Meghan: A College Student Beating Substance Use

A student shares her story of recovering from alcohol and drug use.

I struggled with drugs and alcohol, and deep down I knew it was not how I wanted to live. I barely went to class, partied all the time, was high 24/7, and I had gotten into legal trouble.

On Tuesday, April 21, 2010, my parents took me to Hazelden Center for Youth and Families, and after 30 days I went to a halfway house in St. Paul, Minnesota. At the halfway house, I worked, went to meetings, had a temporary sponsor, and met friends.

I was able to get back into school for the upcoming fall. At my college, there is a recovery program called CLEAN. By September, I was five months sober, living in a sober residence with fellow girls in the CLEAN program. I was going to classes and meetings, had a sponsor, and was happy. My parents were proud of me again, and I was proud of myself. My friends who knew me before I was sober were proud of me, too. Life was fun.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. In January of 2011, I became very ill with an autoimmune disease called anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. I was plagued with psychosis, hallucinations, depression, catatonia, and loss in speech and cognitive thinking. In April, I began to recover from that illness and by September of that year I was back in school. That only lasted for a few weeks and I was sick again. I believe that year I was out of school the whole year.

So when I could, I was back at meetings, meeting with my old sponsor, and doing step work again.

I am so thankful for each day I am sober and I would never take back anything. I am the person I am today because of my experiences. I am not ashamed to say I am in recovery…for life.

Last Updated: 12/22/2015