Addiction had taken a terrible toll on Monique by the time she called WRAP for help in 2010. "I just wanted to die. I didn’t want to get high, but I didn’t know how to stop getting high," she recalled.
Many events preceded this pivotal moment. Born in Kentucky, Monique was initially raised in a strict home by adopted grandparents, since her mother had passed away and her father was not in her life. When her adopted grandparents died, she went to live with their grandson in Oklahoma. "I always felt alone and different," Monique said. "I was too scared to get in trouble – I tried to do everything perfectly."
Monique was kicked out the house at age 18 after a dispute and returned to Northern Kentucky. At first, Monique was not using and held a restaurant management job. However, when she was 26 and injured by a boyfriend, someone gave Monique a Percocet. The first pill made her sick, but the second one offered instant gratification. "I no longer felt shy and felt like I could conquer the world."
Heroin entered the picture as her personal life worsened. "I was looking for anything to take away the pain," she said. Her addiction progressed quickly. Spirituality and dignity vanished, it became harder to take care of her kids, and it simply became hard to care about anything.
Monique was arrested while picking up pills and entered Transitions’ Intensive Outpatient Program in 2010 per a diversion agreement. She spent two months in the program, but did not complete because she was still using. Then, a friend told her about WRAP. Monique made the phone call that changed her life.
Eventually, she entered Transitions’ Detox Unit and then entered WRAP along with her twins in 2011. "It was hard to stay because I wasn’t ordered to go to WRAP," said Monique. "But I just put one foot in front of the other." She completed both the residential and aftercare programs at WRAP.
While in the Detox Unit, Monique was prescribed Suboxone, a medication that helps clients manage their craving for opiates. Suboxone helped her to "sit still" during the earliest days of her recovery, but she later discontinued medication assisted treatment. Monique attributes much of her progress to participating in a self-help group for people in recovery from drug addiction. Monique found a sponsor, found a home group, and started going to jail meetings, which she still does today.
Recovery is an ongoing process for Monique. "Things I thought were okay a couple years ago are not okay for me now," she said. Recovery group participation has given Monique more self-esteem and self-respect. Above all, Monique recognizes the blessings in her life today. "I’m thankful for little things I took for granted."
Monique has worked at the same restaurant since leaving WRAP and lives in Transitions’ supportive housing program. She is looking for a bigger apartment for her and her twins, and wants to get her GED as another step toward helping others.
What advice would Monique give someone in treatment for the first time? "Don’t leave five minutes before the miracle happens. The saying is very true, and I’m glad I stayed and stuck it out."