For the month of October 2021, Fellowship RCO would like to recognize Stacy Nazay

I experienced what all addicts experience. Loss of self worth, integrity, and pride. My background is a college educated privileged woman, with 13 years in Corporate Management. Often using alcohol, and more often using cocaine. My job promotion from Denver to Miami was the beginning into my full blown active addiction. Once it became inconvenient for me to wake up and go to work I quit Corporate. Not realizing that I was quitting all I knew. I was a person who identified herself by her work. Using powder was somewhat manageable, I guess, but the day I tried crack cocaine 8 years of my life went up in smoke. Literally.

I did what most women in addiction do for money, and a year later I became pregnant. I had a baby prematurely and tried to do the DCF action plan to get my daughter back, all while still using. I made the decision to allow my sister to adopt my daughter Isabella. This is the point when I spiraled down and became completely out of control. I was cut off from my family for 8 years, mainly my doing. I was too ashamed and my pride kept me from asking for help. All the time thinking, “when I want to stop I will”. What a joke. I always knew I was addicted, but never knew that while being addicted I was spiritually bankrupt. 

A white girl living in the hood of Fort Lauderdale, day in and day out rollerblading from the beach down Sunrise Blvd. to meet up with my so called friends, often laughing but mostly looking for the next high. Making a lot of money but spending it, in one hand and out the other. I experienced some really great times, because I loved the lifestyle. But many horrific things that I saw and fell victim to still give me nightmares.  

I lived in a community of mainly Haitians, that I would roll by their church all times of the day and night and outside in the garden was a statue of Jesus Christ. I would get on my knees and pray for my daughter, my family and friends, and ask God to show me the “path” to take the obsession away from cocaine. I was pretty certain at that point that he was the only one who could do it, because I saw no way out. After years of doing this, one day I got up and left the hood. Stayed with a friend who was in recovery, and a week later I put myself in the county rehab. I can never explain why I left that day, but grateful I did. I always say April Fools day was the last day I was a fool. My clean date is April 2nd, 2012. Two weeks into rehab I specifically remember praying to God and telling him I was ready and asking would he “take” the obsession of cocaine from me. Guess what, he did. See he knew I wasn’t ready before. He knew that I wasn’t ready to take care of a child. He knew I could barely take care of myself. That night in rehab, He knew; and I have never had the desire to use cocaine, EVER again. That is remarkable to me. If I ever questioned God’s existence before, I can promise you I have never questioned his existence now. How does someone like me, using 24 hours a day just stop, and never want to use again? Yes, I’ve had opportunities, I dabbled with going back into the hood after rehab. I saw people using right in front of my face, but I walked away.

I was fortunate to witness a lovely couple come into rehab to talk about recovery, and the men’s and women’s facilities they owned. I was in awe of their beauty, not only on the outside but somehow I could see it on the inside. I wanted what Rick and Susan Riccardi from Fellowship RCO had….
I raised my hand and Susan came over and sat on my chair with me, and that was a turning point in my life. I asked for help and they gave it to me. The foundation that they built upon, that had been lost for so many years, is why I am the person I am today. I eventually began managing again, Fellowship’s Women’s House, took courses to become a Certified Addiction Counselor, but most importantly I worked a 12 step program of recovery. I have a fantastic sponsor that listens to me being totally honest with myself and she understands me, and never judges me. Step 4 was a breeze but when it came to Step 9, making amends; I hesitated. I hesitated for a long time. I had prepared myself with the help of so many friends that I met along the way, but mostly with my dear friends from Fellowship.

So my message is about Hope. I had hoped for so long just to be able to meet my baby. I prayed and prayed and prayed. She was 8 years old when I spoke to her for the first time. At the end of the conversation she said “goodnight Mommy”. I was so taken aback by that, never thinking she’d want to talk to me let alone call me Mommy. I walked outside my apartment to the courtyard at Fellowship and my whole support group of women began to cry and hug me. I had hoped for my daughter, and I had hoped for my family, and I had hoped I would never use again, and I had hoped for some true, and I mean true, friendships with women, and I have all of that now. 

Mostly I have serenity, peace, and happiness. All due to be granted the God given strength never to use a drug again. It wasn’t easy by any means, but anyone that has lost their children to the court systems knows that if you stay clean and sober, you work the 12 Steps, you practice honesty in all of your affairs, I promise you you can have a relationship with your child. I went through 2 custody hearings, but because I had hope; I now have custody of my daughter. And she loves me unconditionally, and has never held against me what happened. Because I had Hope. 

So now approaching year 10 of recovery, I am still working Step 12, as I always will be. I have started a nonprofit recovery organization here in my hometown in Pennsylvania. I will be opening my first women’s recovery residence on December 1st, with a men’s house later next year. I am leasing a horse farm with a farmhouse that I am moving my family into, and incorporating horse therapy with substance use disorder victims. Wish me luck on my new endeavor. After all, life is full of new endeavors.