September 15 2017

As I am wrapping up my 6 weeks in residential treatment I wanted to share my take on spirituality and how it relates to my journey in recovery. Not to be mistaken for religion. I feel that spirituality is a belief in a higher power, something outside of yourself. It is a journey where the final outcome is eternal freedom within oneself. Letting go all definitions, judgments, and fears. Terms used to describe this state of being is “eternal salvation”, enlightenment, or heaven. This list can go on, but my main point is that whatever it is called, it is returning to your true essence. It has been crucial to my journey in recovery. Excellent authors that shaped my view of spirituality include Eckhart Tolle, and “The Everything Mind” by Chris Grosso.

Step 11 and 12 in AA state:

 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

I have not completed all my step work, but I can share with you the moment in my life that opened my eyes to a new way of living, and saved me. My spiritual awakening.

April 26 2017

I wake up in the familiarity of my hotel room. Light shines in through the window. It pierces through the cloudy room. The television, loud, blaring news which make no difference to me. I look at the clock on the bed stand that flashes 2:00pm. Another day in my personal hell. What keeps me going?

I look next to me. My fiance at the time, of 2 years, is laying next to me. Hes still asleep. Blue veins covering his delicate eyelids illuminate like a road map. Hes pale, his sunken cheeks and dry lips catch my attention. I fucking hate this disease. I kiss his nose and rub his back. I can feel his weary muscles and bones protruding.

My heart aches for him, for me. No words can capture the feelings of complete dread, lost hope, and darkness. I quietly get out of bed. I know that we only have a few hours until full withdrawals kick in. I stumble to the bathroom, light a cigarette and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I hate what I see. I do not recognize myself. I look broken. Lost. My skin clings to the frame of my body. Dark circles engulf my once sparkling green eyes. Bruises decorate my arms, my hair plastered to my lifeless face.

I throw on a wig, sunglasses, and a hat. Im not Monika. This is Amber.

I kiss his forhead and whisper in his ear, saying I’ll be back in 20 minutes. His eyes black as coal, hold my gaze. Hopelessness, desperation, and fear washes through us.

The routine too familiar to me. I return, and prepare his life line. His fix. He hunches over the table. With every ounce of energy left in him, hands trembling, he forms a fist to grasp the straw.

Instant relief.

His eyes turn into a honey brown. The man I fell in love with is back. Or so I think.

He doesn’t know. No one knows. No one knows the secret that I hide. On that day, we were prepared to leave the city, hand in hand, in hopes of escaping reality. But only one of us would have the possibility to return.


Theres a knock on the door to our hotel room. Without a thought I mindlessly skip towards the door, and opened it.

In a split second it was complete chaos. Before I could react my hand was being cuffed and I was thrown to the ground. Four detectives rushed passed me, towards my fiance. “GET ON THE GROUND PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM”

I hear a thud. I scream. “Babe, look at me, Were going to be okay, Do you hear me?!” I look over and see him. Our eyes meet. He looked angry, afraid, and in disbelief.

I was arrested on 87 outstanding warrants. A mixture of theft, fraud, and breaches. Yes I am ashamed at my actions during my active addiction and the events leading up to my arrest. My drug addiction fueled my criminal activities in order to sustain my addiction. It was a vicious cycle, where I saw no way out, except one.

On this day, I was prepared to take my own life. At the time I did not know what to do. If it wasn’t for the police taking me into custody I would not be here today. Miracles work in strange ways. While I was isolated in the bubble that had become my life, I was completely oblivious that the universe around me was at play. Each circumstance interconnecting to the next – resulting in the intervention that I didn’t know I needed, that would end up saving my life that day.


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