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Breaking Chains

The following is a piece from my oldest child Haley.  It is her story of addiction and recovery. A story of how she is breaking chains and finding freedom in sobriety. I am honored and so very proud of what she is accomplishing. I look forward to watching this story unfold as she battles and conquers her demons. 

Breaking Chains

So my dad asked me to write my story on my addiction and recovery journey. I’m not quite sure on what to say about this long, difficult, dark, and twisted road I’ve brought myself down but here it goes.

Knocked down but I get back up.

I’ve been struggling with addiction since I was 15 years old. It all started with drinking socially but soon led to pills and then in the last 5 years, meth. I can gladly say today that I am in recovery and live in the Arabella House. It is a sober living house through Abba Ministries in Tulsa, OK. I will receive my 30 day chip this Saturday at Celebrate Recovery. Personally, I never thought I would have made it as far as I have in the last 30 days. I have achieved more in this short amount time then I have in the last 7 years.

I of course did not do this, God did, once I fully surrendered and admitted I was powerless over this disease. This is when I began to actually see the path God had paved for me so many years ago, full of all my hearts desires. I have to remind myself to take it one day at a time and I am not in this alone. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, and the new is here!” This verse helps me as a daily reminder that just because of my past hurts, hang-ups, and habits I can be forgiven.

At first I wasn’t ready and went for the wrong reasons.

I went to rehab in September of 2014 at Grapevine Valley Hope, not long after my dad went to the one in Cushing, OK. Only difference was he succeeded at sobriety because he really wanted it, but he still only takes it one day at a time. I only went because at the time my little brother had got sick with cancer and my family wouldn’t let me go see him unless I was sober. This was the only time I have gone to rehab, and I thought I had it in the bag, but 10 short months later I broke a promise to my little brother that would devastate me and kick me back into the insanity of addiction.

Was it because I liked the isolation, the constant fighting with anyone who loved me? Or was it because of my grandparents kicking me out, no vehicle, no job, not having a degree, family of my own, no true friends, the lying, cheating, just plain insanity? Of course not! It was plain and simple. I didn’t like to feel any kind of feeling or emotion and always ran from them or any situation that I thought was to hard.

I wasn’t crazy it was the insanity of addiction.

To mask all this and make it go away; even if it was just for a couple of hours or a day, what did I do? Yep, you guessed it, I went and stuck a needle in my arm to numb everything. How insane is that? I knew there were underlying issues as to why I did things, but it wasn’t until I started talking to people just like me that I realized what those issues were.

Yes I have fear of abandonment from not having a relationship with my dad, a mother who was more a best friend, and failed relationships with men. I have major trust issues, and a whole long list of problems. Very slowly and patiently I am working on these broken relationships; ones I destroyed by torment, rage, and being untrustworthy, and ones others destroyed. My dad is constantly telling me, “Honey, we can not change the past; however we can learn from it, realize we do not want to go back and move on. We have to let the past hurts go and forgive, so that we may have a future.”

Finding the strength to start breaking chains.

It was not until my recent start on this recovery journey and many talks with God that I truly understood what he meant. I always thought, how can I just forget the past and all those hurts, but with repentance and forgiveness anything is possible. You have to truly forgive yourself for everything you have done in your dark past of addiction before you can expect anyone else to. We have all done bad things, but it doesn’t matter how bad they were, God forgives us instantly. All we have to do is ask.

So if we are automatically forgiven by the only One who matters why is it so hard for us to forgive ourselves? In Psalms 39:23-24 it says, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” See even God knows we are not perfect and as humans we will stumble. We just have to remember to hold out our hand and God is right there to grab you right back out of the pit you fell into.

My dad and I

No matter what you are going through, remember, you are not alone. There are so many other addicts out there and meetings anytime, you just have to reach out. The newcomers are what keeps us sober and we welcome anyone seeking the desires of recovery!!!! As of today, my dad and I both are succeeding at recovery but only one day at a time and finally starting to have a father-daughter relationship, not just yearning for one.


  1. Haley:

    Wonderful job writing. I’m very impressed by the amount of vulnerability you displayed and the honesty of your message. This bit stuck out, in particular:

    “No matter what you are going through, remember, you are not alone. There are so many other addicts out there and meetings anytime, you just have to reach out…”

    The greatest discovery I had when I finally got sober (and yes, it took me multiple rodeos to get this cowboy clean) was that the community of recovering people was much larger than I ever had anticipated. And they wanted to help me! They were willing to listen, and that in turn made me want to listen to them.

    I hope your journey in recovery is long and filled with both tribulations and joys. I mention the “negative” side of it, because it’s actually those things which transform us into better people. Plus, they’re gonna come, regardless.

    Best wishes to you and thank you so much for your message! I needed to read this today. PEACE – DDM

    • Haley Norton Haley Norton

      Aww thank you so much. I tried to be honest as possible in this because I knew it would help someone. Yes we all have bad days but none as bad as when we were in out active addiction and thought times were great!!!!

  2. Piper Piper

    Thank you, Kip for asking her to write something. I pray you two become closer together and I pray for both of your journies in recovery. So very proud of our beautiful baby girl.

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