~~I came into recovery at the age 26 not thinking I had a problem. I used marijuana and alcohol to cope with life as I knew. Where I grew up, everyone smoked marijuana. It was the norm and alcohol went hand in hand with it. I was always smart but could not find viable employment out of fear that I would be drug tested. If drug tested, another fear of giving up what I loved also surfaced. Since I could not find gainful employment, I had to settle for the public assistance system. The same social services agency gave me an ultimatum to get me to change my behaviors. I was offered an outpatient program and an inpatient residential program. I had no clue why I needed either of them. I had a college degree, my own apartment, my son was still in my care; I was not how a specific addict was characterized. Or so I thought! I attended the outpatient program, hoping that it would be over quickly. After almost 2 years, I completed the program and thought I could get back to my life finally. During those two years, I had been introduced to the recovery process by way of Narcotics Anonymous. I like to say I didn’t find Narcotics Anonymous; NA found me. The outpatient program took a group of clients on a van every other week to the same meeting where I found my current sponsor. In the beginning, I would compare stories, thinking I am not like these old heads. The suggestions were just something to do for me. I heard everything but did nothing but show up each day. I got a running buddy, made over 90 meetings in 90 days, got a sheet signed (proving attendance) and most importantly, I did not use. Making that first year clean was a miracle. Initially, I wanted to see if I could get the 13 years I used for back. Today, almost 14 years later, I identify with every member of NA, regardless of the drugs used. I remember hearing that if I stayed away from the “first one” the sky could be the limit. I have already obtained gainful employment, where I have been for the last 10 years. I have obtained a Master’s degree, a few different certifications and am working towards my Doctorate degree. Finally, I realize that drugs were just a symptom to a bigger life problem. I am living the best life possible and look forward to what recovery should offer from this point forward. I’m glad I have given the recovery process a chance…and myself.
Because of Recovery
My name is Telisha Lockwood. I am 30 years old from Fairmont WV. I grew up in a pretty normal household; my step dad was a preacher and raised me my whole life, along with my mother and two younger siblings.
I was on homecoming court and prom court, was a varsity cheerleader, on the track team, swim team, and dance team. I started using alcohol and drugs around the age of 14. It started with partying with my peers from school mainly with alcohol and marijuana. I noticed that my partying started exceeding my friends partying. My grades dropped tremendously. I started becoming violent and rebellious. I got pregnant at the age of 17 right before I graduated high school, which caused me to give up my goal of college, or so I thought. I took my daughter and moved out of my parent’s house to live with my daughter’s father. We got hooked on pills, Percocet to be exact. We searched for, bought, snorted, injected, stole for, and made our whole lives evolve around pills. I got pregnant again after three years and had my second daughter. I was still hooked on pills and partying whether my kids were with me or not. I had also ended up doing a lot of cocaine, ecstasy, and Xanax too.
I got arrested in 2012 for stealing checks, forging and cashing them. Jail wasn't enough to make me stop, nor was probation or the day report center. I ended up in Huntington WV in a long-term treatment facility. After six months, I relapsed and got hooked on heroin and ended back in jail. My probation was revoked. I ended up giving custody of my daughters to my parents and continued to use heroin by injection for a while. I was in and out of treatment centers. I eventually stayed clean for almost three years, had a full time job, got engaged, and a home and relapsed and lost it all again and stayed high for about another year. I got pregnant and stayed clean and I still remain clean as you read this today, I have a three-month-old daughter, I am married now, have a job in recovery, and get to be a mom to my daughters, that my parents have custody of.
I did none of this on my own, I give all credit to God and to people who loved me when I couldn't love myself. If it were up to me, I would probably be dead right now, but because of recovery and peer support, I get to be alive and have purpose today!