• Hazelden Renewal Center

Amber’s Story

first person testimony

I haven’t always been known as a person in recovery, as a matter of fact a label that many knew me as is would be addict, meth-head, felon, thief, liar, and many more. I spent 14 long years loyal to a drug that should have killed me. Yet, I stand. My Life Then By the time I was 19-years-old, I had two children by two different fathers, was in college pursuing a degree, all the while working at 3M as an intern hoping that I would one day become an employee. I had always dreamed of working for such a … Continue reading

My Story: Getting Clean Young

getting sober young

I’m a person in long-term recovery from addiction. What that means to me, is that I haven’t picked up an alcoholic drink or drug since October 1981. I know to some of you that seems like eons. But to me, it still feels like yesterday. The pain of the end of my use was so acute that I couldn’t imagine surviving it. I had lost everyone — friends, colleagues, family — and the consequences of my use came down on me like a dump truck of bricks on my head. The onslaught of consequences was as relentless as my use … Continue reading

Laura’s Story

first person testimony

I grew up in a house with both parents and my older brother. Overall, I was a happy kid who liked school. But there was an undercurrent of pain, a secret I kept: I was abused as a young child. I never told anyone. I learned to hold onto that secret. I was introduced to weed and alcohol when I was 15 years old but since I was the good girl no one suspected me. The secrets kept building. I blamed my parents, I wanted to be a rebel. I moved out at 18 and danced in bars and nightclubs … Continue reading

Free at Last: A Local Chef Breaks the Chains of Addiction

first person testimony

My life was ruining my life. The things I once loved had begun to consume all my time, all my relationships and all of me. From an outsider’s perspective, I looked as though I was at the peak of my profession. I’d traveled, met some amazing culinarians both here and abroad, been in magazines and on TV, worked in some fantastic kitchens, and now I was a chef in a well-respected restaurant at the heart of a city. Inside, though, I was a mess. I was riddled with anxiety and depression. I felt unlovable and alone, even in a crowded … Continue reading

Resting on Our Laurels

resting on our laurels

She sat next to the bed. I hadn’t touched her in months. She didn’t seem to notice – she didn’t say a word. I felt guilty. I felt ashamed. I felt like I had been unfaithful. There had been so many excuses. “I’m too busy. I’m too tired. I’ve got more important things to do.” Excuses all… Finally, I reached over and gently brushed off the dust from her jacket. I opened to the bookmark and started my daily readings – again. Page 85 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous reminds us that we mustn’t let up on those daily activities … Continue reading

The Push of Pain, The Pull of Hope – A Gambler’s Story

I grew up with alcoholics. There were aunts and uncles that gave me boozy hugs, a godmother that called and picked fights after a few cocktails, and a dad that died of cirrhosis. As a result, I have a favorite quote, “If you can’t be a good example, at least be a horrible warning.” My family tree is filled with horrible warnings. At a young age, I decided that I wanted no part of that life at all. While my high school and college friends experimented with alcohol, I was extra cautious, usually serving as the designated driver and babysitter. … Continue reading