Drug overdose deaths rose nearly 30 percent in 2020 to a record 93,000, according to statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This does not surprise me. As we isolated in 2020 to stay safe from Covid our disease roared. Recovery craves connection with others, it craves hugs, and it takes work.

My name is Angel, and on September 6, 2021, I will celebrate 14 years of recovery and freedom from the bondage of my addiction.

I am grateful that I found my bottom in the early morning hours of September 6, 2007. It was the end of a 33-year addiction and by that final morning, I had thrown away everything I had ever worked for, pushed away anyone that ever loved me, and lost hope of ever living the way my mother raised me to live. I had no desire to live with drugs but had no idea how to live without them. I chose suicide because I didn’t know how to live.

I was one of the fortunate ones – someone found me and revived me.

Today I have learned to live within the bounds of the world, I have learned to trust others and to love again. Even through Covid, I have mostly been ok – mostly.

Isolation is not healthy for a recovering addict – any addict. I am spiritually grounded and willing to do the work needed to stay recovered.

All in all I am a happy person and at my best giving back to others, hopefully showing them how I have stayed on the path of recovery. I could not do those things during the isolation of Covid – it took a toll on me. After 14 months of no hugs, no connection and no real giving back the thought came creeping in to pick up a drink or a drug. A scary thought that thankfully left my mind quickly. I don’t want to ever go back and know that recovery will be a lifelong process. Today I know that we do recover, souls can be restored and families reunited.

For that I am grateful…