It’s that time a year again… People are carving pumpkins and putting up décor to honor the things that go bump in the night. It’s always hard to imagine Halloween without a skimpy costume of an animal and a night club with girls walking the bar pouring shots into mouths of Ghouls and Goblins looking for oblivion. That’s all addiction seems to be looking back on it; Oblivion. The quiet darkness that overwhelms you and takes you away even if it was for a moment from the hard reality of life on life’s terms.

That’s what addiction was for me: An escape from my reality. See, in my everyday life I was somewhat of a ‘Strange case of Dr. Jakal and Mr. Hyde’. I was a manic-depressive Prima Donna and when I wasn’t paranoid that all my friends were plotting against me, I was picking fights with anyone and everyone to cover up the guilt and shame I felt internally. The guilt of sneaking off into gas station bathrooms to find the solidarity that would allow me to do my black tar heroin in peace. The shame of explaining my black tainted fingernails to anyone shaking my hand and always having to “check my oil” for a leak before family and work events.

I remember looking into the mirror and seeing a ghost of the girl I used to be staring back at me ominously. I looked into her eyes and I saw nothing… I was empty. I found my bottom in a foil-lined black hole. I decided to pull my life’s emergency brake and now I can look back and be grateful for my life today. With Halloween looming around the corner I am so thankful for my sobriety. All Hallows Eve has gone from a holiday of booze and bars and transformed into passing out candies in a costume with my family, 12-Step Halloween events and spreading the word of recovery after addiction. 

Not celebrating Halloween inebriated used to seem like it would be so unfulfilling, but “we are not a glum lot”! It is still fun and filled with joy that I know I will remember in the morning and for that, I am so very grateful. Halloween has become every day for me because with recovery I get to be whatever I want to be today, but more importantly, I get to be as grateful as a vampire in a blood bank. Happy Halloween ladies and ghouls!

Written by Dani Maldonado.