Jennifer just took a six-month chip for 180 days sober. Six months ago her life was very different. She was unemployed, homeless, in jail, and facing prison. Now she is employed and furthering her recovery journey by moving into sober living. Here is her story.
It all started after a surgery. I was taking opiates prescribed to me by my doctor for pain. Before long I was abusing the medication, and that quickly graduated to shooting heroine. Once I went to street drugs, it wasn’t long until I was also using meth. I started getting into trouble with the law and I wouldn’t go to court…I’m a runner. I was having warrants pile up. In spite of opportunities to get treatment instead of time, I didn’t listen. I’d relapse anyway and each time I did it would get worse. It progressed to being homeless and on the street. I would never show up for my family, I was running on self-will.
This last time I was in jail, I’d made it even worse by bringing drugs into a substation, and I got an add charge to all the other charges I had. It was a turning point in how seriously the courts started treating me, and for me, that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was given the choice of a prison sentence or in patient treatment for addiction and alcoholism. On November 8th, the judge granted me treatment at House of Hope.
I was released from jail, and moved into House of Hope residential treatment center. I was so grateful! I checked into House of Hope, got a sponsor, and started to listen to all the direction from the House, the other women, and the program
As I went through residential treatment, I really appreciated how structured the program was. I did not have structure before in any of my previous attempts to get clean. I had been to AA, and to NA, but outside the meetings, I had no structure, and would relapse. It was awful because I’d fallen in love with the fellowship of AA and NA, and had a head full of twelve steps and the Big Book, and that ruined using for me too. It was hell – either clean or using I was ‘irritable and discontent.’
I’m having a new experience going to an all-female facility. I feel safer, more open to share in groups. I have a really good sponsor. She made me go through a waiting process though and checked with her sponsor first, and eventually said yes. She takes it seriously, and I do too now.
I’m also trying very hard to let go of self will. From residential treatment I went into RBH (Recovery Bridge Housing) and intensive outpatient. I was grateful to continue a serious program into the second 3 months. With a little more freedom, and with IOP, I got a job – it continued to stabilize me and allowed me the resources to choose sober living as my next phase. I’m able to pay my own room and board, and am still in a structured setting surrounded by other sober women and still very close to outpatient services. The only way I feel comfortable right now is through guidance, and I’m so grateful the House of Hope can continue to provide that to me as I move forward to my next step in sober living.
Before I had a certain lifestyle of living, and it was selfish and self-centered. I’m tired of not paying my own way through life, and the House of Hope has taught me to put one foot in front of the other and everything else will fall into place.