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  • Hope House Crisis Facility

    Gallatin County - Bozeman < Prev Next > Hope House Crisis Facility 701 Farmhouse Ln, Bozeman, MT 59718, USA Call: (406) 585-1130 Fax: (406) 586-0363 Email: bozeman@wmmhc.org Services Offered Adult Outpatient Therapy Comprehensive Schools & Community Treatment Crisis Stabilization Facility Drop-In Center (Open Arms) Emergency Services Jail Diversion Psychiatric/Medication Management Services Vocational Services

  • Stillwater Therapeutic Services

    Flathead County - Kalispell < Prev Next > Stillwater Therapeutic Services 418 Windward Way, Kalispell, MT 59901, USA Call: (406) 752-6100 Fax: (406) 755-3720 Email: kalispellchildren@wmmhc.org Services Offered Adult Day Treatment - Lamplighter Adult Foster Care Adult Group Home - Lone Pine Lodge and Fox Creek Group Home Adult Outpatient Therapy Client Housing - Independence House Crisis Stabilization Facility Emergency Services Individual & Family Counseling Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) Psychiatric/Medication Management Services Psychiatric Services

  • Anaconda Mental Health Center

    Deer Lodge County - Anaconda < Prev Next > Anaconda Mental Health Center 307 E Park Street Suite 211 Anaconda, MT 59711, USA Call: (406) 563-3413 Fax: (406) 563-7463 Email: anaconda@wmmhc.org Services Offered Adult Outpatient Therapy Prevention Services Psychiatric/Medication Management Services

