By Eleanor Ward
My name is Eleanor Ward. I am in long-term recovery from alcoholism. I have not had a drink of alcohol since May 29, 1989. I was granted a scholarship to a Message and Media Training in Dallas, TX on Dec. 15 and 16, 2006. This seminar was put on by Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR). I have been speaking out about long-term recovery because it has helped me change my life for the better and I want to help make it possible for others to do the same.
I would like to share the story of my recovery and the wonderful things that have happened since I have enjoyed long-term recovery. On May 29, 1989, I parked our car in the kitchen. My husband was mowing the lawn. I cannot imagine the sinking feeling in his stomach when he came around the corner of the trailer with the weed eater in his hand and looked at the car in the kitchen. He came in, took one look at me and called a family intervention. My daughter in law, Kay, called treatment centers and found Laughlin Pavilion in Kirksville that would take me immediately. Four family members drove me up there. The last I remember after signing myself in is Dale, Craig and Don standing by my bed looking down at me. I said: “I will be O.K.” I think they were doubtful but had a glimmer of hope.
I was in detox five days. On the sixth morning, an attendant opened the window shades and said, “Let the sun shine in.” That was the beginning of my new, sober life. Since that morning, I completed the 28 day treatment. I graduated from Graceland University on May 19, 2002 with a BS in Addiction Studies. Family members attended my graduation. I have recovered from cancer twice using the tools of recovery. They can apply to all challenging situations. I earned my CSAC II Certification that requires 6000 hours of supervised work in the addiction field and an oral and written test that is difficult.
I have been on the Regional Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs for a number of years and Secretary for the past two years. I have recently been appointed to the State Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs for a three year term. I give back to the Cancer Society as a volunteer. This is a small way to thank them for their help. I am a member of the Livingston County Wellness Committee.
I have an office in the Calvary Baptist Church, where I have handouts about addiction available when someone asks for information and to talk with people who want additional help beyond treatment. I am active in my church and as an RSVP member. I have reunited with many old friends and have made new friends. I enjoy eating lunch with friends and sharing what we are doing in our lives and our community. LIFE IS GOOD.