Last updated on Jul 7th, 2020 at 01:46 pm

By Melissa Harris #ExtremeRadLifer

A brave woman shares the personal hell of addiction, and downward spiral of pain and destruction. She’s still in recovery, and the fear is still raw, but she’s on Day 58, and ready to tell her story

Day 58 clean and sober

It’s been a hard-core ride for the past 20 years. Twenty years of soul-destroying active addiction leaves you broken, desperate and hopeless. A three-month relapse of booze and IV meth use left me feeling ….. Nothing. Nothing at all.

I woke up on the morning of 20 April and the world I knew changed forever. I had no hope left. No hope of God sweeping in with a majestic gesture and rescuing me from a fate worse than death. The world outside had changed.

We were in the middle of lockdown, and quite frankly it’s easier to buy powder than it is to buy ciggies.

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That morning I looked into my husband’s eyes – and if you can imagine looking at another human being and seeing an utterly tortured, haunted, heart-broken soul staring back at you, that’s what I saw. And the devastation cut into my heart – white, hot searing pain ripped through me despite being high. The drugs weren’t able to numb the pain. Regardless of how much I mainlined.

He’d made it clear that morning that he had no intention of leaving me, he loved me too much. So he said, he and my son would watch me die. Yes, I was dying. No denying that. I was.

We were in the middle of lockdown, and quite frankly it’s easier to buy powder than it is to buy ciggies

I woke up on the morning of 21 April and screamed at God

I am not doing this for you. You left me. You didn’t save me. No one is saving me. So I guess I am going to have to do this my-damn-self. I’m not stopping for you God. I am not even stopping for me. I am stopping because I love my husband and children too much to let them watch me die. I want a different life for my children. I WANT A DIFFERENT LIFE FOR MY CHILDREN.

And besides, the stupid, stubborn, relentless man just won’t leave me, he just won’t give up on me, and I sobbed, frustrated and angry. My head started spinning. An out of control spinning like you have on a rollercoaster that you desperately want to stop. I had the feeling that I was free falling. Forever. I just kept going and going and going. It never seemed to stop.

I know a lot of recovering addicts talk about hitting rock bottom but this was different. My world bottomed-out. And in that moment, something changed, something shifted.

I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked disgusting, self-absorbed and full of self-pity

I saw myself as I actually was. The cold ugly truth stood staring back at me. I was really a junkie. I had pretended for such a big part of my life that I wasn’t like other addicts. I was somehow more wholesome, better, not so pitiful and disgusting – I couldn’t deny it anymore. I was exactly like that in every respect.

The image in the mirror mocked me. I didn’t believe I could ever stay clean long-term. Who was I lying to? I am still not sure I can. But what I thought is that I can maybe just maybe stay clean and sober just for today. One day at a time. One step at a time I will simply do the next right thing.

So still giving God the silent treatment, I made a decision. No more. No more. NO MORE I screamed at the mirror. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. There HAS TO BE another way to live.

Flickers of hope danced around me as I found my way into the NA Zoom rooms. Maybe. Maybe. I don’t know but just maybe.

This is my journey of becoming, this is me finding a new way to live. You’re welcome to journey with me and discover the New World. It’s raw and real. It’s time. Change the world. Love wins.

Watch this space for Part 2 of Mel’s recovery, as we make this journey of support with her.




Melissa Harris

Rebirth date: 21.04.2020

Just for today.

Support helplines

Narcotics Anonymous Helpline: 083 900 6962

Alcoholics Anonymous Helpline: 086 143 5722