  • Joe's Story

    Joe's Story I grew up in Shelby on Montana’s Hi-Line. We still have a ranch up there. It is very cold, very beautiful and very windy. I never felt like I fit in. I was not an athlete. When you have a town with 3,000 people and a gymnasium that seats 5,000, you have a sense of priority. Like many people, alcohol helped me fit in in late middle school, early high school years. And certainly, there were no consequences for my alcohol use except for the positive ones of being able to suddenly be kind of cool and have friends. ​ In high school, that was kind of the scene, but in a sense, mine is one of those “if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone” stories. I wanted out of my little hometown, and so I became a very serious student, one of just a few recruited out of high school for non-athletic purposes. I was the worldwide President of Key Club International, a National Merit Scholar, Valedictorian, and so on. I won quite a few awards, because what mattered to me most was getting into a good college. So, on the one hand, I would go to keggers and drink and try to fit in, but on the other, I wanted to get out of there. ​ I ended up going to Stanford, and once I got there, it was a whole new world. What had worked before was alcohol, so in college it was “just add drugs” – take it up a notch. I did get into some trouble, but I was always able to mimic the old Warren Zevon song, “Send lawyers, guns and money! Dad, get me out of this!” Definitely a white privilege thing. I had a successful career there. I graduated with honors in Political Science, specializing in strategic weapons systems there under professors such as Condoleezza Rice. ​ Next came three years at Georgetown Law School, where I focused on international law and diplomacy. I was very serious my first year, as one should be in law school, although I did get a DUI regardless. But through a program called “probation before judgment,” once again, there were no real consequences. The last two years though, I drank myself stupid every single night. It was never anything that seemed problematic, just the pressures of being a student, so you drank. There were a lot of people like me, or maybe it just seemed like it. Maybe there were only a few people like me, be we were always all together. ​ After law school, the Berlin Wall fell, and my planned career path suddenly seemed untenable. World peace having seemingly screwed me, I decided just to make as much money as I could. I moved back to San Francisco and got a job in a big law firm, for a while continuing to drink myself to sleep every night. Eventually, however, I acknowledged that I had a drinking problem, so I tried a cold turkey break from alcohol, which I was able to sustain for over a year, leading me to believe, of course, that I wasn’t actually an alcoholic. I could manage my drinking. ​ The law firm I had joined, Pettit & Martin, would tragically become better known as the site of the 101 California shooting in 1993, still the largest mass murder in San Francisco history. People were shot where my office had been as well as the conference room next door. I lost friends and colleagues. It was a seminal event in my adult life, as well as in the lives of many others, and it hit me harder than I might have expected. It was quite traumatic for many people. ​ My initial reaction was to quit practicing law and join a rock band, which seemed rational at the time. Of course, that’s a really suspect path for someone with a self-diagnosed alcohol issue, and it wasn’t long before our success brought us a Jaegermeister sponsorship, and from there it was off to the races again. We weren’t successful enough to make a full-time career out of music, but I was able to turn my experience in the business into a solo career as an entertainment lawyer, and I also started a record label, sensing impending doom for what I felt had become the plastic disc selling business, rather than one centered on art. I also became the entertainment law professor at UC Hastings Law School right as the Napster-fueled dot-com boom hit, which led to working with many pioneering digital media businesses. I did that for a long time. ​ Between my law practice and record company, I was living a pretty high life throughout the 90s. In 2000, however, realizing that premature digital media madness was just about to ruin the American economy, I fled to Los Angeles and I got into the movie business. So that added cocaine to the booze intake I had watched steadily and uncontrollably rise once I brought it back from its hiatus. By the time I moved to LA, I had already begun to arrange my life around drinking so that I wouldn’t have to drink and drive. Then I started arranging everything else around my drinking or in a way that could incorporate my drinking, as there were still three martini lunch producers back then (maybe still are…). Anyway, it was all well and good… until it wasn’t. ​ After about five more years of the high life, the strain of my addiction began to show in my daily life. I wasn’t holding up my part of the wonderful law partnership I had helped to found, we weren’t getting any more movies made, and my screenplays were all trapped in development hell. Not to mention that my girlfriend had decided she had better things to do with her life than tend to a drunk. A very nice drunk, but a drunk nonetheless. I figured a good geographical change would reset things, and I was pretty sure the real estate market was going to crash in any event, so selling my house and going on walkabout seemed like a good idea. ​ After a few false starts and lots of bar stool declarations of greatness to come, I finally decided that what I really wanted was to write something actually meant to be read. So I moved to wine country and wrote a novel about the music business starring, what else, a middle aged alcoholic. My days blurred into a pathetic slog of waking up, throwing up, drinking a red beer (which nobody in California had ever heard of), and then “working” from home. It became pretty easy to isolate. I’d go out for lunch in a bar for a while and be “hail fellow, well met,” but then I’d go home and continue to drink until I passed out. ​ That went on for several years until I got involved with an actress, and we decided to move back to LA. She was considerably younger than I and had a fondness for opiates. I didn’t have much awareness at the time of the incredible dangers involved there, but after we moved to LA, her actual opiate addiction became evident. We went through a terrible period of it getting worse, getting her into treatment, and then coming home and relapsing, in large part because I wasn’t staying sober myself. It was an impossible situation for us both, and the only surprise in retrospect is that our shared addiction didn’t kill us both. Opiates were terrible. With drinking I had always felt I could deal with it eventually. But with opiates, we suffered a downward spiral for 3-4 years, and it just worse and worse. There seemed to be no hope. I blew a small fortune and basically ran out of work and couldn’t be counted on to do anything. We pulled various con jobs on my sainted mother and others and spent a lot of money on rehabs, as much or more than on drugs. We sent her to very Hollywood kinds of places, more like spas than what was probably really needed, but regardless, neither of us truly had the willingness to surrender and get serious about living clean and