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  July 26, 2014      
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Joyce Love

Photo of Joyce Love

I am grateful.

I have been in recovery for the past 19 years. My drug abuse began at the age of 12 with marijuana, alcohol and pills. By the age of 14, I started indulging in heroin which a friend had introduced me to.

I later dropped out of school due to drug use. I was also pregnant. My life took a turn for the worse when I sent my brother and sister to the store to ease a craving for food. I later learned that my sister was killed in a car accident and my brother was injured. I felt tremendous guild for my sister's death.

I first attended rehab at the age of 18 and stayed clean for five years, but later relapsed because I didn't understand the disease of addiction. I went around people, places and things that made my life unmanageable.

After using drugs for another 20 years, I was tired of seeing my friends die of AIDS or sentenced to incarceration. I wanted help but I was scared.

I remember calling the police several times to come to get me so that I could get help, but would leave the pay phone and sit on the stairs across the street to watch them look for me. It didn't realize that I was a "junkie" until I went to a hospital to get help. From there, I went into a residential treatment, drug court, alcohol day rehab, and attended N.A. meetings away from where I lived.

I started rebuilding my life by going to college, getting a job at a hospital and joining a church. Throughout the years, I had five children. My mother took care of all of them.

One day, I was ready to move back home and have my children returned to me. So, I joined my childhood church and connected to people in meetings back home. I took a job at a local treatment program.

While working, I received my college degree and my CASAC. I have been working at my current job for the past 10 years. I am active in my community and I continue to do service work in the recovery movement. I am a strong believer that service helps you to stay clean. My mission in life is to help and serve others whose lives have been destroyed by the disease of addiction and to help and educate them that there is a better way and we do recover. My favorite gospel song is Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp. I encourage others to hear it.


   

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