JANUARY 12, 2018
Our 68th spotlight in the FACES OF HOPE: WE DO RECOVER series will focus on Lacy Day’s story, But God!
The earliest memory I have is around 4 or 5 years of age. Two little girls were running around their backyard while the whole family had a get together. I was one of these little girls, of course. I remember becoming very thirsty, so I grabbed for someone’s drink, not knowing whose it was. On a table sat a red and white can, tall and round. I remember that first taste of Budweiser. It was filthy, like ashes. Unbeknownst to me, I would spend half a lifetime chasing that can, bottle, or whatever I could, to escape reality.
I know that if you are in recovery you have heard of the masks of addiction. I was a master of putting on masks early in life and not showing the real me. I never expressed feelings, I only showed the world what I felt needed to be seen or what I wanted to be seen, hiding those family imperfections.
My father was a binge drinker. All through my childhood he would drink half of the year and dry out the other half. My mother stopped partying when I was around 6 or 7. She was the glue that held our family together. My father was so angry all the time, and most of his anger was directed at her. She bore all of it. I was used as the mediator at a young age. I could talk my dad into coming home those late nights and I could make him stop arguing, for the most part.
My anger and resentment were high toward my dad. See, he could be the most loving man. However, he only told us he loved us while he was drinking or on the road (truck driver). We never hugged, wasn’t “mushy” as I call it. He was so intelligent, so wise, and he worked hard to provide for all of us. He could state the Bible, front to back. I can remember I loved hearing about Jesus and how much He loved us. However, I knew He was so angry with us people and He terrified me at the same time. I saw Jesus as every other man on earth.
My mother got sick after she had me, but I never knew this. She worked hard to be that great mother. She hid it for many, many years. She was my rock. My brother was born only 5 years after me so I wasn’t the baby anymore. I remember being jealous from the beginning. He took my momma’s attention from me. The love that I craved from my dad, I figured it would all go to my brother, since he was the boy. My mother once told me that my father had not been shown love as a child. No one wanted him growing up, so he really did not know how to love. He showed love by working. Putting food on the table, clothes on our backs. So, I craved a father’s love that he didn’t know how to give.
I can remember being such a scared little girl. I was afraid of making people mad at me. I was always afraid my brother was going to be kidnapped. I was terrified of storms, because I thought God was mad and going to hurt us all. These fears were not taught to me, they were just there. I still struggle with a lot of unrealistic fears, but boy can they seem real!
I had bootleggers as kin, abusers, murderers, liars, thieves and crooks. I knew these things early, but I also knew we did not speak of these things. What happened in your home, or your family life, was not allowed to be seen from the outside looking in. Like I said, wear masks.
My mother became extremely sick when I was in grade school. I can remember this as the moment that I became very angry and uncertain with God. My mommy, the one that did not raise her voice or her eyes when my father had one of his outburst. She was the woman that even when my father was in the wrong, no one was to say an ill word against him, for that was her husband. The woman who never cursed around me. She took children in off the street, never whipped nor punished. This woman, who God had gave me, He was failing. He was letting her suffer with kidney failure. What I did not see at the time, was how much His hand truly touched with and through her. She was in and out of hospitals, yet remained a fighter. Her being in and out of hospitals meant my brother and I would have to spend nights and days with family members and friends. There were certain things that happened that made me question if God was real. If He were, then why wouldn’t He help her?
Throughout all of this, my anger and bitterness was spiraling. My mom sick, my dad always working and angry, I was masking everything. I pretended my mom was okay, so much that I believed it. I made believe that my dad was the most perfect person in the world. Our little family was perfect in every way. I believed I was okay. I starting hiding in the closet at 12-13 years of age and taking metal clothes hangers to my legs, inflicting pain, so that I wouldn’t feel the emotional pain any longer, and no one would ever know. I began breaking things out of anger. I couldn’t keep any glass. To this day, if I see a chip in a picture frame, I put it in the trash immediately. I broke everything. What I really needed was to come later.
