“I had been an alcoholic for 26 years. I started using marijuana at around age 15. The pot smoking lead to the drinking. I smoked pot and drank beer and liquor everyday from 1983 to 2012. I began using crack cocaine around 2003 and used everyday along with weed and alcohol.
I went into drug/alcohol treatment in September 2012 and have been clean and sober ever since. That’s the short story. I had been put into jail, mental institutions and hospitals more times than I can remember.”
"Hi, my name is Kristin. I am 32 year old female who currently lives in Grand Rapids Michigan. I have been in long term recovery for 5.2 years. I am a gratefully recovering alcoholic. I am also a wife, daughter, sister, athlete, college graduate, recovery coach, Admissions Counselor, employee, advocate and “Recovery Carrier”.
Currently, I work as an Admissions Counselor for a women’s alcohol and drug treatment center located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am also the Vice President and board member of a local, grassroots nonprofit coalition called Recovery Allies of West Michigan. RAWM’s mission is to “Advocate, Celebrate and Educate” our community and anyone who wants to know about addiction and recovery. I am very proud to be in recovery and basically scream it from the roof tops any chance I get. I love telling my story because like many in recovery I feel I am a walking miracle. Like many “recovery carriers” I should be dead, however have been given the gift of recovery. I thrive on empowering others and helping others achieve a life in recovery.
I went to a residential program in Brighton, Michigan called Brighton Center for Recovery on October 11, 2009. I left after completing their residential and partial program. Ninety days following treatment I relapsed and almost died. I continued my downward spiral for months, drinking at least a box of wine daily, the rough equivalent of five bottles.
However, on July 1, 2010 something happened. I stopped drinking. I had a moment of hope and clarity. I was desperate and as a result I drove myself up to the Manitou Islands in Northern Michigan. In my drunken mess of a packing attempt I packed a tent, bathing suit, fishing rod and sleeping bag. (The reasoning at the time was I did not feel I could stay sober if I had any access to alcohol). From there I took a ferry and detoxed myself (not safe and I wouldn’t encourage anyone to do this). I spent a week on a nearly deserted island determined to get sober.
July 1, 2010 was my last drink. Why I lived to tell about my “self-detox” on North Manitou Island 5.2 years ago… I will never know. However I know I am here for a reason. I believe by sharing my story I share a glimpse of hope and hopefully inspiration.
My recovery journey started the moment I had a glimpse of hope. Since then I graduated with a degree in Sociology and Social Work. I have had amazing opportunities to work in the addiction and recovery field. I have made amazing professional and personal relationships. I have healed the relationships that needed my attention and love. I met the love of my life and married him November 9, 2013. And have purchased two homes.
I have seen the depths of hell and live to talk about it. I love being a person in long term recovery and hope to continue to help others.
Thank you for taking the time to read a glimpse into my life!
Grateful * Thankful * Blessed"
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
“Entered AA on November 26th, 1989, and will celebrate 26 years this coming November. Presently am serving as District Treasurer, coming up on my third term. Spirit of rotation has been forgotten, I enjoy this role and it allows me to serve. 1986 was fired from the position of Vice President of Sales for a local company, after having secured the position through training and expertise. Also made a geographical cure with my family to secure the job, lasted 2 years. 1991-1992 had 6 major eye surgeries, lost my drivers license, my new Management Position, and became a member of Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Created my own company from what I had learned in Management Training, lasted 3 years. Had one major customer and when they shifted their focus I was done. Secured a position as Executive Director of our local Boys and Girls Club, after 1 1/2 years my Thyroid stopped working, ended up in Mental Health wing of our local hospital for 6 weeks, after recovery they Board of Management refused to take me back. Sued for wrongful dismissal and received $60,000 after 1 year. Stayed sober throughout, as a dry drunk, 1998 thyroid went again, 4 weeks in Mental Health, learned some humility, did 90 meetings in 90 days, accepted the program, and have been sponsoring and doing service work since then.
