I, by nature, am extremely selfish. In active addiction, I convinced myself that I was only hurting myself. Upon checking into detox this past April, I had lost everything. I was drowning in shame and guilt and could barely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to blame everyone else in my life for everything I had lost: my boss, my boyfriend, my family. Once the drugs wore off and the fog cleared, I was forced to face the truth. I had hurt so many people in my life and if I wanted to stay sober, I had to own up to what I’d done. The staff at SOCD worked closely with my family and me to bring to light the years of lies and betrayals. I was able to get honest about my using and genuinely apologize for the pain and suffering I’d caused. Empathy plays a major role in my recovery today. I have to be able to step outside of myself in order to stay sober. I have to be willing to stop blaming and take accountability for my part. My relationships are so much more meaningful today. I try not to be reactive and lash out. Instead I pause and think before speaking. I have stopped seeing myself as the victim and that’s been an empowering shift for me. I’m able to see life through the eyes of those around me and not make the same mistakes or cause the same pain I did in the past. Today I try my best to have empathy for everyone around me who is struggling. It’s a common saying in AA that you can only keep what you have by giving it away. I was able to walk through the toughest time of my life and get clean because the staff at SOCD had empathy for me. They built me up and gave me strength when I was completely hopeless. Despite everything I had done, they stood behind me and for that I am forever grateful!