Individual Skill Development and Enhancement
I grew up out in the country and attended school in a very small town. I excelled in my classes and was also active in many after-school activities. Although my academics were more than satisfactory, I still felt like nothing I did was ever enough. My self-esteem was very low, and I didn’t have many friends. My depression started peaking around 6th-7th grade and I started cutting myself. At the time I didn’t possess the coping skills necessary for dealing with my emotions. Unfortunately, this habit would continue into my adulthood. After I graduated from high school, I went to college at UW Stout. I started school with the very best of intentions, to get my degree and achieve some level of success in life. I met so many new people and quickly made friends. It felt amazing that people actually liked me, as opposed to high school, where I was undoubtedly unpopular. Shortly after starting college, I discovered partying as well as several substances. I quit going to my classes and lost interest in my academics. The rest of my freshmen year was spent blacking out at frat parties and smoking weed behind the football field. My second semester I didn’t attend any of my classes so I completely flunked out of college. My substance abuse was consistently becoming more prominent, and I also started selling drugs.
The next seven years I spent bartending, which included heavily drinking behind the bar while I was working. I self-medicated with alcohol and drugs. In 2020, I started using meth and quickly became a daily user. This led to a toxic relationship, which caused a lot of trauma. Because of the trauma, I quit going to work because it was too overwhelming. This led to me becoming jobless, virtually friendless, and completely traumatized. For the next two years, my addiction was entirely out of hand. My anxiety and depression were out of control, and I was on the verge of suicide. Luckily, a friend from high school reached out to me asking me if I was okay. I told her everything that happened including my crippling drug addiction. She recommended I go to treatment and finally, something clicked. At this point in my life, I had come to a fork in the road. I was either going to end my life or I was going to give treatment an honest chance. September 12th, 2022 I checked into treatment. This is also my sobriety date. I attended treatment and then moved away from the area I was living in so I could have a fresh start. Since then I have seen several specialists that assisted me in getting my mental health under control. I
am proud to say that I am drug-free, alcohol-free, and no longer cut myself. I am also a HUGE mental health advocate. I am finally to the point that I have healed enough to be able to help encourage and guide others in finding their own strengths that will help them heal and succeed in life.
No two recovery stories are the same. Every person is a unique individual and should be treated as such. We all deserve to have a recovery plan tailored to our own individual needs that builds off of our strengths, which is why I’m excited to work as a person-centered mentor. We all deserve a support team to help us navigate our recovery. No one is ever “too far gone”, we can get back on track at any point in our lives.