Name: Gina Andreano

Age: 55

Sober Since: 10 / 11 / 2008

Sober For: 15 Years & 230 Days

What it was like?

It was a beast, that I truly believed I could tame. What once quelled the deep echoes of trauma, sadness and fear turned on me in a blink and left me with a craving beyond all understanding. I did everything to outrun it, over and over again, but it outran me every time - it devoured me. It wasn’t until I stopped, hit the floor and just lay there in prayer. God, can you hear me? Do you know who I am? Can you please come find me? Shine your light so I can see my way out of here, please. I need You! Suddenly a break in the darkness appeared. A fine ray of light shone in. At first it was far from me, across the divide, then it came closer until finally it was near enough to me that I could crawl over to it and allow for its warmth to suffuse the chill that seemed for so long a part of my being. That place inside me that was always in winter. Spring has finally found it’s way to my part of the world.

What happened?

A moment of Grace…?! Is this it? What I’ve heard others speak of. A door opened and I walked through. Thinking at first it was me all by myself. But it wasn’t, there was an innate sense of guidance within and around me. Was it always here? Did I just not see or feel it? Well, I knew it to be so then, at that very moment and I pleaded for my chance to possibly do this whole ‘living’ thing differently. I reached my hand out and asked for help. I spoke the words, without You I AM nothing - I’m willing to do it Your way. It was as if the Gates opened. Gates to where, I had no idea, but it had to be better, so in I walked sensing someOne holding my hand. I felt a bit like a little girl again embarking on the first day of school. Leaving what was comfortable and known. Walking through the Gates into the Garden of Recovery was by and far one of the most dualistic experiences I’d ever known. A place I had never been to before, new and strange. Yet, comfortable and so very relative. Someone handed me a cup of coffee and said, ‘Welcome, you don’t ever have to feel that way again. Sit back and listen. See if you can identify. We will walk with you if you let us.’ And so I did. I allowed God in and with Him seemed to come a flock of others so willing to help me.

What it is like now?

Today, I AM Grateful for the whole of my journey, the dark decent and the constant becoming of a light in and around me. I love my life and strangely enough, from the heap of rubble that I was, a Woman has been rebirthed. I’m softer in many ways, but stronger than ever. It’s all about God and His Grace, I’m acutely aware of The Gift that is my life. I’m also clear on my responsibility to share my story. To lay it out like a welcome mat for others as was done for me. I love that my purpose came alive in the darkest of spaces. I want to help, to share, to expose, to be transparent about who I was and who I am today. I wholeheartedly stake my claim in being a ‘God-girl’, so appreciative for knowing that im not Him, but I can be a bringer of Light and Love just by the willingness to impart the story of Me.

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