Swimming Upstream

 March 2017
Hi! Welcome to Learn to Fish recovery center.
It’s Saturday afternoon. It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Most of the girls are in the living room watching videos on YouTube. Gospel music, hairdo tutorials, some rock and roll, some cooking stuff. Some are reading or doing step work. Some are napping. I’m sitting here, hunting and pecking at the keys on this computer, wondering if the thoughts in the head of a 45-year-old recovering woman widow, alcoholic, addict, abuse survivor of everything life can send somebody might interest you.
I’m the “war correspondent” from Learn to Fish Recovery Center. My name is Jen. I came here six months ago. In the middle of a hurricane. Because I had nowhere else to go. I had hit my rock bottom, again. Two weeks prior, my boyfriend of 3 years had ended our relationship (it had been coming to that) told me to pack my stuff, and go. I had a quarter of a tank of gas and $9. I couldn’t handle those circumstances. I waited until he left for work. I swallowed 50 benzodiazepines, 30 muscle relaxers and added some anti-nausea meds, in hopes of keeping them all¬†down, and lay there in hopes of not waking up. I didn’t so much want to die, as just not want to continue to live. Fifteen minutes later, I vomited them all up. I slept for an hour and a half, called the hospital, and checked my self in.
Three weeks later, a young woman named Heather met me in the parking lot of Learn to Fish Recovery Center (LTFRC). She helped me carry in my 10 outfits and 1 pair of shoes. My shower gel and my sharpie markers, my glue stick, and scissors. Hey! Some chicks have priorities. I’m told I’m the only girl known to bring office supplies to rehab. A group of 12 ladies took me in and made me their friend, and later, their sister and their leader and speaker.