I’m Jessica Morrow, Program Assistant and Chapter Lead in Massachusetts, and a person in long-term recovery. I struggled with my substance use disorder for almost 20 years before achieving lasting recovery. Growing up, I always felt different– empty and alone, even in a room full of people. When I was 12, I experienced a traumatic event and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope and numb my pain.
By the time I was 17, I’d dropped out of school, was kicked out of my home, and was selling drugs to support my habit. But I’d convinced myself that I didn’t have a problem because I was able to stop when I became pregnant.
However, after a DUI I started to seek help. That was the beginning of what I call my “Detox doe-see-doe.” I would go to treatment, come out, and pick back up until I couldn’t hide it anymore and return to treatment. Then, the cycle would start over again.
One day, I looked in the mirror and something clicked: I actually saw myself for the first time. I weighed 72 pounds and realized I could die any day because of the choices I was making. I checked myself into treatment that same afternoon. This decision started what would become the first day of the rest of my life.
I’m now a certified substance abuse counselor as well as a recovery coach. I own a home, a car, and can take care of myself and my children. I wake up every day feeling blessed to be alive. I started working for YPR in June and it feels so good to be able to use my experiences to help other people. Being part of the solution and being part of this organization is beyond rewarding. Today, I look forward to the future!