My recovery started late in 2015. I was finally arrested and saved. I was not upset with getting arrested, I was relieved. I was so tired and broken that I didn’t care what happened to me. When I got to court I asked my Probation Officer if I can get help and he decided to give me one more chance and section 35 me.
From the section I went to a halfway house in Worcester, Beryl’s House. While at Beryl’s I slowly started my recovery journey. I knew I wanted a better life, just didn’t know how I would do that. I was put on O.C.C. (Office of Community Corrections) at the Sherriff’s Office. I went to classes every day there and that’s when I met some amazing people that worked at the Sherriff’s Office, they really cared and wanted us to succeed.
I had a couple brief relapses and got back into treatment. This time my Probation Office put me on Drug Court. Which was a little more strict than OCC and held me more accountable. I needed those daily classes and Drug tests at the beginning. I am so grateful for Drug Court it saved my life. At Drug Court I met some amazing women in Recovery. I started getting more involved in meetings and community supports. That’s where I met Nikki Bell, she worked at Pathways for Change, but had a support group called LIFT (living in freedom together) I was going to her groups every week. At first just because she would give free pizza, but I felt safe there. I knew I could talk openly about my whole story. At the meetings and houses I went to I could never open up about all the trauma I had endured from being sexually exploited. Nikki let me talk about it freely and shared her story with me. I knew that if she could get out of the life and was helping women exit and recover, that I could also do it! I started to go to her Drop-In Center and volunteer, I always knew I wanted to work in this field. I wanted to show women that it is possible to get out of the life and recovery from addiction.
I slowly dug myself out of the hole I created during active addiction. Started going to counseling, continued with meetings, and going to see Nikki Bell for her groups. Nikki never gave up on me, when though I had a couple relapses. She helped me when everyone else turned their back or wanted to lock me. She advocated for me and helped me get a scholarship into a sober house.
At the sober house I got a “get well job.” I started to believe in myself. I work at that job for over a year and was promoted to Assistance Store Manager. I started to get my self-worth, and accepted my whole story. A lot of people doubted me, even my own family. I lost all trust and respect. I just kept showing up and doing the next right thing, and DID NOT GET HIGH.
Fast forward 3 years later, I am shocked I am still alive and have my dream job. I have my son and family back in my life. People respect me. I have been working with Living in Freedom Together, LIFT, for almost 2 years. I am the Director of Outreach and Advocacy. I help women find their pathway to recovery. Get them connected with community resources. I meet them where their at and accept them for who they are. Show them I am living proof you can get out and recover.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Worcester Recovery Court, OCC, and Nikki Bell. For people believing in me and giving me the tools and resources I need to recover and succeed in life. I couldn’t imagine a better life.