Ordinary Miracles

Do miracles exist?

Ask anyone who is in recovery from an addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, food or gambling and they’ll say one thing – yes.


We see them every day in recovery groups where ‘hopeless’ cases, such as I was, come into the room and insist they cannot come off their drug-of-choice only to come clean, and then blossom and grow into the person they were always meant to be.

I’ve seen people dragged in off the streets, people you wouldn’t put a penny on to stay clean or sober for 10 minutes, who stop abusing their substance, who get the job they dreamt of, who embark on relationships, have babies, reunite with families.

It’s so normal that miracles are almost ordinary to us.

Take me, for example. I was the classic in-denial, middle class, outwardly successful person who found out that actually everything she believed about herself was a lie.

I wasn’t coping, my coping strategy for life was to abuse my prescription medication. I ran away from life in terror. I lived a half-life, too scared to give up my drugs in case, my world fell apart. Of course, it was the drugs that destroyed almost everything – including my body and mind.

I believed that my meds were the solution, that they helped me to sleep, to think clearly, to cope. It was a revelation to realise they were the problem. Truly a moment where my whole existence shifted 360 degrees. Everything I believed was a fiction and I could finally start to live in the real world, without a substance disconnecting me, without the cycle of guilt and shame which always accompanies drug or alcohol abuse, without the lies and deceit.

This was my miracle. The fact that being clean gives me friends, a life, love and my family is just a few more ordinary miracles to add to the pile.

I’ll share my favourite quote of all time with you:

“Anyone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.” David Ben-Gurion

with love, Cathryn


I bought this book after hearing the author on Woman's Hour. She is incredibly brave and her story is gripping, shocking and a real roller-coaster...