Born and raised in Worcester, I witnessed the devastating effects the opioid epidemic had as it tore through our community, yet I wasn’t immune to it. What started as recreational use quickly grew into an addiction that took away my sense of freedom and control. The dreams and aspirations I had as a child were replaced with arrests and homelessness. My addiction destroyed my relationships with loved ones, isolating me to battle my disease alone. That is, until I got help.
Treatment helped me realize I was worthy of saving and worthy of a life free of drugs. In learning about my disease, I learned about myself. I learned to forgive myself, take responsibility for my past behaviors and relinquish any anger I was holding on to.
Now, 6 years in recovery, I have devoted my life to helping people with substance use disorders get the help they deserve. I have formed strong relationships with various fellowships, agencies, programs and non-profit organizations to spread the message of recovery and work tirelessly towards breaking the stigma that surround addiction. With my community in mind, I co-founded The Willing House, a sober housing facility, to serve as a safe place for people in early recovery to reside where they can receive the continual support they need. After successfully owning and operating affordable sober housing facilities, I set out to improve the standard of care delivered to those battling addiction. Along with a small group of peers who share the same dedication and commitment to making quality treatment and recovery tools more accessible, we established Lake Ave Recovery. When creating Lake Ave Recovery’s treatment programs, I remained steadfast about delivering transformative and trauma informed treatment that maintains and restores the dignity, well-being and mental health for individuals struggling. Having firsthand experience with addiction and recovery, I strongly advocate for care that addresses the mind, body and soul.
Worcester’s recovery community has lifted me up and provided me with strength when I needed it the most, and I intend to do the same for them. I regularly travel to a multiple of prisons and youth institutions throughout the area to spread the message of hope and self-discovery to anyone in crisis, guiding them towards the path of recovery.
When I look back at my life and what seemed like a revolving door of incomplete treatment and homeless shelters, I am so grateful for where I am today and that I am in the position of providing the same care that saved my life.
I learned that addiction is a lifelong battle, but it is far from a lifelong impairment.