There were a few challenges I faced while I was in recovery anything from finding a program to accept me because of my CORI. I was also denied housing because of my CORI and majority of people in recovery have CORIs because in active addiction we didn’t always think of the consequences and even paying our debt by doing prison time we are faced with that same debt far into our recovery which makes it hard to continue on a positive path. Finding a good job or any job also lands on this list.
Addiction really impacted my life and my loved ones dramatically. I no longer had a healthy relationship with my loved ones I had put them threw so much, stealing from them and lying to them. My mom said the only time she slept at night was when I was in jail. I no longer loved myself and I was literally killing myself with the poison I put in my body. I ended up in and out of prison my entire adult life up until the age of 41 when I decided to get into recovery. I eventually caught an infection from heroin use that left me paralyzed.
Stigma played a big part in my recovery, it’s because of stigma I was denied the proper care when I was being held in a county jail. I was told I was complaining of back pain because I wanted pain meds and I was nothing but a junkie who was in and out of jail. Because these nurses and doctors didn’t view me as a person or someone’s loved one all I was to them was a junkie who wanted pain meds and because of that my infection grew and almost killed me. I ended up in the hospital and rehab for a whole year.
Because the way I was treated I vowed to do my best and help change the way people view people with a substance use disorder. I will tell my story to my last day hoping we can end the stigma attached to someone suffering from SUD.
I am now a person in Recovery my Recovery date is 12/11/11. In that time, I graduated Dismas House, went back to school for Addiction Counselor Education from Westfield State university. I am also a certified recovery coach and supervisor. I am the Program Director of Spectrum Health Systems Everyday Miracles peer recovery support center since October 2016. In 2018 I worked with the Worcester County District Attorney’s office and Worcester Police Department’s first ever Adult Diversion Program which was a great success. I am committed to help individuals improve their day to day lives and help them to realize their goals and attain better quality of life. I am a advocate in my community, a tax payer, and a first time home owner. Today am I proud to say WE DO RECOVER.