Upon reflection I always drank alcoholically, no control, blackouts every time, all it took was one. Had to learn humility, honesty, compassion for others, change my perspective to one of one day at a time! There is more but this will be a good start.”
“My name is Beth and I’m in recovery. December 2, 2008 I used meth the last time and pray daily it was my last time. I’ve been asked several times, why at 31, self employed very profitable business, two beautiful daughters 7 and 12, three bedroom home, new sports car and stable relationships with my family and some great friend I would ever try meth? Why? Because it was offered to me. Because I had recently gone through a divorce. Because I was dating a drug user and tried to keep up with his life style for almost six months. Because my self esteem had always suffered.
Why my self esteem had never been good is still a question I ask myself daily. If I ever figure that one out I will be rich. All addicts suffer with low self esteem. That’s why most of us ever use. The drugs gave us a self esteem even if it was a false sense. We finally fit in and have a whole new set of friends, or so we think they are our friends.
October 30, 2003 I went to a party in my apartment complex and was handed a small wad of toilet paper. I asked what it was and was told meth.
I asked if it would make me throw up and was told no. Then I ask how it would make me feel. I was told “good. You will have energy and be really happy” So, just like that I swallowed the wafer, or wad of toilet paper with crystal meth inside. I went upstairs to my sleeping boyfriend and said “Tina said take this and get to the party” He immediately jumped up, snorted the meth and began to get ready. A few minutes later I began to feel the effects of meth. My boyfriend looked at me and said “You took some didn’t you?” I replied “Yes” The words he spoke to me I will never forget. He said “You just f****d your life up. In a year you won’t have anything. You will loose your house, your car, your business and will never want to see your daughters” I replied “I can handle it” He laughed and said “No you can’t!! It’s meth.”
They say if you try meth once you might be able to walk away from it. Try it twice and you’re addicted. From that night on until December 2, 2008 I used daily. Unless I was sleeping which wasn’t often, or in jail, I used and I used a lot. Less than a year later I had lost my 3 bedroom home and was living with my mom. My car had been wrecked due to driving drunk and then repossessed. I lost all my clientele and I made up excuse after excuse why I couldn’t be with my daughters. I remember one night my youngest clinging to my leg begging me not to leave. It was 10:00 at night and my girls were in tears, screaming for me to please stay home and sleep with them. But I couldn’t. I had to go chase the sack. I physically pushed my daughter off my leg she was clinging to. The hell I put family through is heart breaking to think about. I remember bragging saying “I do drugs, they don’t do me” I was never so wrong!! Meth did me in.
I just used for 9 months. Soon I had to find a way to pay for my increasing habit. So, like most addicts I began to sell. The next five years were a blur. Using, selling, sex with anyone I wanted and anyone that would make my boyfriend jealous. Insanity. Morals and dignity slipping away. I soon just didn’t care, and when you don’t care you’re a very dangerous person.
So many times I feel asleep driving, had guns pulled on me, I walked in to dope
house and hotel rooms alone with bags full of dope and wads of cash, a target to be robbed, raped and killed. I went from bad boys to extremely dangerous men. I thought I ruled the world. I had the dope, the money, the men, and people jumped when I said jump, if they wanted their dope.
I lost cars, time, memories, clothes, jewelry and my clean record. I was arrested time and time again. I was given chance after chance to change. After each arrest I thought I could be slicker than the Feds and city cops.
I found myself facing life in prison with Federal charges. I had sold to an under cover ATF agent. They had busted me with an accumulative amount of 24 pounds of meth. And my “friends” had ratted me out. The state was pressing charges of trafficking and on top of all that I was pregnant.
I had gotten pregnant and had a miscarriage in November of 2005, that was the best thing for my unborn child. I was using and selling big time and had yet to be caught. That baby would have been born addicted and the state taken it away at birth. I was hoping I would miscarry with this pregnancy as well. Two and half months into the pregnancy I sat in a hotel room with who I thought was my baby’s daddy best friend. Truth is I had no clue who the dad was. It was between two men I had been in a relationship with, one for four years and the other just over a year.
