My name is Melody and I’m in recovery.
I have been in recovery for twenty months. I honestly have to say that recovery and community has saved my life. I hit my rock bottom when I was going through my detox in the local county jail. Sitting there in that cold nasty jail cell is when I realized that I had to make some changes. I had no place to live, no job, no family that was close, it was horrible.
Just a few months earlier I was serving time in the Maine state prison for furnishing. Someone close to me died as a result of this sick behavior.
I needed support and I was desperate to stop using alcohol and other substances. I felt alone and ashamed of myself. I had already been to rehab and I knew about the meetings but I was afraid of rejection.
I knew that my life needed to change and that I needed help from the community. I needed family but they were hundreds of miles away in Nova Scotia. I decided to hit the local meeting at the Bangor Area Recovery Network (“BARN) in Brewer. My first few meetings I just sat there and listened to others share their experience, strength and hope with each other. That is when I knew I was in the right place with people who were just like me. A few weeks passed and I started to feel hopeful once again. I found an apartment and a part time job that helped me stay busy. I started working with a sponsor, that is when i started my step work, which i truly believe has saved my life. I started to volunteer at the BARN on a weekly basis and I slowly started to heal myself.
Today I have a place to call home, a job that I love, sober friends that are like family. I enjoy the life that the higher power intended me to have now. I don’t need to cloud my vision with pollution like substances.
I also facilitate a Wellbriety meeting at the BARN every Thursday night at 6pm in their boardroom, we smudge with sage and pray -- we have a healing circle. Unlike other meetings we pass a talking stick around so that everyone in the group has time to share.
Wellbriety is a sober lifestyle that is balanced emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Wellbriety movement provides culturally based healing. Wellbriety’s mission is to help heal our inner wounds that we addicts have a difficult time to overcome such as substance use, codependency, co-occurring disorders and intergenerational trauma. While in prison I wrote a book about my life and recovery. A memoir called “Savaged to Wellness”, my story of survival and overcoming the everyday obstacles of life. It is a recovery story with highs and lows.
Today I enjoy my life without the need to get high or drink anything, I enjoy life naturally. I honestly haven’t been this happy in all my life. It’s because of recovery and places like the BARN that help the fellow addict.
There are many of us in Maine that enjoy our new way of living life on life’s terms. Community programs that provide therapy and services to us addicts in the community are life saving, family changing and community change for the better way to live.