From addiction to reading, writing, and working

After many run-ins with the law, I started taking drugs as well as drinking. Then I found myself in rehab for the second time. It took me six months for me to realize I was an addict while I was in Morgan County. I realized much later, I had an opportunity to change my life. After 13 months of hard, hard work, I joined the Williamson County Drug Court (21st District Recovery Court) and my life got better and better. I got a good job, new family, started a program to learn how to read and write. I finally got my driver's license back and I am paying off my fines.

I would not be where I am today if I didn't become an addict. This program saved my life. It gave me the tools for a better life.

Bobby  
21st District Recovery Court Graduate

My name is Holly and I’m an addict - 11 years later

My name is Holly and I’m an addict.

My story begins in 2004 shortly after the birth of my fourth child. That was the year my husband’s drug use got worse and our marriage began to fall apart. I was also in a bad car accident and was prescribed pain pills for my back. So, here I am with four children, an abusive husband, a bad back, and now a pain pill addiction. It was simply too much to deal with. The pain pills helped but they weren’t enough. I decided to separate from my husband and kicked him out of the house. I was dealing with so much emotional pain and loss that I went to Centerstone, a mental health facility for help. Unfortunately, they prescribed me Xanax to help with the stress. For an addict like me, that was the beginning of the worst time of my life.

As, a single mother of four, money was very tight. I was working, but I also had a pain pill and Xanax addiction that required money. To help ends meet, I began writing checks to “borrow” money. At first I could keep up with paying off the checks, but eventually it caught up to me. In 2006 I was arrested for writing bad checks. Since I had never been in trouble, I was given two years of probation. I said I would never do anything like that again. I was going to get my life back on track. I even went to rehab. It lasted for several months, almost a year, but then my addiction began to take over again. It seemed like I never had enough. Not enough money. Not enough time. Not enough pills. I began writing bad checks again. It was all I could do to keep my family fed and my addiction fed as well.

In 2007 I was arrested again for bad checks. This time I was already on probation and was looking at doing serious jail time. My children were taken from me and I was completely and utterly broken. I applied for drug court, but was denied. It was at this point that God did something for me that I couldn’t do for myself. At my court appearance, Judge Timothy Ester made the decision to send me to drug court even though I had initially been denied.

When I first began my road to recovery with the drug court system it was extremely difficult. All I cared about was getting my children back. I still thought I could do this on my own. Drug court required that I have a job immediately. They also required daily meetings at the drug court office, 12-step meetings and I had a 9pm curfew. In the beginning it seemed like I couldn’t do all of this.  It was because of the people at drug court and the meetings that I was finally able to see that if I put my recovery first, and God first that everything else would work itself out.

As I worked my recovery program, I regained custody of my children and my life.  Recovery taught me that staying clean is the most important thing in my life. The moment I begin using again, I will lose everything. Over the next three years, I would see how true that is. I began learning how to stay sober through whatever life brings. While in the drug court program I worked on my relationship with a good and sober man and gave birth to my fifth child. I stayed sober while helping him deal with getting custody of his two children from his drug addicted ex-wife.

In my first year out of the drug court program, life didn’t stop, our family was forced to move from our three-bedroom trailer. While it was difficult, God had a plan and I was able to find a bank that was willing to work with me to get a mortgage. Our family got a house with room for myself, my husband and our eight children. In that first year my ex-husband died from a drug overdose. If I hadn’t put my recovery first, I wouldn’t have been able to be there for my children and truly support them through a terrible time in their lives.

Now almost eleven years later, I’ve learned that God and recovery doesn’t ask me to be perfect, but to just stay clean and try my best. Life may not be perfect but it is good. My husband and I own a thriving business, six of our eight children live with us, most of them are on the honor roll. Our oldest two children have children of their own.  I get to be the best grandma ever to my five grandchildren. I can’t thank God and drug court enough for taking a chance on me. I live each day thankful for all I have and all life brings.