Britny Rice – Columbus, OH – The road to recovery is never an easy one. That fact is a given. I wanted to give up so many times. Becoming a parent has been my biggest motivator. I am the proud mother of two beautiful twin boys who became my salvation, my knights in shining armor. They are my world and have guided me toward a life of recovery.
Becoming a parent has been my biggest motivator. I am the proud mother of two beautiful twin boys who became my salvation, my knights in shining armor. They are my world and have guided me toward a life of recovery.
When it comes to substance use disorder and achieving recovery, I couldn’t stand the saying “If I can do it, anyone can do it.” I felt like I had no other option, as if there was no way out. In the back of my mind, I thought if people knew my life story, then they would understand why I had to use every day. Through recovery, I came to realize that type of thinking was irrational.
My past is filled with all kinds of hardships. I have experienced everything from physical abuse to abandonment. Neglect to sexual abuse. Death to darkness. I was raised by a single father, but I craved a mother. I always felt that void. I was lost for an exceptionally long time, not knowing any other way to cope with the challenges besides using.
My experience with substance use started in my mid teens. I was trying to figure out who I was as a person and I was struggling with my sexuality. For a long time I pushed those feelings to the side until I met a girl when I was 14. She was into the party scene and I was not. I never wanted that to become who I was. As we spent more time together, we quickly became inseparable and I adapted to that scene. For a little while it was fun, but before long things went too far. I was going down a dark path. After a couple of years, it became so much that the girl ended things with me as she felt I was becoming out of control. All of a sudden I was lost again. Life had no purpose.
I floated through life without direction until one day I found out that I was pregnant with my twins. I was terrified, yet excited and hopeful. I was going to be a mother to two little boys. I thought that was my salvation. I tried to do all the right things, but it was hard to escape my past. Despite continued use throughout my pregnancy, I was fortunate enough to carry them to term and they are perfectly healthy. I had no experience with children, and I was completely overwhelmed. Like my mother before me, I ran. I felt like these babies were better off without me.
I used these negative experiences from my past as excuses for my way of living. I had been in and out of rehabs and jails. I accepted that way of life. I was complacent in my own misery. This went on until one day laying in a jail cell, I had a revelation. I decided I no longer wanted to be that person. I wanted to break the cycle of abuse that I came from. I wanted to give my children the best possible chance at life. I wanted to be the mother that I did not have growing up, to become the person that I knew that I could be. I was determined to do the work and turn things around.
I became involved with Young People in Recovery several years into my recovery. A woman who I met in early recovery told me about the organization. I began volunteering with the group and it quickly became apparent to me that this is what I wanted to do with my time. I became more engrossed in the program and now I am now the Chapter Lead for Columbus, Ohio. Not only do I get to help other people in recovery but it aids greatly in maintaining my personal recovery. The people I work with inspire me to be great everyday. It gives me a purpose and it’s amazing to know that all of my past struggles can be put to use in helping people who have experienced similar struggles. YPR has helped save my life.
Statistics show that right now in the United States, accidental overdose is the leading cause of death among people 25 to 64 years old, with opioids being the most common. I refuse to be a statistic. I will not go down without a fight. I fight every single day and so far, I am winning. Living a life in long term recovery is amazing and I would not trade it for anything. My past has shaped me into the person I am today. I can look in the mirror and I love what I see.
Now that I am in a great place in my life, that saying rings true. The one I used to hate. ‘If I can do it, anyone can do it’. I could be the poster child for that. If I can overcome such trauma and struggle in my past and come out on top, then there really is no reason someone else could not do the same. It is hard to obtain, however it is possible if you fight every single day. It is a good fight. A fight that will save your life. Just hold on. It can’t rain all the time.
Not only do I get to help other people in recovery but it aids greatly in maintaining my personal recovery. The people I work with inspire me to be great everyday. It gives me a purpose and it’s amazing to know that all of my past struggles can be put to use in helping people who have experienced similar struggles. YPR has helped save my life.