Recovery Story of the Month: January 2021
Meet Tara. Below is a firsthand account of recovery and the pathway to a life untethered by the grips of addiction and substance use. Through her determination and commitment to recovery, strengthened by the guidance of FCA services and supports, Tara shares her success story in hopes of inspiring others on the road to a better life.
Desperate to live an authentic and stable life, exhausted and almost 40 years old, I entered the FCA program in August of 2018. I knew I desperately needed help for years, but the longer I enabled myself to live this way, the harder it was to envision anything different. To seek help and being open to actively receiving that support was incredibly hard for me and is a strong recognition of my strength today. Taking ownership of my issues has empowered me to create a beautiful life and it is so rewarding. I am grateful to be sharing my recovery experience.
For eleven months I attended group therapy and individual sessions weekly, remaining sober. My feelings and experiences were validated in my individual sessions with my Clinician, Lynda, and I had begun to realize that I was in an unhealthy relationship with myself and others which would require my willingness to want that for myself. Over time I began to feel better about myself, but these positive thoughts felt abrasive and uncomfortable for me. Frequently I would let my inner critic defeat any progress I made. I tried my very best to remain an active participant yet my shame prevented me from asking for help when I needed it the most. I suffered in silence, ignoring my inner voice and used the same coping method that I always used - isolation and alcohol. On a Monday afternoon in July of 2019, I was arrested. I drove under the influence and was involved in a motor vehicle accident. I woke up in a hospital handcuffed to a bed on a ventilator. I was disgusted and furious with myself and did not feel deserving of any kindness or support, I felt completely hopeless and alone. A familiar feeling, I couldn’t live with anymore.
FCA was there for me unconditionally and I am so thankful I had this amazing team of people supporting me without judgment. Denise, my peer advocate, was there with me in the hospital within a half hour of discovering my circumstances and it provided comfort I didn’t even realize I needed. I returned to FCA the morning after my hospital discharge and got to work. Lynda offered a safe space for me to process my pain, gave me advice and encouragement and finally after 41 years I had opened up to the possibility that I deserved to be safe, healthy and happy (better late than never). Over the months I learned to cope with the extremely serious situation I had created for myself while learning to accept my circumstances. I began to attend more groups and got brutally honest with myself and others, I have established meaningful friendships and love my group sessions. For so long I was in need of a healthy support system. My unresolved childhood trauma created an ecosystem of toxic people in my life as an adult, which enabled me to continue on this path of destruction for so long. Thankfully I have the tools and self-worth to establish healthy boundaries and I now have more time to focus on the healthy, honest relationships I have with those I love the most.
I am so grateful for the FCA team of clinicians and my peers that have played such a pivotal role in my recovery and healing. As I write this, I have 18 months healthy and sober and I have never been more grateful to be able to live my life with purpose.
- Tara Z.