Barbara Ann Martin

My Word is my Bond

Read the word
And I will prevail
Accept and surrender to the Word
Repent, then practice the Word
My beginning of love, peace, joy and change.
God is love.
Love is in me.
Word.
My recovery comes first.
Word.
I stand for something.
Word.
I reflect on my day.
Word.
I can
I will
I am somebody
I will not be anybody.
Word.
I think
I talk
I walk.
Word.
I crawl
I cry
I stop.
Word.
Thank you God for my life
When the sunrise comes
Until the dust of dawn
Rest at night.
To my sisters who are struggling
I pray for you every night
May you find your way to God’s light
I have suffered along with my child
Who is recovering too.

That’s the difference for me now, knowing how to g

“I fell in love and started to drink. We drank together as a couple over the weekends.” But Barbara never believed she was an alcoholic. “Drinking made it easier to relate and talk and socialize.” Even as Barbara began to drink to her pain, she still believed that she maintained a healthy relationship with alcohol.

“I didn’t think I had a problem because I worked and I cared for my home and bills. I was also raising my niece. I never drank during the week when I had to work. Instead, I drank over the weekend. I drank a lot over the weekend so that by the time the week started I would feel better. Even when I got worse and I was waking up broke, waking up and didn’t know what day it was, waking up sick in the stomach and vomiting, waking up and taking four days to get myself together, I didn’t believe that I was an alcoholic.”

But Barbara’s drinking caught up with her. She was arrested at two different times for driving while under the influence. Consequently, the courts also removed her niece from Barbara’s custody.

“At that point, I just didn’t want to live anymore. I didn’t care about life. I was angry but I was also hurt.” Barbara chose to enter into a detox program. The detox program referred Barbara to an outpatient family treatment program.

“After being in the treatment program for five months, I wanted to leave. The staff encouraged me to give it another month and so I stayed and I stayed stopped from drinking. But it wasn’t until ten months into the treatment program that I admitted that I was an alcoholic and I surrendered. It took ten months of being in treatment before I surrendered.”

The comprehensiveness of the family treatment program allowed Barbara the time to recognize her disease and to heal. Barbara participated in group and individual therapy, parenting classes, anger management and parenting classes. “I needed every month of the 18 month family treatment program. I didn’t want to complete the program and return to where I left off–being isolated, drinking, confused as to why I am doing certain things, and feeling angry.”

Barbara now enjoys three years of recovery from alcoholism. She also has full custody of her niece and has legally adopted her. In the fall Barbara will be attending the University of the District of Columbia to receive her Associate Degree in paralegal studies. “Recovery makes me want to be more responsible for myself. I don’t need to take a drug to get through the day. That’s the difference for me now, knowing how to get through the day without drinking. Recovery allows me to live without being ashamed of myself.”