Valentina, Montrose, CO

“The recovery community walks alongside me on this healing journey.”

My relationship with substance use began at an early age. I grew up in a household where alcohol was always present, and I tried alcohol for the first time at age five. After experimenting with substances throughout middle school and high school, I moved out at 17 and ended up living a “party” lifestyle. Although I was using substances, I was able to keep my life together for a while. I was also in the midst of a codependent and unhealthy relationship while also struggling with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.

At the time, I had a friend in recovery who was in a sober living situation. She just so happened to call on me on one of my darkest days. At first, I wasn’t being honest with her, but after she created a safe space for me, I was able to express a lot of what I was going through. She said I was deserving and worthy to live this life. And that I should ask for help. That moment was such a big relief for me. It inspired me to choose life. From there, I was able to get in touch with a 12-step program, where my journey to recovery from alcohol and polysubstance use started. The recovery community played a really strong role in my story. I experienced a lot of loss in a very short amount of time. It was tempting to numb myself, but the recovery community was able to support and empower me through the grief. 

Recovery has taught me how to love myself and others with substance use disorder and how to create healthy boundaries while offering hope. One of my goals in recovery is to offer my time to others in need, provide hope, and encourage change. For those who are still struggling with active addiction, embrace the light and push out the darkness of addiction.