Anyway, I had decided it would be best if I tried to have a drug induced miscarriage. We loaded two syringes with over a gram of dope. We each found a vein on each arm and shot it up knowing it would kill the baby inside me and might even kill me. I was okay with both of those happening.
What happened was I threw up and was higher than I had ever been for about three days. No spotting, no cramping, nothing. One night in November my long term boyfriend and I got into a fight. He was angry I was using dope while pregnant. He was scared because the Feds were breathing down his back. I had been arrested again and had my brand new Charger impounded and $7,000 taken away when I was arrested. I was on his couch with nothing and I was putting a damper on his sex life. He told me I had to go. He was sick of me and no longer loved me. I was sick and he hated who I had become. A junkie was sick and embarrassed of another junkie?
I knew what laid ahead of me-prison for life. I knew what I had become to my family already-dead. I was never around and avoided their phone calls. They went weeks and weeks not knowing if I was dead or alive. I thought my girls would be better off without me. They needed a step mom who would love them and actually be a part of their lives. This baby didn’t deserve to be born in prison and be another child of the system. I had lost all hope. So I wrote a good bye letter to my boyfriend asking him to tell my family goodbye. And I texted him and said I had taken all the pain pills I could find and apologized if when I died I left a mess in the bed. I took the pills, called my dog up on the bed beside me and fell asleep. I woke up in the back of an ambulance sitting in front of my house with charcoal being poured down my throat. IV’s in and oxygen on. I looked out the window and saw a car pull in my driveway. A girl got out, my boyfriend went to get her and they went inside our house. That feeling…he already had a chick in our bed and he didn’t know if I was going to live or die.
After they got me stable they admitted me to the behavioral medicine unit across the street the “nut house” I found out the next day the baby had survived and it was a healthy perfect little girl. I looked up at the ceiling and asked God “Why?” A week later I got to leave. My boyfriend picked me up and took me to my moms. She insisted I go to treatment. I sit in her bathtub with a syringe full of the last little bit of meth I had. My arms were so bruised and had knots all over them from times I had missed my vein. My veins were shot. But by God I was going to find one somewhere. The water became cold and full of blood. The syringe had more blood than dope and I knew when I finally found a vein the dope would be so diluted I wouldn’t be able to get high off it but because of my insanity I kept trying. I remember looking down at my pregnant belly, sitting in cold bloody water and every so often a rippled would flow through the water when the baby would kick. Tears falling and hitting stomach. I was sick and tired and hated myself still. I was too sick to live and too weak to stop getting high.
I slept the next two days solid. I woke up and had convinced my mom to let me take her car to go get a new drivers license but in reality I was going to my boyfriends and getting high. Before I could get off the couch the doorbell rang. It was the Feds. They were looking for me. I yelled across the living room for them to come back with a warrant. I smoked a cigarette and jumped in the shower and waited.
My 17 year old did something that day she never did, she came home for lunch to see her mom. For once she knew where I was. When she turned on to her Nana’s street, there were over 30 police, ATF, US Marshall, Drug Task Force, FBI and Sheriff cars lined up on the street. She thought I had finally succeeded in killing myself. She walked in to witness her mom with 5 guns pointed at her head. I stayed in jail till only by the grace of God I was allowed to go to rehab. On April 6, 2009. Three and a half months clean my third daughter was born. Healthy, perfect and her two big sisters in the room. I graduated rehab October 7, 2009. On December 15 I was sentenced. My attorney, the Federal DA and the judge had meet the day before and all signed for me to do three years. I was to leave the courtroom and go to prison.
Let me back up to August 17, 2009 God spoke to me. I had been praying every chance I got since coming to rehab that God please please let me stay out of prison. I begged Him to let me raise my girls. I lived each moment in fear of loosing my girls when I went to prison. I was not enjoying life. I was imprisoned in my own thoughts. So August 17 I was on pass at church. I took my baby to the nursing room and began to pray while she nursed. The same prayer begging God not to send me to prison. And after I finished praying I felt Him walk in the room, walk across the room and sit in the rocking chair beside me. He said these things to me “Beth relax. You’re not going to prison. I’ve kept you in rehab this long so you can get recovery. Be patient with me it’s almost over."
