Linda is a strong and enthusiastic forty-one-year old woman, proud to have achieved over six months in recovery and determined to stay that way. She candidly related her history of drug and alcohol abuse, which began when she took her first drink at age three.

“I was out for three days,” she said. “My mom thought I was dead.”

Her father had a bar at his house, she explained, and she continued to drink through junior high and high school, getting “progressively worse” in her twenties and thirties. She had an eighteen-year marriage that was “really bad,” during which she was introduced to other drugs.

Following her first marriage, she found herself in another unhealthy relationship and abusing more drugs. As a result, she "lost everything,” including her kids. She was homeless eight times and clinically died from four drug overdoses. “I had to be resuscitated.”

She eventually entered treatment at ATS after someone gave her the phone number at an AA meeting.

“It took me two hours to get there [by bike]. I kept having panic attacks and drank a pint [of liquor] on the porch before I could go in.” She was eventually transferred to Sunrise Center in Alpena, which gave her more anxiety, and she remembers having her first trigger of wanting a drink, which was also a turning point in her recovery. “I worked through it after about four hours,” she said. “It taught me that I’m where I’m at because I made the choice to change my life, and these people were there to teach me. So I became like a sponge. You couldn’t teach me enough!"

Linda is now happy to be living in an ATS recovery home, where she has been cooking, reconnecting with her kids, and building her life on a foundation of recovery.