I am a person in long-term recovery. To me, that means that I have not had to pick up a drink or drug to get me through the day since December 21, 2011. God willing, that was the day I stepped into what was my last in-patient treatment center. Then, I was a broken shell of a woman. I had dropped out of college, been convicted, was unemployed, and was unable to be there for anyone in my life. I was a tornado of destruction, fueled by the continuous use of heroin. My health and well-being was never a concern to me.
As a result of my addiction I had been arrested twice, had multiple episodes of treatment, and had a heart valve repair at 22. My parents finally set a hard boundary that I could either go to jail or rehab.
On December 20, 2011, I overdosed at my parents’ home right in front of my three-month-old daughter. That was when I hit rock bottom. With the encouragement of my family, I entered in-patient treatment. I was fortunate enough to be provided with a phenomenal treatment experience at the facility. I felt the love there and learned to love myself. After in-patient care, I was able to complete each level of outpatient care. During that process, I found a recovery family, and began to make my journey through sobriety. For the first time in 10 years, I was sober.
This is why I am sharing my story. Since I became sober, I’ve had a life beyond my wildest dreams. I was lucky enough to repair every relationship I broke with my family and be active in their lives. I have been able to go back to school and will soon earn a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. I also have full custody of my daughter again, and have welcomed a husband and beautiful baby boy into my life.
I can say that I have the gift of working in a treatment facility, and being able to give back by helping those who are where I once was. I am blessed every day to be on the front lines of not only fighting my addiction, but ending the stigma associated with drug addiction. Recovery is possible, and I am proof of that. Day to day, everything feels the same, but looking back shows me how far I have come and how different I am now.