Ashley's Story: A Mother's Determination to Reach Sobriety

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Hi, my name is Ashley, and this is my recovery story.

My addiction took root due to a toxic, abusive relationship I was in.

I realized I was in way over my head when three years into my addiction, I couldn’t go more than ten minutes without using. I spent most of my time in my bathroom, using more and more, chasing a high I could never achieve. I was in survival mode. The things I did to get my drugs repulsed me, but active addiction left me with no choice. I no longer had any control.

I remember sitting in my bathroom towards the end of my addiction, full of anger. Anger because I was using to survive, not to get high. It wasn’t a game to me - I’m a single full-time mother of 4 young children. I had no one to care for them while I detoxed, and they were too little to care for themselves. That was my excuse to drop out of the rat race.

So many people washed their hands of me, and I just didn’t care because I at least had my kids.

But on May 17th, 2022, my ex-husband went to the DCYF and told them everything. My case worker immediately came over with her supervisor, confronted me, and then removed my children from my custody.

I remember dropping to my knees, because I had done exactly what I said I’d never do. My parents were full-fledged addicts and alcoholics throughout my childhood, and I grew up saying that “I’ll never do that to my kids”. But now I had done just that, and my babies were taken. I had no more excuses.

As I packed up my children’s belongings, I was on the phone with Avenues. On May 18th, 2022, I admitted myself - broken, lost, and weighing 89 lbs. My sober date is May 19th, 2022.

After completing 22 days in residential treatment and 33 days in Partial Hospitalization, I got a call from my case worker telling me to come home to take my children back and continue IOP.

On July 14th, 2022 (56 days sober), my kids were brought back home and my journey as a sober mom began. I can’t be a good mom if I don’t show up for myself first. Unfortunately, my family is not good for me, and I had to cut all ties with them. After I returned home and received my kids back, I listened to a lot of music. Music is my therapy and outlet, and it allowed me to experience my feelings in a way that I could deal with and slowly heal.

I have had to jump through SO many hoops between the courts and the DCYF, doing everything that was asked of me. I have had state workers, therapists, and CASA staff in and out of my home multiple times a week. I accepted the support I was given and continued to strive for more.

My life is amazing, and I absolutely love it! It gets hard being a single mom of 4 little ones 7 years and under, working full-time and maintaining structure and routine. It’s not easy by far. But it is SO rewarding! I get to spread light for those who come into treatment as hopeless and broken as I was. I was that “lost cause” that had no hope, but with the help of Avenues, I changed that!


Find lasting sobriety at Avenues.

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