I heard about A Ray of Hope, Peggy’s House, from my parents house when they first opened. They sent me the newspaper article about it and then would mention it more and more. As they saw me continue to go downhill, they became more insistent that I call and try to get a bed. I needed to try something different to get clean. At that point I had been through four different inpatient rehabs and the longest amount of clean time I had strung together was three and a half years. I just would continue to relapse. I have been using since I was thirteen. I just always felt like there was a void inside me. Drugs and alcohol numbed that for me, until they didn’t.
I had been staying clean when I lived in Missoula. I was attending 12 step meetings regularly and working the steps. I got myself out of a very destructive marriage, but that meant I had to leave my daughter with my ex-husband. I lived with a friend until I saved enough money to get my own apartment, which felt amazing. I started dating a fantastic guy, who was also clean and sober. I also eventually got two weeks every month with my daughter. Things seemed to be going as planned, however, I have a tendency to burn my life down when things get too good.
Once I hit that three and half years clean, my boyfriend and I began drinking together again. A little at first, and that quickly snowballed into a lot. That very swiftly took us to using pills, then cocaine, then to methamphetamine. He kept his use in check, due to the fact that he was on probation. I on the other hand could never have enough. I stopped talking to my sponsor, stopped showing up to meetings, and dropped my sponsees I just strayed completely away from the program that helped me get me the life I had. My friends grew concerned and watched as I turned into a completely different person. They watched me waste away and lose so much weight that I looked like a walking skeleton.
After nine months of that madness, I moved to Kalispell. My daughter was about to start kindergarten. But I had to make the move alone. My boyfriend ended up getting into trouble with his P.O. for drinking and wasn’t allowed to leave Missoula. The move should have been a high point in life for me; I had more time with my daughter. I also had a place to live, a job that I enjoyed, and I was back where I grew up. But that void inside started nagging at me. I began drinking every night, then began abusing pills. I ended up falling from a ten-foot ladder on concrete with my head breaking my fall. So, now I had pills back in my life.
After five years together my boyfriend and I broke up. I had a meltdown of epic proportions. I drank so much and took so many different pills that I was blacked out for a solid two weeks. I shaved my head, got fired from my job, and ended up losing any and all time with my daughter. I moved back to Missoula thinking that since I was so successful there before that maybe I could be again. I was high within a month. After being constantly high there for about a year and having only phone contact with my daughter, I opted to move to eastern Montana. This is where my ex’s parents lived. They wanted me to come there and wanted to help get me clean. This just led to drinking a lot but not using any drugs. I was still so in love with my ex that I just wanted to be numb.
My ex moved to his parents about seven months after I had moved to the area. Within three months, he overdosed and died. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I can still see him there on the concrete. I was hugging his dad as they put the love of my life in a bag and took him away. I felt like I died that day with him. I eventually found heroin to numb the overwhelming pain that I felt every single day. I had zero hope, and had no connection to God anymore. There was no light in my life. I had no contact with my daughter and just wanted to die. I finally got to a point where after another abusive relationship, a night in jail and facing homelessness, I was willing and ready to do anything to change. I finally reached out to A Ray of Hope. They called me back within a day of submitting my application and told me they had a bed for me. At that moment hope returned to my life. I hit my knees and started praying and crying. I was so grateful and knew that this was part of a plan. I didn’t have power over this and that is how it was supposed to be.
I have been here for two weeks and have found even more hope. There is so much love and light. Reconnecting with God is such a comforting feeling. I have been truly blessed to be under this roof and be among the amazing people at A Ray of Hope. I know with their support and knowledge, I can start to heal from the grief I have been running from. I want to hold my head up high again. Between God and the people here, the void inside me doesn’t feel like it’s going to consume me. I am actually starting to feel like a whole person finally.