Finding a Recovery Community: Amanda’s Story

“I realized that I couldn’t do this by myself.”

Amanda had struggled with substance use for more than a decade when she lost custody of her two children. She wanted to get her kids back more than anything, so she came to Haymarket Center to help her make big, important changes and get her life back on track.

“I didn’t want to come to Haymarket at first, but I realized that I couldn’t do this by myself,” Amanda said.

Once she got settled into Haymarket and took her first steps into recovery, Amanda found something that she wasn’t expecting to find: a community. Haymarket Center introduced her to other women and mothers who were driven by their children and loved ones to live a healthier life. One person who played an outsized role in Amanda’s recovery was Melinda McMichael, Haymarket Center’s doula and Peer Recovery Specialist. Similar to Amanda, Melinda was motivated to seek treatment in order to be a more stable and supportive parent for her young son. After completing treatment at Haymarket, Melinda joined our staff to support other women and mothers who felt stuck in the same position that she was in.

“Hearing Melinda’s story helped me to try and become better,” Amanda explained. “Being truthful with Melinda about my experience helped so much in my recovery process.”

“Recovery is a hard fight to win, but it is absolutely, 100 percent worth it.”

Today, more than two years after completing treatment at Haymarket, Amanda is reunited with her children. While repairing the damage that had been caused by Amanda’s substance use disorder had been challenging, the progress made by the three of them has been remarkable.

“My kids and I had to get to know each other again,” said Amanda. “We’ve gone through phases and changes, but the kids have made terrific progress, and I attribute that to the evolution and progress that I made myself as a parent.”

Amanda’s recovery has not only allowed her to regain custody of her children, but it’s also given her the strength and experience to help others begin their own journeys from substance use. Amanda works as a Peer Recovery Specialist and through her work, she shares her story and inspires others to make changes towards healthier lives of their own.

When looking back on the course of her recovery journey, Amanda has three words of advice for parents who are in the same position that she was in: never give up.

“Recovery is a hard fight to win, but it is absolutely, 100 percent worth it. You’ll need to set boundaries with yourself and others and there will be challenges, but if you pick yourself up after each time you fall, you will make it.”

For a time, substance use split Amanda’s family apart. Today, she not only has her kids back, but she’s also gained back control of her life.

Amanda was able to reach sobriety as a result of her determination and dedication to herself and her children, and we at Haymarket are proud to have been a part of her recovery. However, we would not be able to do the work that we do without the generosity and compassion of our donors.

Please consider making a gift to Haymarket Center in support of patients like Amanda. Your gift can help someone get a second chance and close the book on substance use disorders. Any gift you make, no matter how big or how small, makes a world of difference to the people who we serve and support.

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