Using The 12-Steps For Long-Term Recovery

True Stories of Addiction: Michelle Update

Michelle was featured about 7 months ago on True Stories of Addiction. Her story was engrossing.

She was raised in a strict house. Her mom was a teacher who didn’t let her do a lot of the things that normal kids do.

She began rebelling even though it angered her mom.

In a lot of ways, she did it to get back at her mom. “I knew that if I continued to do what I was doing it would anger my mom. And it was a way to get back at my mom,” Michelle said.

At 16 she ran away from home and was running drugs from Compton, California. Eventually she was caught by federal agents and ended up swallowing 17 hits of LSD. “It took a little less than a month to regain who I was [after taking the acid]. I prayed a lot,” Michelle said. Even though jail taught her a lot, she didn’t stop using once she got out. Even after she had her first child.

She continued to use. Eventually she tried Meth, which was the drug that really sent her off the rails.
Throughout her addiction she trafficked drugs, experienced homelessness and left her family all for drugs.

The 12 steps

Turning it Around, Turning Toward Hope

Today, she’s celebrating 18 months of recovery. We recently sat down with her to get an update.

When she eventually admitted herself in to get treatment, she was in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“It was real hell because I was at wits’ end,” Michelle said. “I left the Navajo reservation thinking there is no way of setting myself free from this unless I get help…My family was sick of me. I was sick of me.”

She went to the hospital in Flagstaff and told the staff that she needed help. “I checked myself in…I said please take me. I’m admitting myself right now just because I don’t know what will happen to me if I stay right here. I won’t be responsible for myself if you do turn me away,” Michelle said.

“So they admitted me. And I was ready. There was no other way—no other way to go,” Michelle said. Since that moment, she has lived in recovery. The 12-steps have really helped her stay on the right path. She has held a steady job for a long time and is employable again.

Achieving Greatness

Just recently, she got a job with the United States Government working with Indian Health Service’s adolescents in treatment facilities. “I know I need to give back what has been freely given to me,” Michelle said.

The last time she spoke with us, she was having trust issues with her daughter. That has changed and she’s going to visit her oldest daughter in Hawaii soon. Michelle is excited about the prospect of setting goals and accomplishing them.

One of her biggest dreams is to finish school. However, every now and again she experiences negativity from her years of abuse. But, as she puts it “I’ve come too far to believe the negativity my brain tells me,” Michelle said.

In regards to people who in active addiction, Michelle wishes that they get help. “Get help, don’t be afraid. You are not alone. Just take it one day at a time,” said Michelle.

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21 comments
  1. She was really in discomfort in her childhood due to a lot of restrictions. To remove that anxiety, she went to find pleasure in drugs but this was clearly a wrong decision from her. The story gives a message that parents should not be so much strict that things turn in this way. They should maintain a correct balance.

  2. I guess this is applicable not only on Drugs but for everything actually. It should be 12 steps to live by. I am going to see if I can apply it to my life. Very good lessons.

  3. If this 12 long term program works, it’s better. A correct and lasting change cant be achieved in a day. Noce piece guys

  4. Commitment, courage, and hope are your stronghold to fight addiction. With these, it’s easier for you to be motivated to get out of it.

  5. What Michelle🤢🤢
    You did what you did to get back at your mum for depriving you of something she thinks is not good for you. This saddens my heart, little did u know u killing yourself.

  6. I can see why the 12 steps are very helpful, I think they are helpful not only to recover from addiction but also to improve other areas in life.

  7. Not trying to judge drug users but when I read their stories especially their pains of abusing drugs I keep running away from drugs I can’t deal

  8. As simple as these steps look, they actually are very effective. Anyone out there struggling with addiction should try them.

  9. You should do more follow up like this of the people whose stories you have covered before. It’s always good to know their progress.

  10. I feel happy whenever I see a successful recovery story like Michelle’s. It shows that with the right mindset any addiction can be overcome.

  11. Thank you for revisiting Michelle’s story after seven months. I am happy for her and to see that she is still on the right path to full recovery.

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