Around the age of 16, I began going to parties. I was in high school and I wanted friends. This seemed the best way to go about it. I was a ball player, cheerleader, on the volleyball team, yet I still felt like I did not fit in anywhere! House parties it was. In the beginning, I was the DD. I wanted to be that person that everyone relied on, depended on, and could look up to. For a while, I sat in the corner, just watching as all these kids had this release, this happiness, every weekend. I began to crave that. It seemed innocent and like an okay idea at the time. All these kids did this, and they still got up on Monday and went back to school, to their home lives like nothing ever happened. That is just what I needed!
One weekend, I had all I could take. I took my first drink. Oh man, was it a release. For that night, I felt more love and warmth that I have ever felt in my entire life. It was all false. I did not think of my parents, my home, my messed up life, fears, anger or resentments. This was just a one-time deal, you know. I let loose one night. That was all. (HAHAHA) yeah right. See, what I did not know, was unlike those other kids, there was something missing in my brain. My chemistry did not allow the one time deal. I had already set that wrecking ball into motion with just one drink. The following week, I began to think, well, if I do it every other weekend I still won’t be as bad as the others. They do it every weekend. My addiction was already rationalizing. I began to party every other weekend, until that was not enough, (only took a month of that). By the second month, I was on every single weekend. By the third, I was drinking before classes. HMMMM. I never even seen it coming! To this day, I couldn’t tell you where that line went. But it disappeared really quickly. My drinking was out of control, and then it happened. I was introduced to opioids. I broke my arm while sledding. I had to have two separate surgeries. I was in a cast for 9 months. In this 9 month span, my doctor prescribed me so many that I couldn’t even begin to recall how many there were. I did ask the doctor not to in the beginning. I wouldn’t even take Tylenol for a headache. But I drank for a release, for an alternate reality. Makes sense, right? After taking these meds, that were prescribed, I noticed how much I liked being “put to sleep”. How I did not feel anything. I felt normal. I could focus on school, on myself, I did not linger in who did not like me, how my home life was or wasn’t for that matter. All was right in Lacy’s world. I also did not wake up with a headache the next day, as I did with alcohol. Thus, my relationship with opioids began. Once this began, it was never the same.
By the time I was 18, I could feel something was wrong that I did not see it before. So, I stopped. It was not easy, but I did. I remember spending my 18th birthday in bed. Lying to my mother, as she looked at me with so much pride and happiness, for she was wanting to take me shopping. However, I had what I called the “flu”. It was sometime after that I fell right back into the wrong crowds. I began hanging with the misfits, the loners, the ones whom I believed had it all together, and the ones who made their way without anyone’s help and who I believed was so carefree and fun. This time it was different.
I was like Alice in Wonderland. I fell into that hole in the tree, and never stopped. I just kept going deeper and deeper. December 2005 my mother came to me and wanted to talk about God. I went along with it. She told me God had prophesied to her, saying He would heal her. He would give her a brand new body, so she was saved. I, not knowing, truly thought she was going to receive another kidney transplant. That is how I thought God was going to heal her. Fast forward a month later, to January 2006, the month that would completely transform my whole existence. My mother’s death. Thus a mental breakdown. I do not remember anything of this year, besides being the only one to not have been able to hear my mother speak before she passed. She had a brain hemorrhage, which led the doctors to put her into a medically induced coma. Why couldn’t I hear her say goodbye when everyone else had? Because the addiction had such a hold on me, when I got the call to go speak with her, I had to make a stop and get my fix before I saw my family. In my head, I couldn’t deal with anyone other than her, and they were all there. So, this is where I lost it. My resentment, anger and mistrust toward God fueled.
Why couldn’t He save her? Why couldn’t He save me? I began to think I was destined for this. He was real, He wanted me to be an addict. This was my life. I began to get into trouble, loads of it. Charge after charge but, like always, I eluded any consequences. The last two years of my addiction I begged God to take me out of my misery. “If You are real, take me from here. I do not care where I go. I am a waste of air. I am a burden to everyone. I am a mistake.” This was my prayer for those two years. But He had other plans, and thank God he did!
