12 Nov Amanda’s Recovery Story
This is another story from our friends at the Perry County Tribune. This story deals with a young woman named Amanda, who says her choices of drugs were alcohol, and opiates.
Recovery services close to home enables individuals to reclaim their lives and once again positively contribute to their community and society.
Amanda says her using had made her reckless, careless, and selfish. All the things she loved, cared about, the things that made her the person she was were taken away. “I had willingly let them go for my love of drinking and that next high. I was deteriorating, an empty shell of low self esteem and no confidence,” she explained.
Growing up Amanda says addiction was not talked about. “Not by my friends in school, my family, or myself, we were oblivious to it, or maybe it was never a problem,” she said adding, “I smoked marijuana and drank all throughout high school, but I was also an athlete and a good student, it was avoided.”
“I knew my family was afraid for me, and feared for me at the same time. I became untrustworthy, unreliable, irresponsible,” Amanda said shaking her head. “I hurt the people who I loved and loved me the most. I abused them emotionally, mentally, and verbally.”
Amanda admits most people who knew her then felt she was disrespectful, a menace to society, a thief and criminal. “The people who worked in the probation department and the judicial system were only in my way,” she said. “I felt they were out to get me, not help me.”
“Treatment would have been an amazing opportunity, unfortunately it wasn’t.” Amanda spent 22 months in the Ohio State Reformatory for Women, and prior to that she spent time at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.
Amanda says for that, “I will be forever grateful. I attended meetings four days a week, sometimes twice a day. I was accepted in two six month intensive out-patient programs.” This was followed up by six weeks of after care. Amanda lived with 200 other women for over a year. She was able to make her own schedule. “I became accountable, reliable, responsible and trustworthy…I was reformed,” she said with a slight smile.
While incarcerated Amanda’s family visited her regularly. She says she will never forget the look on her daughter’s face the first visit they had. “She didn’t recognize me after seven months, I was heartbroken,” said Amanda with a somber expression across her face. “This is what keeps me sober, that was my bottom. The events that led to this were necessary and I would not change one thing about that. I will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. This is what AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) taught me.”
Addiction does not discriminate, says Amanda. “It comes in many forms…Principles before Personalities. Alcoholics, addicts, people who have a mental illness are fighting a battle you may know nothing about. Be aware and know the signs of addiction.”
When Amanda was in treatment she says she met many people from many different walks of life. Amanda says AA taught her that this is a selfish program, despite what anyone says or thinks. “It’s my program, my sobriety and I must do everything in my power with a little help from God, and His will to stay sober. One day at a time,” she said with a smile. Treatment has helped Amanda find people who are like her, and different from everyone else. AA became her home away from home.
For the past year, Amanda has lived at Sobriety Village, a recovery house for women, operated by PBHC, located on North Main Street in New Lexington. She is also working on a Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE). “This certificate is so an employer cannot discriminate me for my criminal record,” stated Samantha. She is also taking online courses to receive a Chemical Dependency Certificate. “But, most of all I am working on being a better mother, daughter, and granddaughter,” she said with a smile. “My past does not define who I am, I am a grateful recovering addict.”
In concluding Amanda said, “During my incarceration I felt trapped, alone, nowhere to go, no one to talk to. There was a small group of women who had a running group. They would run after 4 p.m. and 6 a.m. On the weekends. This was my way out. Running has kept me sober along with attending my meetings and staying in contact with my sponsor.”
Running is now Amanda’s drug of choice.