Chemical Recovery Testimonials

Following are three real stories of addiction. (Names have been changed to protect anonymity.)

"Sarah" 53, Cosmetologist - Alcohol, Prescription Pain Medication

Despite a youth marked by alcohol, drug abuse and molestation, Sarah was able to overcome the addiction that had plagued her early years. She was determined to change her life so left the Los Angeles area and moved to Columbus, Ohio, where she got clean and sober. After graduating from cosmetology school and becoming a successful hairdresser, Sarah found herself married to an alcoholic and in need of a hip replacement. Her resolve faltered and she relapsed. But she divorced and got the help she needed to get clean again. Then, after a move back to Los Angeles and another surgery, the prescription pain medication became a problem.

"I could see what was happening and I knew it wasn't what I wanted," Sarah said. "I was referred to Providence Little Company of Mary Recovery Center and it saved my life."

After a seven-day inpatient stay, Sarah joined the Recovery Center's Outpatient Program, meeting three days a week. She has been sober for six months.

"The Outpatient Program gives us a clean, safe group environment where we can work together on our problems, Sarah said. "The counselors understand and they support you. And, when it's time to be done with the program, they help get you ready to go out in the world and succeed. You know you're not alone and you can always come back and get the encouragement you need. To me, overcoming addiction is a lot like riding a bike. At first, it's really hard and you need a lot of help and someone to hold you up, and sometimes you fall. But if you keep trying, one day, you'll get it right and never look back."

"Dana" 38, Mother of Four - Alcohol, Meth, Crack Cocaine

As a depressed child, Dana attempted suicide for the first time at age ten. In her early teens, alcohol became her escape. A teenage pregnancy at 16 made her feel like she had ruined her life, and by age 17 she was drunk every day. She married at 18 and was so depressed that at age 20 she again tried to end her life. Her drinking escalated until she could not maintain relationships or be a good mother. In 2002, her own mother, who had taken over caring for her children, passed away unexpectedly. Dana was forced to care for her four children, although she was in no condition to do so. At this point, Dana's world began to crumble. She tried Meth for the first time the day her mother died.

"I felt less depressed at first and it seemed to take away my obsession with killing myself for a while," Dana said. "But then the drugs turned on me. I married someone I didn't even know. My mom and my husband had taught my kids not to tell anyone what was going on. They were suffering. My life was just caving in around me. Then I tried Crack. The Crack was what brought me to my knees."

One day, in desperation, Dana called her daughter to help her. The next day, her daughter came and picked up her mom and took her to the Recovery Center.

"I didn't realize how hard it was going to be," Dana said. "At first, I wasn't willing to make the sacrifices that I needed to make to get better. Then I realized what my life would be like and I decided the pain was worth it. The 14-day inpatient stay saved my life and the Outpatient Program keeps me going. I have been sober for almost 5 months and the counselors have given me the tools to succeed. They made me accountable, but supported me through everything. You can tell your group anything, because everyone there has been through it in one way or another. Without the Recovery Center, I'm not even sure I'd still be alive right now."

"John" 65, Retired Aerospace Engineer - Alcohol

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, John describes his childhood as "idyllic." His family was stable and he was the favored child - active in his church and as an Eagle Scout. He tried beer a few times in high school, but never went beyond that. He graduated from a U.S. Military Academy and obtained two masters' degrees. He became a social drinker, having a glass of wine or "a hi-ball or two" at dinners or events. Then, in his late 50's, he began to recognize that alcohol was becoming a problem. He was passing out on the couch most nights. He attended a program in 2004, sponsored by his employer.

John was "okay" for a few years, though he continued to drink socially. But by December 2007, increasing anxiety about his upcoming retirement resulted in increased alcohol consumption. He retired the following October and was under a doctor's care for anxiety and insomnia. As the holidays approached, John was drinking five or six drinks a day and his life was going to pieces.

"My family confronted me about my drinking," John said. "I couldn't deny it and I knew I needed - and wanted - help. I was admitted to the Providence Little Company of Mary Recovery Center Inpatient Program in early January. I felt like I was finally in a safe place where I could concentrate my energy into getting better."

Today, John attends the Recovery Center's Outpatient Program three days a week.

"It's an intense program," John said. "I get a lot out of the group sessions and I feel grateful for what I've been able to accomplish. It gives me a purpose and safe place to open up. I am still concerned about filling my days once I complete the program but I am definitely less anxious and more positive about what my life will look like from here on out."

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