Picture this… July 26th, 2017. Humid, sunny, and hot.  A girl, 5 ft. 4in., 107 lbs., wearing a hat, sweatpants, a sweatshirt, slippers, and wrapped in a blanket… shivering. She was smoking a cigarette and her mom came outside and handed her the phone and said, “You’re going to treatment in Florida. You have to do your intake over the phone.” She was confused and her mom explained that either she could go to treatment or pack her stuff and leave. She didn’t want to be homeless so she decided to go. Later that night her mom walked her to the gate at the airport and watched her get on the plane. She was scared and broken and had no intentions of getting sober. She was okay living her life the way it was. She had no idea that this was the start of what turned out to be the beginning of her life. That girl was me.

July 26, 2017 started my journey and it wasn’t an easy one. I spent six days in detox and on August 1, 2017 I entered the doors of Transformations. I was angry. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted nothing more than to leave and get high. My time at Transformations is hard not to remember. I fought every therapist, every tech, and every person that I came in contact with. I was defiant and thought everyone owed me something. I was boy crazy and did whatever I could to get attention to help me not focus on the emotions I was feeling. I didn’t want to do any work on myself because I didn’t think there was anything wrong with how I was living. My journey continued like this for about three weeks until something changed.

I had my bags packed and I was ready to leave. I had gotten an mp3 player and on it were a bunch of songs from previous clients of the SoundPath music program. I was sitting at the picnic table, listening to my music, when a song came on that inspired me. I could relate to all of the emotions in the lyrics and I played that song on repeat. It was like I was glued to the table and I couldn’t move. A meeting was brought to the residences that night and it just so happened that the client who recorded the song was the person there to speak. I saw her and said, “I’m listening to your song right now.” She told her story at that meeting and it changed my life. That was my first God moment.

I stayed in treatment and started getting to the root of my problems. I started working on myself and realized that I belonged there. I had a long road ahead of me if I wanted to get my life back. I got out of treatment and took most of the suggestions that were given to me though I was still a little boy crazy.  I went to halfway, continued at Transformations through IOP and OP completed both, got a sponsor, got a home group, got a commitment, and started working on my steps. I stayed in halfway until I got a year sober and then moved in with three sober women. I started sponsoring other women and stayed connected to Transformations throughout my whole first year. My parents presented me with my year medallion at Alumni Anniversary Night. I started an incredible relationship with my sister which I never had before. I got my family back. My life got so much better.

At 13 months sober I got a call from Transformations asking if I wanted to come in for an interview. I honestly couldn’t believe that after all the chaos I caused while I was a client that they would want someone like me to work there. I went in for my interview and got hired and now, almost six months later, it’s still surreal to be working at the place that helped save my life. It is an honor and a privilege to share my experience, strength, and hope with people that are just like I was when I walked through the doors of TTC; broken and scared. Today, I am genuinely happy. Life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies all the time, but I’ve learned that nothing happens in God’s plan by mistake and that no matter what I go through, I no longer need to drink or use drugs to cope.

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