My name is Christy Bough, and I am proud to say that on May 4th, I will celebrate 11 months of being free. That is – being set free from the prison of being addicted to heroin.
My story is a little different than most. I didn’t spend my whole life misusing substances, I was introduced to the poison at age 40. I was a mother of four, living my life, taking care of my children, being a waitress, owning my own home, and being a hard worker. I met a man who changed my life forever and not in a good way. Not to spend too much time on the horrible events, he introduced me to the first drug I ever took. From that moment on my life was destroyed. I spent 10 years in hell and lost everything, including my four kids. Last year, I made the decision to try methadone. My habit was costing me $200 or more a day so I had to do something before it was too late. Every day, I went and took my drink. I had a counselor who I talked to but it wasn’t enough, I needed more if I wanted to continue this journey to recovery.
My counselor kept telling me to call CARES, please call CARES. For some reason I was so afraid, I was afraid that it would be a waste of time, and how could anyone understand what it was like and I’d probably end up hanging with people who weren’t really wanting recovery, and I’d end up using again. Well, finally one day I promised her I’d give CARES a call. So, I gave in and gave them a call. I have to say that was one of the scariest phone calls. I spoke to Jen and a few minutes into the phone call I realized that I knew her seven years ago. I couldn’t believe the turn around that she had made. I wanted what she had. She gave me the missing piece to this puzzle of recovery. I looked forward each time I went to CARES. It was the first time I felt that there was hope for my future.
I began to see that there was a life outside of the addiction. I always felt so welcome there and felt everyone there could truly understand the everyday struggles of recovery. The program is the best program because it’s run by people who lived through what you’re going through. It’s not a bunch of people with a piece of paper in a frame on a wall who have no clue what living with addiction is like. The way CARES has so much going on is incredible. There’s always a group or someone to turn to when you’re feeling anxious or when you just want someone to share your achievements with. It was the first place I ever looked forward to going to and hated when it was time to go. When they had to close because of the coronavirus pandemic, I was a nervous wreck.
What was I going to do? Well, they have made it so there are still many Zoom meetings, and there’s always someone to reach out to. My peer specialist, Jen, is my role model. She is incredible, even with her crazy life of raising three children and doing online meetings, she is always available. When I reach out, she always offers great advice and never makes me feel like I am a bother when I need to talk. I cannot wait until CARES opens up and I can continue to use my recovery. We have a recovery plan we started before all this happened and I can’t wait to continue on my journey. I can’t wait to become involved in the CPRS class so I can become a peer recovery specialist and help others. I really believe that CARES and Jen are the reasons why I have been so successful in my recovery, my biggest thanks to them!