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Whitney Ducharme A #WeDoRecover Story

Your soul is rooting for you.

It all started with a drink when I was 14. Though my using progressed all throughout high school, I managed to keep my jobs, graduate and even start college.

I did everything I could to look good on the outside.

However, the facade faded quickly. Before I knew it, I was no longer employed, failing out of college and losing my apartment.

For the next three years, I relentlessly tried to prove that I could control the situation, while things became more and more desperate. In fact, at various points, I spent time in jail, the ICU and a psychiatric ward. By 2013, I was also officially homeless, living out of my car and a storage unit I had previously rented. My family would frantically search the area to make sure I was still alive. They would spend hours trying to convince me to get clean, but I still couldn’t fully surrender to the fact that there was a better life waiting for me.

Eventually, I became so hopeless and empty that I decided something had to change. I agreed to go to inpatient treatment for the second (and final) time. Once I started researching drug and alcohol treatment centers, Florida looked like a place I could go to find a fresh start. That was the beginning of my journey in recovery.

Recovery gave me everything that drugs promised.

I had finally found the peace and security I was always searching for. While using, I was unable to see through my distorted thinking. I lived in a world of chaos and insecurity. With faith in something larger than me, I have the ability to see the truth. The world no longer revolves around Whitney and I know the destruction that even one drink can cause. After all, alcohol and drugs are only symptoms of the disease of addiction. My thoughts, my words, and my actions are the root of my problem, and if I can continue to work on them, I’ll have a better chance at a lasting recovery.

Today, I have a better relationship with my family, friends and, most importantly, with myself. I’ve become independent and started attending college again, working toward a degree in Sonography.

The best thing about being clean and sober is having the power of choice.

I never chose to be an addict.

I was so mentally and physically enslaved to this disease before recovery. I had no choice in using. It was going to happen regardless of what I said I would or wouldn’t do. Today, I can think for myself. I choose to focus on growing as an individual woman who now takes responsibility for her overall well-being.

Only because of recovery am I able to have dreams and work towards them. My recovery comes first and foremost, and I’m able to help others through the hard-earned lessons I’ve learned throughout my life.

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Don’t let denial drag out the suffering. Addiction is serious. You can (and should) get help before it completely takes over your life.

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The fact is — thousands of people across the country are living sober, productive lives after their time here. You deserve the same chance.

Now is not a good time.

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