My name is Lisa Parkinson, I am an alcoholic and addict and I have been completely abstinent of all substances since February 13, 2009.
My story really starts when I was about 15 years old. I started experimenting with alcohol and marijuana. At first it was just experimenting, however, I do remember the first time I was intoxicated and I remember the feeling of being so carefree. After that first time all I wanted to do was drink and party. This went on throughout high school. In my junior year of high school I was introduced to a inner city crowd and immediately gravitated toward the ‘street’ life. I began drinking everyday and eventually dropped out of high school for a few months. I eventually was dragged back to school to finish up and ended up graduating with top honors.
I continued to drink on a daily basis, in 2007 I was pulled over twice and ended up with two DUI’s in the matter of two weeks. I was put on an alcohol tether. This is when I turned to heroin. After my first try with heroin I was off to the races. The intense feeling of shutting out the entire world is exactly what I thought I was looking for. I did everything in my power to get my next high. I ended up stealing a lot of money from my family. Eventually they found out what I was doing and pressed charges. I was charged with over 20 felony counts of forgery and uttering and publishing. The judge tried to work with me and offered me treatment and minimal jail time. Heroin still had a strong hold on me, I continued to use and eventually stole more money and was charged again with the same offenses. The judge ended up having no choice and sentenced me to 3 years in prison with the option of boot camp for early release.
I spent 7 months in prison and was then transferred to boot camp. During this time something changed with me. I finally was feeling as if I wanted a different life. By the end of boot camp I was willing to do anything to keep my life together outside of prison and was determined to never go back to prison. Upon my release I entered a treatment center for women in Ann Arbor. I completed the 13 month program with great success. I moved out of the treatment center into my own apartment. Up until this point I didn’t realize how much more wonderful my life would get. I continued on in my recovery, working the steps with a sponsor, going to meetings all the time and finding the women in the program to connect with on a daily basis.
Putting in the work to stay sober has not been easy, however, it has changed my life in ways I never thought was possible. I now work for a drug and alcohol treatment center, I have my family back in my life, a beautiful daughter, an amazing boyfriend, I got my license back, I graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Social Work.
Most importantly I am so happy, I have been relieved of the obsession to use, I am present with my family and friends and I am a productive member of society, I owe this to the program and the countless of people that have supported me through this journey.