Name: Jenni Brockel
Sober Since: 12 / 17 / 2003
Sober For: 17 Years & 288 Days
What it was like?
It was...hell. trying to hide my addiction in my teens from my family. Then ending up pregnant at 16. I managed to stay sober during my pregnancy and for a year after she was born. Moved out into my own apt, and it was over after that. In my mind I was a queenpin. But in reality, I was slowly losing everything. Eventually, my daughter was gone. Living with my parents. After that, I was so self destructive, I had nothing to live for. Lost my apt. Friends going to jail. Living on the streets. Textbook addict.
I woke up one morning in major pain. Pain like no other. I go to the ER. They tell me I have a kidney infection so bad and I have to stay a couple days, and congratulations, you're pregnant. What???? I'm living with someone I despise, being abused mentally and physically, what am I gonna do? I move back home to my parents and decide the only thing I can do is get sober and put her up for adoption because I find out not only am I pregnant, but I'm almost 5 months along. I withdraw alone, over Christmas, hiding from my ex, hoping he doesn't come for me. I pick out a family, a wonderful family to adopt her. I go into labor, deliver and I can't do it. I can't hand her over to someone else. I made this baby. I called my dad and actually asked for permission to keep her. Lol. Like I really needed it. And brought her home.
What it is like now?
15 years later. I'm clean and sober. Work in mental health/addictions and love it. It makes my day to see people struggling have small victories. Just walking in the door is a victory to some. My kids are beautiful, Happy, healthy young women who know their mama has fought hell to get where she is today. And it was all worth it. I love life. And I love recovery.