In 2011, my dad had to track me down to feed me Thanksgiving dinner. I for the first time saw the anguish and longing on his face. I could see the love in his eyes, the love that I had always craved. He asked me a question that I will always remember, “What holiday will I find you dead?” This night, I finally prayed with all my heart. I thought I had before, but I hadn’t truly committed. This was my rock bottom. I asked God, “If I am not supposed to be this, then show me what I need, put me somewhere I can learn to be me again!” This prayer put a whole lot of things in motion. By the end of the week, my consequences that I had never gotten, was waved in front of my face. Jail or rehab. I knew that I needed to learn to live. I had forgotten how. I asked my lawyer for rehab. I have to say, if it weren’t for him, I would had been another statistic. Another person in and out of jail. I truly believe this. He didn’t have to do all that he did, but he did. I had no money, nothing. God worked through him and my family and in turn found me a treatment center.
I was to be placed in long term treatment on December 04. That is the day God came into my heart and saved my soul. I begged God to paralyze me, so I couldn’t walk out of treatment. “Do whatever You have to do to keep me here. Paralyze me. I want to live.” That was my prayer. He did so much more. After being an avid user for over 10 years, I didn’t have the first withdrawal symptom. ONLY GOD!
My sobriety date is December 05, 2011. Not only did he give me that, he gave me a sober holiday with my father before he died. I was able to eat Christmas dinner with him. This is very significant, because with only 26 days clean, while in treatment, December 31st 2011, I lost my dad to a heart attack. If it weren’t for that foundation that had been lain, I know that I would not had made it through that time. God was still there. The night after I was told of my dad’s passing, I contemplated suicide. I laid in my bed and asked God, “Why are you still taking those I love dearly? Now I do not have my mom or my dad.” I heard His voice just as plain as the day is long. ”I have never left you, I have always been, and always will be. I am your father, I am your mother. I will be your best friend. It is selfish to keep them in pain. They are with me.” He was there, he was actually there! Now, being new in my faith, I thought for a split second I was going crazy. But, I held on. I kept praying and I kept yearning for His comfort. He has so graciously given that and so much more.
Looking back on my life, with the help of my sponsor, the steps, and God, I can see how much my father did love us. He just did not know how to express it. He was not taught any other way. It took a long time, but I was able to see in him the amount of love and pain he held inside. My mother was an extremely strong and caring person. My family, even though it had its faults, they were family. My father was there for my mom in the end, he was that dad that I always wanted. He expressed his love for us.
Today I am sober for 6 yrs. Wow! 73 months without using. All I can say is, ONLY GOD! Today, I have everything that I thought was never to be. God has opened doors for me that I would had never dreamed of. Has it all been easy, why Lord, no it hasn’t. However, He has not given up on me and I haven’t given up on His timing. In 2014, I got married, my husband came with three beautiful girls. These girls taught me how to be a mother. In 2016, I had my first! My little boy, Colton! God keeps adding blessings!
February of last year, God surprised me yet again! In truth, my recovery and spiritual life was becoming dry. I was working and being a wife, a mother, all the things I thought was appropriate, but something was missing. After having my evening drive (talk with God), I asked, “Is this it, or is there something more God?” He responded with a big NO! He had other plans! I walked into my home to a message from an old dear friend. This friend asked me how long I had in recovery, if I wanted a job that was working with others in recovery. My answer? Of course! This is where my heart lies, helping others see recovery can happen, with God! The best part, it was spiritual. Two huge pluses in my life. Two things that I was needing! I was sober, but stale. I knew, right then, as I had learned 6 years ago, God never fails us. He is always doing what is right for us, at the right moments. Just when we need Him and are willing to let Him intervene.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call Addiction Recovery Care at 606.638.0938 or visit them on the web at www.arccenters.com.
There is hope. There is help.