Recovery Stories

Charisse Parker's Story


Ambivalent Hyperbole: My Story
Lived by Charisse D. Parker

On this first day of September 2020, as National Recovery Month begins, I am flooded with various emotions. I choose to accept serenity, hope, joy, and pride today. My recovery story, like most, is so intrinsic and unbelievable that even I wonder how I made it through. That is when the serenity that comes from sheer joy captivates my being in such a way that I must share. Living forward while understanding backward, I recognize a life filled with mental illness, substance abuse, and the self-indulgent flesh fest that almost ended my life. Grateful this is my recovery story and not the horror story it almost tragically became. After losing my most prized possessions ( my children, my family, and myself), I hit a glitter-filled bottom, the impact of which seemed somehow to invite me in to stay instead of causing me to seek help and run from it. Only because of my Higher Power, God, and the unstoppable prayers of my Mother, was I able to FINALLY seek help. Still, after numerous treatment attempts for substance abuse and even more numerous hospitalizations because of mental illness in 2008, I had my first encounter with true recovery. Everything changed or so I thought. Hilariously sad now reading the simple and short article I wrote that was published in the AA Grapevine December 2008 Edition which was entitled “What’s Different” I am literally laughing out loud, shaking my head! In 2008 I wrote how things were different because I was different. It sounded very convincing and heartfelt. Well…… In 2011 I relapsed. In 2015 I had issues with my mental health provider that led to me being unmedicated for 3 years, which led to me again losing my new car, my children, my career job, and finally myself! In 2016 I relapsed. Homeless and broken, I gave in to hopelessness. I gave up. I wallowed in a pool of happiness which turned out to be yet another mirage my mind created. Finally, in 2018 I ended up on the right path. I will be celebrating 2 years clean, serene, and healthy on September 24, 2020! Wow! Recovery Month is MY MONTH! There are so many details I could share, but what resonates deep within the recesses of my soul is the power of recovery when coupled with love and insistence of hope that is SO strong that it can lead you to a whole new life, A REAL LIFE, even when you are afraid to try again! So for anyone out there reading these words, please know RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE! Serenity, hope, joy, and pride can and will be found on the other side of sickness, illness, addiction, loneliness, fear, anger, and uncertainty. I am overflooded by these emotions today because I am grateful to be FREE!!!!!!