I was just out of high school with a new husband, a new baby, and new college courses when I started taking pills to cope with the stress and to handle my feelings. Another baby and more difficult courses and my substance use progressed. For 10 years, I wanted to get treatment. I kept saying that I was going to go, but I didn’t. I was afraid of the unknown and afraid of not being in control. When I was arrested two years ago, they asked me if I wanted jail or treatment, and I chose treatment. I came to Brighton Recovery Center for Women on October 1, 2021.
Every day since the day I came, I would say I was leaving. I told everyone I wanted to walk out and never come back. I kept going through the program but got stuck and had to go back to the start. I didn’t want to go through it all over again, so I begged my mom to come and get me, but she wouldn’t. She said she didn’t want me to hold it over her head that I had to spend three years in jail. So I stayed.
When I was one week away from finishing and leaving for good, I got another restart that made me want to leave. I learned from the Department of Corrections that I could walk out the door without consequences. That day is when it all changed for me, and I realized I actually didn’t want to leave. I wanted to finish this program for myself, to prove to myself that I can do this. So even though I didn’t really want to do three more months of Phase 1, I completely surrendered. When I first got here, I was doing it for my kids, but having the option to leave is what made me realize I had to do it for myself. I wanted something different, and I had to do it for myself before I did it for anyone else.
These women are amazing. I didn’t get along with women at all before this experience. I had one best friend, and we parted ways because of my addiction. I never thought I could connect with women the way I do here, but I love each and every one of these women differently. They’ve impacted me in different ways. I wouldn’t have wanted to go to treatment anywhere else. This place has saved my life. They’ve given my mom and dad their daughter back, my kids their mom back, my husband his wife back, and me my life back. It’s amazing. It really is. My son says that choosing treatment is the best decision I ever made. Something I never thought I would ever get is a year of sobriety. And I have it. It’s a big difference.
I signed on to be a Peer Mentor in the kitchen, and it was a great experience. I get to help all the girls that I’ve watched come in the door, I get to see them give their all, and I get to give back by working with CENTER TABLE, Catering with a Purpose. I’m getting my food service management license, and I’ve been working with the Financial Coaches at Brighton Center to reduce my previous student loan debt and get ready to go back to college to get a degree in hospitality. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, so maybe someday I’ll be able to open my own restaurant.
When I think about my advice to others, I get choked up. My advice is to give Brighton Center a chance. It’s what I had to do. And when you give it a chance, you give yourself a chance.« See All Stories