sober. I learned a lot from that experience. I went to AA and NA some, and so did she. I had a real issue that I now recognize as my own lack of willingness, but part of it was also that I was in LA. LA is a different place. I have considerable respect for people who get sober there, but I do now believe you can do it anywhere if you’re willing. ​ Toward the end she was in rehab, and I went to Mexico for a so-called “silver bullet” treatment known as Ibogaine, which turned out to be a wicked, evil, African root bark that is basically a psychotropic that occasionally has the side effect of relieving withdrawal symptoms in some people. It’s not at all what they make it out to be, and it’s just an example of how lost and desperate I was that I would even think of doing something that insane and ridiculous. But I did, and it turns out it essentially paralyzes you from the neck down for several hours, and then there are usually some hallucinatory effects. I’d done lots of acid, but I was not prepared for this. First, the paralysis, and second, it felt like I was lying naked on a stage under a blindingly hot spotlight with a voice screaming at me about what a horrible person I was and how it would be better for all if I were dead. Eventually I started to vomit while lying paralyzed on my back, and I thought well, here we go, it’s Jimi Hendrix time, and I can finally be done with all this. And then I felt a shove in my back from behind me, but there wasn’t anyone there. Nobody noticed what was happening until I flopped over and threw up, clearing my throat and windpipe. Only then did the attendant come over, and it was clear that there wasn’t anyone there to touch me. However you want to look at it, that’s what happened. I was out of my mind for weeks afterward. I couldn’t distinguish reality from what happened in my head. It was a very bad experience. ​ I finally came out of it and decided, okay, we have to move because we can’t pay rent next month. So, I was basically ready to just OD and die. This from somebody who was given everything. I was dealt a handful of Aces, and when I misplayed them, they kept giving me wild cards, but here I was ready to fold. Obviously, there are people that had much worse things happen to them, but for me, it was a pretty big fall. So eventually I called my sister and asked for help. She looked at a bunch of Betty Ford-like places, and those were an option, but I knew what kind of option that was. She lives in Kalispell, and so she also learned about Recovery Center Missoula, which was relatively new then, and she was able to get a bed for me fairly quickly. Somehow the idea of rehab in Montana made more sense to me given my previous experience. She retrieved me from LA in February 2016 on Valentine’s Day. I abandoned my still-suffering lover and left everything I owned behind. I didn’t know that I wasn’t coming back. I thought it would be 28 days and I’d be back. I agreed to go with my sister and a few days later, I was in RCM. I went through the whole detox thing. My health had deteriorated. I had deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms. I was ill too on top of all of the alcoholic issues. ​ While I was here, I fell down and couldn’t get up. I was utterly powerless. Unable to even try to take on my problems myself. That was probably one of the real turning points in my recovery. I tried very hard to shut my mouth and do what I was told, regardless of what I thought, as my own thinking had proven ineffective time and again, and I had nothing less than an extraordinary experience at RCM as a result. My therapist Patrick met me on my level. He said, “Let’s just try and scratch the surface and get you ready to deal moment by moment to start,” which was a good approach. ​ My time with him was really well spent and helpful in that way, but at one point, he came back and said, “I want to go back to something you said earlier…. When you were 17, you were the worldwide president of Key Club?” I told him that I spent two-thirds of my senior year travelling all over the country and in other countries, giving speeches, talking to groups, and being the CEO of this huge high school organization. ​ He said, “That’s not really normal, you know. I suspect that you have no idea who you are and haven’t since you were 17 and adopted this approach to life. This persona has worked for you very, very well, but it’s a mask that has kept you from feeling connected to your own success, and that, along with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, has been ruining your ability to enjoy life and cope. I think when you are ready, going back and talking some of this stuff through would be a good idea.” ​ So, despite only trying to scratch the surface, his insights really gave me something to think about and opened up an opportunity for me to start over, thinking, acting, and being a revised version of what I thought I was supposed to be. For example, after I got out, Patrick suggested I move into Hands of Hope, the sober living house. And I said, “That’s not a very Joe thing to do,” and he said, “No, it’s not.” So, I knew it was the right thing to do. Fortunately, they had an opening just a week or so later, and I was able to get a room there. ​ First, however, I stayed with my mom for a little while. The first night I was out, I took the advice of virtually everyone, and went to that very important first AA meeting. It was St. Patrick ’s Day in Kalispell, and it turned out to be a really good meeting. I was still pretty raw, and I never really thought that for me AA would be a big part of my recovery. One of the things that was important to me about RCM was that it wasn’t foisted AA on me. It was just one of the choices. But I went, and I thought this was all right, and then I moved into Hands of Hope and continued to do aftercare at RCM, checking in once or twice a week. I stayed about five months at Hands of Hope, and it was a very good experience. I also did 90 in 90 for both AA and NA, which was one of the smartest pieces of advice I ever took, as I soon found how much I could get from the program. ​ I didn’t have to believe in someone else’s god or religion or even a highest power. I just needed to believe in a higher power than myself, and that I could do. As a result of that, I found a home group and have, over time, made AA a way of life in a way I never could have imagined. It taught me just how very few things in life are within my control, including absolutely everything in the past, everything in the future, and everyone else. About all I control are my own values, goals, and attitude, and to a lesser extent, what I choose to put in my mouth. But if I stay in touch with that reality and recognize my right-sized place in the Universe, no more or less, then I find I can have a conscious contact with a higher power that brings me peace of mind. ​ For this, I am grateful daily to the people who loved and didn’t give up on me, to the people and the organization (RCM) that provided such excellent care in my direst hour and set my on a road to recovery, and to AA the organization and AAs in my sober living facility, in my home group, in my present home, and everywhere for providing me with a program for living happy, joyous, and free. ​ At no point in all the high times of my prior life did I ever feel as happy, satisfied, content, or successful as I do each day now in general. That’s saying something indeed. < Previous Story Next Story>

