Sivia Franko | A #WeDoRecover Story
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Sivia Franko
We Do Recover

Never, ever give up hope.

My addiction started at the age of 18, right before college. I was working late nights and double shifts at a restaurant, and my boyfriend at the time gave me half of a pill to help with back pain from standing all day. I functioned normally for the first year, only taking them on the weekends during college. During the summer after my first year of college, I started using heroin and not long after, crack cocaine.

It wasn’t long before I lost all control. I dropped out of college, couldn’t keep a job, and ended up without a place to live. When I used, I would disappear. My family and friends would try to reach out, but I would never respond. I became a ghost. On occasion, I would be spotted on the street, but for the most part, no one knew if I was dead or alive.

My last attempt at using heroin only lasted a few weeks, but it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was staying at a drug motel and using with strangers. I was putting myself in very dangerous situations, and I knew it was only going to get worse. I finally surrendered. I successfully completed treatment at Ambrosia in West Palm Beach, and for the first time, I was willing to take direction. I moved into a halfway house where I attended aftercare and began to pick up the pieces. After three years of using drugs and attending several treatment centers, I finally got (and stayed) sober.

Recovery feels like total freedom. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I now have faith that I can accomplish anything.

The best thing about being clean and sober is having the freedom to wake up every day without having to rely on a substance to feel okay. My mind is no longer clouded. I have a strong connection with my Higher Power who guides me, and I live a better life than I ever thought possible. And because of that, I am able to help others who are fighting the same battle that I was.

For a long time, I struggled to get sober because I had lost all hope. I could not see the possibility of my life being okay even if I stopped using. Now, I know that anyone can get sober if they want to. My faith was restored by hearing the stories of others and having faith in a Higher Power. Even though I could not see a path, one would be made for me, and it was. Recovery has given me a life I never thought possible, and I would not trade it for anything in the world.

I am so happy and so grateful to be where I am. It’s never too late to change your life, one day at a time.

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