My name is Stacie Phillips, and my clean date is 7/3/2020.
I’m from Broward County, Florida born and raised. I am one of five girls, second to the oldest child. I come from a middle class family. My early childhood was for the most part normal. Until my early teens I realized my mother was an alcoholic. My parents started fighting a lot because of my mother’s drinking and my father was verbally abusive. My parents eventually separated and my dad raised me. I had to change schools which made me angry and started hanging out with an older crowd and was influenced and tried marijuana and drinking. I thought at the time it was cool. With only one parent in the household my father worked a lot and there was limited adult supervision.
I got pregnant at 16, and eventually dropped out of school. I was a single parent and had to work. Despite dropping out of school I managed to get a good job. I started working for a personal injury attorney and then a real estate firm. I excelled in my positions and eventually became a Title Closer for a real estate firm owned by a builder that built high end homes. By this time, I was a single parent to two children and had a lot of responsibility at work and being a single parent working a lot of hours I started taking prescription medication at the time I thought it helped me get through my long days at work. Then I started abusing the medications and running out of them. I started going to many different doctors to support the habit I developed.
My life quickly spiraled out of control. I lost my job because I would be too sick to perform or too messed up to do my job. My mother picked my kids up for the summer and that would be the last time I had them in my custody. My mother ended up raising my daughters with the help of my sister.
I started doing other street drugs and drinking heavily. I continued on a path of self-destruction for many years. I was estranged from my children and family, and full of shame and guilt. I was hopeless and didn’t care if I lived or died. My little sister also struggled with her own substance use disorder, and in February of 2020 we lost her to this disease. My family and I were devastated. I was close to her and felt at the time if only I had done more, I could have saved her.
Shortly before my sister’s passing, we had made a promise to each other that we would both get help. I felt that I should at least try. I had gone to detox before, but came out of detox and always went back to using. I had never been to treatment.
I went to detox and then treatment. I remember in treatment attending this NA meeting and the women that spoke talked about the 12 steps and how through this program their lives had transformed. I made a decision that day that I would at least try what they are suggesting because my way never worked.
It was suggested that I go to a Fellowship RCO after treatment. I am so glad I did; it has been the one of the best decisions I have made. There was structure and accountability. I did what was suggested, 90 meetings in 90 days, I got a sponsor and I worked a 12-step program. I met with a manager weekly who was encouraging and supportive through this process. For the first time in a long time, I felt safe and supported like I was not alone.
Some of the things that I have been able to accomplish in recovery have helped to reinforce this journey. I was able to go back to school and get my high school diploma, build a relationship with my children and family, and I get to be present in their lives today. I also got to be there for the birth of my 2nd grandson.
I was given the opportunity to become a House manager at FRCO’s Women’s Recovery Residence which I am extremely grateful for. I am able to show other women that recovery is possible. I will be forever grateful for Fellowship RCO for giving me a safe place and the resources I needed to be successful in my recovery journey.
The continued support I have as an employee has allowed me to continue to dream big and pursue these dreams that I never thought possible prior to recovery, and in the spring semester of 2024 I will add “college student” to the list of things “I am” today. Recovery has been the best gift I could give to myself, and I cannot see what is in store for me next! I am living proof that recovery is possible, and that change is possible.