MEET MARICLAIRE P
MariClaire was a young teenager when she began her journey into addiction.
After several attempts at rehab, MariClaire finally accepted her recovery and today, soon to be 7 years later she is thriving, happy, married, and a mom to a beautiful baby. And did we mention that she was accepted to Nursing school and is starting this Fall!
MEET JENI E
Hi, my name is Jeni. I have been sober since September 5th, 2011. I come from a family that wasn’t perfect, but my mom did the best she could, and my sister and I had everything we needed.
Although I was a good student, I always felt like I didn’t fit in, or that everyone had been given an instruction book for life except me. I took my first drink and smoked pot at 13, and finally felt like I fit in my skin.
From that time, I did whatever I could to get my hands on a substance that would get me out of myself. Because of my early drug use, I was in treatment centers from 14 till I was 18. Between the ages of 18 and 24, I experimented with even more drugs and began to start using harder drugs including meth and cocaine.
During brief periods of time, I would get my life together by going to rehab. I would get a job or enroll in college classes, only to sabotage myself by using drugs and alcohol again. When I used, my life unraveled so fast and I had absolutely no choice in my behaviors or the consequences. The only thing that was important were the drugs.
I used heroin for the first time on my birthday in 2008 and I fell in love.
I had finally found my solution for life, (or so I thought). Nothing, absolutely nothing was important to me anymore, except for heroin.
After about 6 months, my family wanted nothing more to do with me and I couldn’t blame them. I stole everything that was worth anything from my mother and sister. I would go months without talking to them, I am sure they feared for my life.
But I didn’t, death was a welcomed idea.
I would have brief periods of sobriety that would renew their hope, only to use again and my world would crash down around me.
Right before I got sober, I was living in a small apartment that my grandmother was paying for. The carpet was littered with trash and the cupboards were empty except for blackened spoons and needles. I couldn’t hold a job and the little food I ate was stolen from the gas station down the street.
Every night I hoped to die in my sleep and was disappointed when I woke up the next morning. I repeated the same cycle everyday of deciding that today would be the day I would stop using, only for the obsession to use would return by noon and I would have to try to figure out who I could lie to, or who I could steal from in order to get my fix. And it never failed, as soon as I would inject the drugs, a panic would wash over me because I would have to start the cycle over again.
In September of 2011 I finally got tired of being sick and tired. Nothing major happened, it was an internal surrender. That day wasn’t different than any other day except I had began to go to AA meetings.
I began to surround myself with people that were just like me, except they were recovering. They understood me. They had the instruction book that I had been looking for. They thought like me, but they were living life successfully.
I slowly began to do what they were doing. There was definitely a period of detoxification. I chose not to go to treatment this time and it was extremely uncomfortable, but I knew if I was to ever have the peace, joy and serenity that the people in AA had, that I could not start using again.
I got a sponsor, worked the steps, and began to develop a relationship with a Higher Power.
My life began to get better, quickly.
At two months sober, my boyfriend and I of two years were expecting our first child. I am proud to say that my son has never seen me drunk or high.
I also completed my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2015 and now I work as a nurse in a treatment center. I get to help people that are in the same situation that I was in.
My family actually enjoys being around me today and they are disappointed when I can’t make it to family gatherings. I have real friendships with people today that love me for nothing more than who I am. What keeps me sober today is that I still continue to actively participate in AA.
I now sponsor other women, one of my biggest joys is to watch them transform. A light comes on in their eyes as hopeless turns into hopeful. I have been blessed with so many gifts that it is impossible for me to describe them all here. On some days I wonder why I was choosen to be taken out of the despair I was in when so many others die daily from the disease of addiction. The answer is that, my purpose in life is to give back to those that have helped me and those that still suffer from deadly this addiction. I will do everything I can to fulfill that purpose.
MEET CJ H
CJ’s story began when he was just 12 years old as he began drinking and using opiates. By the time he was 16, he was a blackout drinker and he began using heroin when he was 21.
He spent time in jails and prison for his drug use but unfortunately, CJ had a relapse that lasted for 8 months. While back in jail, he was facing a very long prison sentence.
By the grace of God, he was able to enter The House of Hope Residential Treatment Program for Men, and it was there where the journey to his life of sobriety began on May 16, 2011.
Today, CJ is a concrete laborer and has been with the same company for 4 years. He is a full-time dad to his son and also has a daughter.
Working with alcoholics and addicts is what keeps CJ sober today.
CJ says he owes everything he has to the 12-step program.
CJ’s story began when he was just 12 years old when he started drinking and using opiates. By the time he was 16, he was a blackout drinker and he began using heroin when he was 21.
He spent time in jails and prison for his drug use but unfortunately, CJ had a relapse that lasted for 8 months. While back in jail, he was facing a very long prison sentence. By the grace of God, he was able to enter The House of Hope residential treatment program for men, and it was there where his journey to his life of sobriety began on May 16, 2011.
Today, CJ is a concrete laborer and has been with the same company for 4 years. He is a full-time dad to his son and also has a daughter. Working with alcoholics and addicts is what keeps CJ sober today. CJ says he owes everything he has to the 12-step program.
CJ was married in June of 2016 and his lovely wife just graduated from Otterbein with an early childhood education degree.