struggles with an addiction. My days were unstructured and full of depression and intoxication. My job as a professional was in jeopardy, my relationship with my children was a mess and I lived in a constant state of shame, guilt, anger and self-pity. I had worked so hard to please others but never felt good enough.

Coming to Tamarack opened up a different world to me. It was a healthy safe environment where people were caring and supportive and I had not lived like that in a long time. It was well structured, which is exactly what I needed. The daily workshops and groups put the pieces together for me and more importantly they helped me to realize I wasn’t alone in my experiences or thoughts or emotions.

None of this was easy at first. I had to learn to trust again and after forty plus years of being in abusive environments this was hard. The staff at Tamarack not only helped me learn about how the things that happened long ago were affecting me today but they were there to support me, which helped me to start talking about the things I never thought I could and put my experiences out there. I was finally able to let go, forgive myself and others and no longer sit in that place of pain.

Since graduating over a year ago I have stayed close to Tamarack, to family, friends and my meetings. With the help of my supports I have made good decisions based on what is best for me. I had to give up everything in order to see who I was and what I wanted. I am proud of my accomplishments, the biggest of them being sobriety. I have returned to work and feel I can make a meaningful contribution again. Life for me is joyous and free now. It really is! Of course it’s still an ongoing process of doing the work and taking the action needed. But it’s different now. I have regained confidence in my abilities and I do not feel that I have to people please anymore. I just want to be the best, caring person I can be. That to me is success.

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