Carla Vista Resident of the Month: Maddie L.
Within the confines of her cozy Wichita, Kansas community Maddie thought she was safe from the cunning, baffling, and powerful grip of substance addiction — until she got a taste of Oxycotton in 2008 shortly after her 18th birthday.
“I fell in love immediately,” Maddie said. “I had tried weed and a couple of other substances before and didn’t feel any attraction at all; but then I got a taste of Oxycotton and became instantly drawn to the effects it brought on; I loved it.”
For the next two years Maddie transformed into an opiate addict, spending the bulk of her time acquiring and consuming the narcotic through the resources she had saved since her childhood. Eventually that changed as the cost of the pills became too much for her dwindling finances to handle. “By the time I was 20, I realized that my funds were running low because using had become daily and way too expensive,” Maddie said. “A friend then introduced me to something very similar but cheaper than Oxys, heroin, and that totally changed my life. My addiction became more progressive and I became more dependent on heroin to get through the day. Using was no longer fun… it became a necessity.”
As her addiction took her to places she described as “dark” including jail for getting two DWIs within a three-month period, Maddie became isolated from her family, continually shattering their trust. “I kept making promises to get myself together but kept on getting high,” she said. “Now…as I look back… I can say that I am truly blessed to have the family I have… because even though they kept their distance when I was actively using, they were there to support me when I told them I needed help.”
Maddie’s decision to enter Moundridge Valley Hope rehab in October 2012 came because she hit a dead end during her journey down the path of destruction. She ran out of money and her conscience took over. “I didn’t want to steal from my parents or rob banks to support my habit,” she said. “I was flat broke and saw my life crumbling around me. My best thinking told me that I was going to die on the streets if I didn’t get help.”
After completing a 30-day treatment program at Moundridge Valley Hope, Maddie went home and relapsed within days. Realizing her recovery foundation was still weak… she re-entered the Kansas-based rehab a few weeks later in December 2012. The second time around she managed to stay sober for a month before relapsing. Her return to Moundridge Valley Hope for a third time during September 2013 launched her on the path toward freedom from her addiction. “I finally got it,” Maddie said. “I opened up my mind to take the suggestions of my counselor and the women in recovery who were trying to help me and left Kansas to enter a strongly-structured sober living environment – Carla Vista Sober Living in Colorado. I knew I had to go there because it was everything I had always fought against, only to relapse again and again, a very structured environment.
Today as a prominent member of her Carla Vista Sober Living house, Maddie, now 24, is getting her life back through developing the discipline needed to become a productive member of her immediate environment and beyond. For example, she awakes each day at 6AM to say her morning prayers before doing her house chores, taking a shower, and then heading to her job as an Administration Assistant for a canine boarding facility in the Denver-area. “Once I started using back in 2008 I didn’t know what it was to have structure in my life,” she said. “I lived without a purpose and opened the door for a chaotic life. Now that’s in the past and I can look myself in the mirror and appreciate who I have become – a recovering addict with a positive purpose in life. I make the most of living in the present and enjoying every moment of it because, as I have learned in the Fellowship of Recovery, tomorrow is not promised to anyone. I owe where I am to my family and their support, and to Carla Vista Sober Living and my housemates who have stood behind me from my first day there.”