Terri Brown | Survivor of Addiction

Photo of Terri Brown
"Today I have a life of purpose. Today I have integrity. Today I have myself."

I was introduced to drugs and alcohol at a very young age. The environment I grew up in…that’s just what you did.

My story is not much different than many others. I was adopted and did not look like anyone in my family; that was confusing. I was also molested by family members at a young age. No one talked about anything; we just kept everything inside. To cope, I started smoking weed at a young age. It made me forget all of the negativity that surrounded me. My adoptive mother was an alcoholic and I noticed at a young age that she drank in binges.

I was never taught how to live life in a positive way. Being molested, it made me look for love in all the wrong places. I was a young child with a lot of anger and did not feel as if I belonged. I did not fit, I felt empty, desperately trying to fill my life with some kind of meaning!

My addiction came with consequences right into my teenage years and the drugs became harder. My soul, what I had left, was empty! I did the geographical move thinking that would fix things…it became worse.

I managed to get seven DUI’s in a four year span. Twice in prison, the last incarceration was a five year sentence. I had to change. When I was released, I vowed to God and myself that I needed help. I prayed to God to take away the desire of drugs and alcohol and I meant it! For the first time, I did not take it back.

I learned to be humble and give up the control. I started building a structure to support my recovery. I became honest with myself and others. I attended meetings and found a sponsor. I stopped looking for instant gratification. This was not a race; this was my new way of living life. I embraced it. My hole was filled with spirituality, peace, and serenity.

The promises started happening, I believed I was becoming the person I was meant to be. Today I have a life of purpose. Today I have integrity. Today I have myself.

Today I do not live in fear or shame. Today I can help others see the light of freedom. Today all of those legal mistakes that I made in the past because of my alcoholism have helped build me into the woman I am today, with over seventeen years of recovery. I was also granted a Governor’s pardon of my felonies. A life of recovery is the way I choose to live my life today!