My name is Christy Pennington and I am a person in long-term recovery with substance use disorder. What that means to me is I have not had an illicit drug or drink of alcohol since November 28, 2013. I have a peace and serenity today that is immeasurable and as long as I continue to do the next right thing, even when no one is watching, I will keep it. I am no longer a financial or emotional burden to my family. Today, I am a loving daughter, caring friend, responsible employee, and a tax paying citizen.
I found recovery from substance use disorder in a small group called TIME (things I must earn) at Stevens Creek Church. My mom and I would go there once a week for one hour and members of that group suggested I join a more frequent meeting 12 step group. Recovery is a large part of my life and most of my support group attend the same 12 step meetings.
I attended those 12 step meetings for roughly three months, at first I thought they don’t have it as bad as me and if they were like me they couldn’t recover. Eventually, I started to hear myself in their stories and they were as bad as me and now they’re free, maybe I can be free too. After a meeting, I was talking to a couple of people and I told them I couldn’t stop using and at this point I really did want to. They said “there’s help available if you’re willing”. I said “I’ll do anything”. They took me to MCG, I walked in and said I wanted to harm myself. From there I went to Serenity Behavioral Health where I found Hope House. Hope House changed my life! I learned the difference between a want and a need, sad to say at 32 I had no idea. I learned to hear the word no, that was hard. I learned how to be on time, actually I’m early to everything. I learned how to keep a commitment. I learned how to be a friend, to love someone with no ulterior motive, I always looked for what you had to offer me before I gave you my love in active addiction. I trust people today and people trust me. I have hope, faith, courage, integrity, humility, and spirituality today. I love with my whole heart and that may mean my heart gets broken often, but my God is greater than any heart ache and if He can restore me to sanity, He can heal any pain I face on this Earth – I just have to believe!
As a result of my recovery, I am a full time employee at a treatment center. Working in a treatment facility was a long-term goal of mine which I have achieved. My passion is seeing women succeed and my gift is helping them! I get to live my passion and use my gift everyday!!