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Voices for Recovery

Tracey Lee (08/15/2011)

I was once a straight-A student with a bright future, but substance use replaced my dreams with nightmares. I remember these years vividly and willingly tell my story in hopes that my pain and triumph will help others in need to find recovery and reclaim their lives.

What started out as recreational drug use in college turned into full-blown addiction by the time I reached 30. Domestic violence, depression, homelessness, bankruptcy, and suicide attempts became my life. My son's world became as unpredictable as I was, but somehow I didn't relate our chaos to my drug use.

Fortunately, my depression led me to the hospital, and instead of just giving me medicine, an astute nurse recognized my problem and sent me straight to a 14-day treatment program. That was 14 years ago. I cannot begin to express my joy at the changes in my life.

My son is now 21 and will soon graduate from Stanford University. He has flourished in my recovery, and I have been there for him in every way. I have renewed my relationships with my parents and siblings. For years, I helped "Put a Face on Recovery" and spoke at churches, high schools, city and county councils, and the State Capitol about the importance of treatment and recovery.

Today, I have my master's in public administration and I serve on the board of a recovery community support organization. I am currently a supervisor working in social services and just purchased my first home. Embracing all of my activities, work, and play is a profound sense of spirit and unwavering faith.

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