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Voices for Recovery

Mary Ann Maikish (08/15/2011)

My growth during my 22 years of recovery has been a slow process—sometimes painful, sometimes exhilarating, and always wonderful.

As the third-generation in my family with a substance use disorder, I was no stranger to 12-step programs. I was the child of an alcoholic, tied up in knots, paralyzed emotionally by fears, full of secrets, and longing for oblivion. Despite all this, I appeared to be highly functioning as I worked my way through college and graduated with a bachelor's degree, albeit while using lots of marijuana and LSD.

I was clean during pregnancy and for the first five years of my daughter's life, but being an addict without a program, I picked up alcohol again. I had a good job, a beautiful child, and a loving family, but I was in total denial.

In 1988, my family staged an intervention, which resulted in detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient group therapy, individual therapy, and a 12-step program. As a result, I acquired tools of sobriety that I use daily.

Because of my experiences, I can and do contribute to the field as a counselor and member of a 12-step program. I was so honored to have been chosen as the 2010 A&E Delegate from New York State to The Recovery Project in Philadelphia. In addition, I contribute to my community as a member of the Community Emergency Response Team, the Bellevue Hospital Community Advisory Board, and as a volunteer at my synagogue's homeless shelter.

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