Women at Her 2nd Chance working on retail sublimation orders for Etsy.

My sobriety date is November 17, 2022.  My childhood wasn’t a conventional one. My mom got pregnant with me when she was 16, and my father was in jail for the first year of my life. He was arrested for drunk driving and hitting a 14-year-old boy; the boy didn’t make it. I found this out when I was ten and my mom thought I could handle it. I grew up mostly at my grandmother’s house, with my mom moving in and out. Between 10 and 14, I was also in and out of her home. During this time, I found my mom, after she overdosed on opiates, trying to commit suicide. Six months later, my stepfather kicked me out for depression and self-harm. Living back at my gram’s helped me realize how bad my mom’s drug addiction and mental health were.

From a young age, I suffered from depression and anxiety and started drinking when I was 14. When I became a junior in high school, I started dating an older guy, drinking weekly and smoking pot with him and his friends. Senior year, I met my now husband, who doesn’t like to drink, so he was always the designated driver, meaning I could continue drinking socially. My friends from work and I threw parties every weekend. During college, I started drinking at home and alone. 

After college, I got married and moved to Israel to study abroad. My drinking became bad, drinking daily as my depression deepened. After six months, we moved back to the States where I returned to school and found out I was pregnant. I stopped drinking but started using opiates excessively (after all my doctor prescribed them to me…so it was ok). Six weeks after my daughter was born, we moved back to Florida and I fell back into depression. I tried working but had to quit when I was diagnosed with post-partum depression. Almost a year after my daughter was born, I could finally return to work. I started drinking every day at home and I thought I would stop when I got pregnant again. I did. However, I suffered from an ectopic pregnancy and needed emergency surgery. Losing a baby caused major depression and more drinking. At this point, I was drinking at work as well. Just over two years after my ectopic, we found out we were pregnant again! I started off trying to quit cold turkey but then thought, I’m so early in my pregnancy, one more time wouldn’t hurt. I cut back on how much but couldn’t stop. My son was born at 28 weeks via emergency c-section. The doctors were worried his heart rate would drop and we would lose him. It all felt so fast and then once it started everything slowed down. My husband and I waited with the anesthesiologist and the NICU team for what felt like forever until we heard one loud cry before he was intubated. I had no idea that this moment would lead to a 252-day hospital stay, during peak COVID lockdown.

With my drinking causing a broken home, I courageously went to treatment in early 2022, but every time I came home, I would quickly relapse. I hit “rock bottom” in November 2022 when my husband threatened to kick me out and possibly even leave me. This time I contacted the facility myself and arranged to go to treatment the next morning. For the first time, I did it all, from detox to halfway. What’s really working for me this time was taking my time in treatment and then working the program at home, not just going to meetings.

While in halfway, I was referred to Second Chance and was so grateful when I got the call back. I had just quit a full-time job because it was too much. Second Chance is also helping me find myself again. I’m not just a wife or a mother or an alcoholic; I’m so much more. Working at Second Chance after a “successful” experience in treatment is helping me be a stronger person and helping to repair and stabilize our home.