“I have no suggestions, just praise- Amen!!!! Stay on it!!! You have a great program and staff- I cannot thank you enough!!!”

Dan B.

Mandy

My worst day in recovery is significantly better than my best day in active addiction.

I had received six felony drug charges in less than eighteen months. I’d been using methamphetamine, opiates, and heroine. I was homeless and feeling empty. I had nothing left. The last time I got arrested was the only time I’ve ever gotten arrested that I felt relieved. I didn’t run. I knew on some level that I was being saved. That if I didn’t make a change, the only thing left for me was prison or death.

Fearing I’d go to prison for years, I begged for drug court. I had tried treatment previously through municipal drug court in 2005, but just couldn’t or wouldn’t stop using. I ended up sitting in county jail for six months after I couldn’t get it together. And, at the end of my six-month sentence, my husband died. It was all too much to deal with and I went right back to using for ten more years. But this time, I was ready for the structure of drug court.

I was chaos. I was a train wreck. Anything that was destructive, I had to be right in the middle of. And when the drugs went away, a lot of that behavior got worse. I had some really great counselors and peers that were able to confront me on those things in a way that I was able to really see how my behavior was hurting my recovery. I began to be able to see my role in things and how I can choose to think and act differently. And how that causes me to feel differently and behave differently. They also taught me how to live life. They worked with me on budgeting and held me accountable, and helped me find a job and transportation. They were there for me until I was ready to know that I could make the right choices without somebody else telling me that if I didn’t, there would be repercussions.

My life before recovery was awful. I had destroyed every relationship I had ever made with any person since I was born. When I got arrested the last time, I didn’t call anybody. I had destroyed my relationship with my mom, my grandmother, my dad, my sisters, my spouses, my kids. I didn’t have friends. I had acquaintances, but I had even destroyed my relationship with most of them.

Now, my worst day in recovery is significantly better than my best day in active addiction. My family life is amazing. I reconnected with my daughter and my son, my mom and my grandmother. My mom is an addict as well, and I got clean before she got sober. It was hard for me to be putting all this effort into changing my life and to watch her still be drinking herself to death. But, I knew that I couldn’t force her to get clean. Even working at Rimrock and doing what I did for a living, I couldn’t make her want something different. But, she was inspired by the changes that she saw in me, and she decided to make a change. She’s got over a year sober now. And my brother got sober too. That’s pretty amazing.

I don’t think I could what I do for a living the way that I do it if it wasn’t for the fact that I have been through it all. Some patients don’t know when they see me that I’m a recovering addict. But, I do share that with them and I‘ve never asked a patient to do anything that I haven’t done myself. I’m also able to sit with them in their difficult moments and say, “I‘ve been there.” It gives me a different kind of compassion and I think I’m rewarded by my work in a way that I wouldn’t be if it wasn’t personal to me.

If you or someone you love is living with addiction, there is hope. It gets better. It doesn’t have to hurt like this forever. There are people that will invest in you. Asking for help is scary. It’s absolutely terrifying. But just take one little step at a time, because everything that you want is on the other side of fear. Everything.

I am unbelievably grateful today for everything that I have in my life. When I’m stressed out and tired and have compassion fatigue, I think about where I was three years ago, four years ago, and it’s like I have Cadillac problems today. I’m not worrying about if I’m going to be able to eat. I’m not worrying about running from the police. I’m not sick in withdrawal. I don’t have to steal things to get by. I have a car and a house and a husband and a family and I pay my bills on time and I have car insurance — all of these little things that are normal to everybody else are huge things for me. And if I can do it, anybody can do it.

For me, Rimrock is Recovery.

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