The road to recovery is long and hard. Often this road is filled with triumphs and disappointment. This is Bobbi's story up until now. The clouds are parting and she works every day to see things clearly and for what they are.
Growing up in a small town outside of Chatham, Bobbi suffered sexual abuse as a preteen. The abuse had a huge impact on her life and how she felt about herself. At age 13, Bobbi began dabbling with alcohol. She was looking for something to help her escape her thoughts and deal with what was going on. The numbness brought on by the alcohol helped her cope. Then, at age 16, Bobbi was introduced to cocaine and quickly realized this substance's entire release. "It took everything away," she said.
For 25 years, Bobbi became a "functioning" addict. "Nobody knew, well, most people didn't know," Bobbi remarked. Life was fairly normal, with a husband, kids and home. Her use was on the weekends.
In 2018 Bobbi's father passed away of lung disease. The loss devastated her. She had never suffered a loss so significant. Ultimately, Bobbi, unable to cope with the loss and not having the support to manage the grief, turned back to the only method she knew. This time, however, she tried something new....Crack Cocaine.
Smoking crack provided Bobbi moments in time when all her anxiety and bad thoughts went away. "It was mind-numbing," she said, but then you come down. When you are down, it feels like a depression. You feel down, and you want to go back up and feel high again. This starts the process of chasing it. "
Bobbi's husband wanting to keep the family together and safe had made many changes in his own life. A major rule he implemented was that there was to be no drug use in the house. This presented a problem for Bobbi, still not dealing with her pain and seeking escape. Bobbi decided to leave and live on the streets. The addiction's power over her was intense. For three years, Bobbi lived off and on at home and on the streets. She went to Brentwood Rehabilitation Center twice but still battled with her addiction.
When Bobbi first went out on the street, she had some money, but that quickly left. With no money to support the chase, Bobbi found other ways to secure funds, such as exploiting her car and herself.
"Looking back now, I realized that my problems rode deep, " Bobbi said.
After the last course of rehabilitation, Bobbi stayed clean for nine months. Her depression set in again, which ended her sobriety. Bobbi felt helpless and out of control. She stopped working her programs from Brentwood, lost her job and blamed her husband and kids. Bobbi could not cope. Once again, she spiraled. "This was the worst time," Bobbi said. She packed her clothes and once again headed out on the street.
Thankfully an understanding friend found her living in her car, knocked on her door, and offered her accommodations. She slept on her friend's couch out of the cold for four months. Every day her family would call, trying to check in, but Bobbi would not take the calls. She was high and felt she could not speak to them in her current state. Bobbi's friend tried to reassure her that she was not made for this life and needed to return to her family
....but she was not ready.
Then one day, while sitting on the porch, her husband appeared. He put himself in a hazardous position coming to the house where she was living. He came to tell her, in person, that he wanted his wife back. He told her her children wanted their mother back and that it was time to go home....but she still was not ready.
However, this time something was different. Having gone through rehabilitation, Bobbi knew the choices she was making by not going home. But, this time, she was not lying to herself. Instead, she thought about her husband's changes and sacrifices to keep her clean and safe from this way of life. She realized the clouds were starting to part as it was the first step on this long road to recovery.
Her husband called every day, but Bobbi still felt that she was not ready to go home. Desperate to bring his wife home, he asked her to come home for just an hour, and she agreed. When they met again, he told her all the things he had said before. He said he did not like Bobbi from the street, she did not care about herself, her hygiene, or anything. He knew that this was not who she was, and he wanted her back. Something clicked. This time she was ready to hear what he had to say. "The clouds were lifting, and I started to see where I was and what I was doing and who I was hurting."
An opportunity came to pick up her son with her husband. But not without some conditions. She had to be clean and sober, physically clean, and have slept. When you live in a place where you really can not trust anyone, sleeping can be problematic. So Bobbi would go weeks using drugs to keep her from having to sleep.
The day came when she got clean, had not done any drugs, and was ready to meet her family again. She packed all her things, got in her car, said goodbye to her friend, and headed home. When she got to her Mom's to pick up her son, he ran only to his Dad. Her son was nervous and unsure to see her. "This tore me up, and I saw the damage I had done." That day she called Brentwood back and resumed her rehabilitation.
Every day, Bobbi calls her "accountability." A former addict at one time but is now sober for many years. She touches base with her to discuss life and any problems she may be having. She also checks in to say, "I am okay today." She attends meetings every other day and now she has women calling her from Brentwood to tell her their stories. There is healing in telling others your story.
"Now, I am thriving."
Bobbi is now four months sober and is working hard to reframe her self-worth by taking care of her family and doing the right things. She has her go-to person, to whom she tells everything. "If I have a conflict, I call her instead of running to drugs. I have a plan that helps me deal with things and not use it as an excuse to run to drugs. She is working very hard to reestablish herself in her role as a wife, mother,
and citizen. She feels good and takes strength in her ability to face her addictions and work every day to overcome the challenges and "how to be free."
She takes each day one day at a time. She fights for her life as soon as she opens her eyes. She makes that decision to fight for her family for herself and others who need her help.
Bobbi's world domination plan includes becoming a drug and alcohol counselor. She knows that she will provide the help people need as she has walked in their shoes and knows how hard this road to recovery can be.