At that moment my entire world changed. I began to really live. I told everyone I wasn’t going to prison because God had spoken to me. I loved each moment with my kids and didn’t fear not having them. My prison walls had crumbled. So when my attorney called me the day before I was to be sentenced and said they had signed for me to do three years my world crumbled. I had to go home and tell me girls I was going to prison the next day. I had to look them in the eye and apologize for screwing their lives up. I told them I wished I was dead because that would be less embarrassing than having to tell their friends their mom was in prison for drugs. My oldest daughter who was now 18 was going to take over guardianship of my baby. My middle daughter asked me if I was a liar. I said I try hard not to be these days. She then said “well you said God told you you weren’t going to prison”. She was right!!
I got the elders and ministers together from my church and we prayed for hours. One elder said for the judge to have a sleepless night. One prayed that this be the hardest case he had ever had to render and another for him to be in turmoil about what to do with me. There had been over 70 letters written to the judge on my behalf and the courtroom was packed. There were over 50 people inside and people in hall way including my 13 year old and my 9 month old daughter. My oldest was on the front row, waiting for her mother to be sentenced. They is something NO child should ever have to do. The judge walked out of his chambers and called me to the bench. The first words out of his mouth were these “I didn’t sleep last night. I was in turmoil about what to do with you Ms Pearson. In my 25 years of being a Judge I’ve never had a case this hard to render” I turned around and everyone who had been in the prayer session the night before all had their jaws dropped. Exactly what was prayed for was spoken.
I walked out of the courtroom with five years probation and six months of house arrest. God is good!!
My little girl is six and perfect. She told me right after her fourth birthday something that to this day still gives me chills. She said out of the blue one morning while waiting for her Mother’s Day Out program to open “mom I saw God” I imagine she has seen lots of pictures of Him since we never miss church and Bible class and so I asked if she saw His picture at church? She said “No I saw Him when I was in your tummy, He came inside your tummy twice. He has really big arms. He held me and said He loved me and that everything was going to be ok. I asked Him who He was and He said God”
That story blew me away and still does!! If ever God was to intervene in her life it was twice. Once when I tried to have a drug induced miscarriage and once when I attempted suicide. God is alive and very active in an addicts life! I put the same energy and effort into my recovery as I did my using. I learned to truly love myself. That same mirror I once did lines of dope off of, I today look in and love the woman staring back. I’m happily married to the answer to my prayers. We said I do on December 7, 2012 in front of over 400 friend & family. I received a letter from the United States Probation Offices congratulating me on successfully completing my probation. I wrote a thank you letter to my Judge thanking him for his mercy and told him all I had done to better myself and all I was blessed to witness the past 5 years. College, marriage, my daughters High School graduation & her college, proms. I told him I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the 4th annual meth awareness rally in Bakersfield, California in 2014. I also got to travel to Del Ray Beach, Florida and speak at a huge recovery gala and be filmed. I’ve been interviewed twice by local news stations on meth stories. I have a published poem I wrote about meth, I also have traveled all over Oklahoma speaking at various Celebrate Recovery meetings and NA and AA meetings. I’m writing a book and have had part of my story published in a book called Breaking chains.
In April of this year my husband, my oldest 2 daughters & my 2 step daughters got to witness my 4th perfect daughter into this world.
I’ve been clean almost 2 years longer than I used, I attend meeting regularly and have a sponsor. I sponsor other girls and have a strong relationship with God and my family. I’ve been forgiven and am trusted. My oldest daughter told me I was her hero while still in rehab. I’m my middle daughters best friend and all my girls are my rock. I put them through hell but they have seen the power of prayer and that recovery does work.
I now have the answer to my “Why?” I asked God after finding out my baby was perfect. My “Why” is a life free of meth. Days spent with my family and something to be grateful for each day. And as I write this it’s been 6 years, 10 months, but who’s counting??”