“Moving outside of my comfort zone as helped me grow into the woman I am today.”

I am from a small town, with one store, no stoplights, where everyone knows everyone. I did not have lot of friends growing up, but I lived on a ton of land where I spent hours playing in the woods, building forts, collecting little critters and living in my own imaginary play land. I grew up thinking there could not be life anywhere else outside of my little patch of woods.

No one ever left Danville. I know if I went back now, things would be the same as the day I left. Living in the country taught me to appreciate the small things in life and what strong family values are (things that I know saved my a#s later on in my recovery.) Although my childhood was very isolated, I had all that I needed and plenty of love from my family.

Things started to change when I got into Middle School. Due to my town being so small. We went to a district school with three other towns. I started to make friends and I spent less time at home and more time riding around in older kids cars smoking weed. I began refusing to go to church (my family is very religious) and I became extremely defiant towards my over protective mother. The sheltered life I once knew at home did not seem as fun as it once had when I was a kid.

By the time I got into high school, I was partying almost every weekend. Bonfires, boys, drunken camping trips, and off roading were my new idea of a “good time.” Pills slowly found their way into my school and before I knew it, half of my graduating class was addicted…including myself. I was no longer the little girl playing with frogs by the stream in my backyard. I was now a lying, stealing, self-centered drug addict. My only concern was what party I was going to be at and how I was going to get high that day.

My parents got divorced when I was 20 and my life was completely turned upside down. I never saw it coming. My mother left my father, my brother and myself in the house and moved to Boston to start a new life for herself. As heart breaking as it was, it was also an addicts dream come true. My mother was the only one still attempting to hold me accountable. No more rules, no more sneaking around.

My father started drinking heavily and my house became the local party spot. It was fun for a while but quickly I was starting to loose myself more and more into my addiction. I was a shell of a person. The only friends I had left were using friends. The only phone calls I got where to see if I was having people over that night. I had no money, I could not hold a job for the life of me (not that there was a lot of work around town anyways), I had totaled my car, had plenty of run in’s with the cops, a few arrests, my life had simply become unmanageable.

I remember waking up one day last winter dope sick, totally out of money and having no energy or desire to find a way to continue to get high. I knew I was done. I called my mother and told her I needed help. She called Florida House, spoke with Alex, and before I knew it I was on a plane heading down south.

When I first got to treatment, I could not wait to leave and get back to New Hampshire. I missed my family, and I was terrified of the unknown. I had never left home before. But by the grace of God, and thanks to the staff at Florida House, I made the decision to stay! This was nothing short of a miracle since I swore I was dead set on going back.

Today I can look back and be grateful for the good AND the bad memories I have back in New Hampshire. I miss my mountains everyday, but I know starting my life in Florida is what God has in store for me. I will be celebrate 10 months sober this month, I have a good job, and amazing friends in the program! Most importantly I have respect for myself and even though they are a thousand miles away, I have a relationship with my family again. I will always be that small town girl, but moving outside of my comfort zone as helped me grow into the woman I am today.

– Lisa T.

New Hampshire