From Prison to Purpose

In Episode 60 of Far From Finished Darlene talks about the importance of going back to her treatment facility after achieving sobriety. By coming back to the same place that saved her life she was able to learn how to do a 90 in 90 and get a sponsor. Now she’s able to pay it forward and help those who are in a similar situation she previously faced.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) presents “Far From Finished,” a weekly podcast that shares the real-life stories of people who survived substance use to thrive in recovery.

A normal child’s life is something Darlene knows nothing about. Darlene grew up really fast. Abused at the age of five, Darlene picked up her first drink when she was seven. By the time she was 10 she was drinking her mother’s liquor. At the age of 12 she was a prostitute and a heroin addict. Before turning her life around and achieving 13 years of sobriety, Darlene had spent 10 years in prison and accumulated 17 different felonies.

Darlene knows that she’s hurt a lot of people as a result of her addiction. It’s something she’s had to make amends for. Darlene can recall her first day of treatment. She was out of her comfort zone. She remembers seeing a group of women singing and laughing together. Darlene had no clue what that was like due to living in darkness for such a long time. The drugs had taken everything from her — her self-respect, her self-worth, everything. She had a hard time looking in the mirror during those first few months but as the weeks went by Darlene was able to put in the work. She was able to let go and learn different things about herself. Eventually she started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. After leaving treatment, Darlene began to see things building around her. Her self-esteem began to rise. She was also able to reach out to her family and begin to have relationships with them. Today she’s the best mother, daughter, sister and aunt she can be.

Now Darlene lives a life beyond her wildest dreams. It’s been an amazing journey having been able to transition from that prison mentality to the person she is today. She is grateful for her life and everything that’s been put in front of her.

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