I found my road to recovery through an internship/externship program. This program focused on career training and social ventures. They offered marketing training to people interested in all aspects of marketing such as PR, copy-writing and photography. I was interested in PR and began the hands-on training program. This ran for nine months, and at the end of the nine months I was prepared for school, a job or a structured path. It saved my life to have a place to go everyday.
I went to my first support group meeting when I was sixteen, but I didn’t go back for several years, because I knew I was an alcoholic, and it just hit home way too quickly. One day I woke up, and I was like, “I don’t want to live like this anymore. I want to know what it’s like to wake up in the morning and go to work and have a purpose, and I want to know what it’s like to be regular people.” I would see people going to work in the morning, but I didn’t know what that schedule felt like. I wanted to participate in the world. I had been so deep in my disease with drugs and alcohol that I had depleted all my resources, and I had nowhere to go. I had run out of all my money, but the career-training program was non-profit.
Recovery didn’t happen quickly. Treatment lasted six months, then I was ready for the internship/externship program. I was so grateful to have that opportunity. Even though I’m an alcoholic and will always be an alcoholic, I just wanted to live a normal life. Becoming a productive member of society is such a big part of recovery. I would like to build something of my own for people who are creative and ready to transition away from addiction. I want to be able to give back in that way and to open up a sober living program with my husband. We are both grateful, really grateful, to be in recovery. My goal is to give back in a personal way.
What words would you share with someone who hasn’t found recovery yet or is struggling with recovery?
Stick to it, and remember, “This too shall pass.” No matter what you feel, do the next right thing, because it will pass. Sometimes recovery is really hard. This is a very transitional time in my life right now, but I have faith. If I look back at my life three years ago, I wouldn’t believe it could be as wonderful as it is. If I compare it only to today, I’ll focus only on that. I try to have perspective.