Even though I have been in recovery for over five years, I still cannot fully explain what brought me into recovery. I strongly suspect that a higher power’s will for me and my dad’s unconditional love are what saved my life on June 23rd, 2013. That morning, I woke up in withdrawal. So, I called my dealer to set up a time and a place to meet. After hanging up, I immediately picked up my cell again and called a local treatment center. The entire experience was surreal. It did not feel as though I was in control of my own actions when I called the treatment center. I could not understand why I had done such a thing, particularly when I had no intention of giving up drugs. Whatever the cause, I am forever grateful that something pushed me toward recovery.

By some small miracle, the treatment center had a bed available for me the same day that I called. Again, contrary to my own sick judgment, I found myself making another phone call. I called my poor, sweet, loving dad to ask if he could give me a ride. Due to the stigma and the profound sense of shame associated with opioid use disorders, I was unable to explain to him why I needed a ride. Dad knew that something was wrong with me, but he had no idea what. Thankfully, he agreed to come pick me up. He did not even know where we were going, but he sensed that I desperately needed help.

Once we arrived at the center, my dad realized what was happening. He told me, “This is the bravest thing that I have ever seen anyone do. Please just do the best you can and we will figure the rest out together.” Those kind words gave me the motivation that I needed in order to complete treatment.

Through recovery, I have had the privilege of being an outreach worker for the Sheriff’s Office and the program manager for a local recovery community organization. I have shared my story with local/federal law enforcement agencies, medical providers, social workers, students, local media, and many others, with the hope that it will show people the importance of supporting our recovery community.

Currently, I am preparing to go to law school. I believe that a law degree will give me a tremendous array of skills to continue serving – and fighting for – our recovery community. I know that, in Washtenaw County, we are blessed to have a great many caring souls to help those who are struggling to find recovery. I would like to help them find justice.