What a long strange trip it’s been, this journey of mine here at The Watershed and I am writing to you for the last time as I embark upon the next adventure of my life. When I entered into the Boynton facility March 16, 2009 I never would have believed that five and half years later I would still be connected to this establishment. Not only was I shown that there was hope for a hopeless drug addict and alcoholic like myself, but I was loved until I was able to love myself. From a trembling shell of a woman I was given the push I needed in order to get active in the rooms of AA and recover. I was blessed with a job at The Watershed when I was 6 months sober and was shown how to grow from the trembling shell of a woman into a woman of God who is able to use my past and present situations to help others.
I will never forget the day Ms. Jones facilitated a group on the 4th floor; I had 23 days sober at the time and was a complete mess. In this group she asked each person to write down their purpose in life onto a blank piece of paper. I remember like it was yesterday the feeling it gave me to see others writing their little hearts away and me just staring into space trying to figure it all out. Rage, fear and embarrassment of what my life had become. Here I was 40 years old and sitting in a treatment center once again. Full of disgust and self-loathing, wondering what this question about a purpose could possibly have to do with recovery? The more I watched others write the angrier I became. Then came the dreaded sharing of what my amazingly important peers surrounding me had written so gracefully onto their blank pieces of paper. “My purpose is to be a mother to my son” shared one. Thinking to myself, “Well I blew that one.” Another shared that her purpose was to “Finish school and pass the boards and become a lawyer”. Finish school, what addict does that? The reality was I blew that one too by getting kicked out in the 8th grade. Around the circle they went as my room felt like it was getting smaller and smaller. Then Ms. Jones called on me. My response was silent, I had nothing, not one thing came to mind that could give this shell of a woman any kind of purpose. For had she not known who I was and what I had done? Surely if she had she would not have put me on the hot seat. My eyes welled and the knot in my throat constricted any words from escaping. I held up the paper to show her that it was empty; she smiled the most peaceful smile I had ever seen and said, “Stay after group I would like to share something with you.” As group ended I did not run out of the room to smoke like usual, I stayed, because that peaceful smile intrigued me. Ms. Jones made me a promise that day, and to this day it still stands true. She said Ms. Gina, “I promise you if you get a sponsor and work all 12 steps and sponsor other women, you will have a purpose and peacefulness beyond your wildest dreams. And the bonus of that is you will never have to use again.”
I know my purpose today and that is to help as many of God’s children as he allows. Today I live my life forward, but I am able to understand it backwards. I now know why I have been through the things that I have, and seen the things I’ve seen. These horrific things are my greatest assets today; they allow me to be able to show others that they are not alone and that there is an amazing God who loves them.
Thank you Watershed for all you do and for opening the door to a brand new way of life.
My name is Mike Evans and I am an Alumni Liaison for The Watershed halfway and 3/4 houses. I will be taking over the Alumni Newsletter from now on, and in this issue we will bid our beloved Gina Darr goodbye.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Here's how to contact Mike: