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Addiction Recovery Research Center

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute

2 Riverside Circle

Roanoke, VA  24016

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Phone: 540-315-0205

Email: iqrr@vtc.vt.edu

Media Inquiries:

John Pastor, FBRI Director of Communications

Phone: 540-526-2222

Email: jdpastor@vt.edu

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kristin's Story 

"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