  • Marc Mentel, DO

    Marc Mentel, DO Medical Director mailto:mmentel@wmmhc.org ​

  • Lois Macias RHIA, MHA

    Lois Macias RHIA, MHA Director, Quality, Risk, & Compliance mailto:lmacias@wmmhc.org ​

  • Sanders County Mental Health Center- Thompson Falls

    Sanders County - Thompson Falls, Plains < Prev Next > Sanders County Mental Health Center- Thompson Falls 602 Preston Ave, Thompson Falls, MT 59873, USA Call: (406) 532-9190 Fax: (406) 206-5133 Email: thompsonfalls@wmmhc.org Services Offered Adult Outpatient Therapy Comprehensive School and Community Treatment (CSCT) Emergency Services Psychiatric/Medication Management Services

  • Doug Melton, CPA

    Doug Melton, CPA Chief Financial Officer mailto:dmelton@wmmhc.org ​

  • Patrick Maidman, MD

    Patrick Maidman, MD Assistant Medical Director mailto:pmaidman@wmmhc.org ​

  • Brandi's Story

    Brandi's Story I was about 11-12 years old when I started to drink and smoking marijuana. I was born in Butte and we moved to Missoula when I was five. My mom left when I turned two and my dad raised me. He was involved with drugs and tried committing suicide twice. For three years as a child, I was sexually abused by a friend of the family. My dad was a truck driver and he didn’t believe me. Nobody believed me. The people were very involved in their church and didn’t believe it was happening. My dad was physically abusive and even with that he told me to stay quiet about it. So I stayed quiet about everything. I wanted to do what dad was doing. I was in the car shop or the bar, and he looked like he was having fun. I was shy and quiet and drinking gave me more of a voice and made me more accepting of myself. ​ It felt like dad didn’t know who I was. He didn’t listen to me so I stopped trying to tell him and put on a show. He was pretty crazy at times. He encouraged the violence so if I got a good grade, it was oh, good job. If I got in a fight at school and he had to pick me up, it was “that’s my girl” and we’d go out to eat. ​ When I was 13, he attempted suicide twice in that year. I went to Butte and lived with my grandma and my uncle. I came back after I turned 14. My dad lost the house and everything. We were living at a hotel. He became physically abusive again and I ran away and started using meth. He never reported me. I ended up finding my mom when I was about 12 and she still lives in North Carolina. I ended up telling her that I was on the run and she reported me to the police. I ended up staying on the run in Missoula, using meth until I was about 15. I stole from stores, sold drugs to survive. Stayed in hotels or at a few houses, couch surfing. I would get arrested and taken to the attention home. I ran away from there, I think three times. I went to juvenile incarceration at County and got out and ran away again. My boyfriend said he loved so we just ran and did drugs. I felt that no one cared. Your mom and dad are supposed to take care of you so when they let you down, who do you count on? Your partner – so that’s what I was in search of. ​ I had a probation officer who was looking for me and I was arrested and sat in juvenile on my sweet 16th birthday and I was sentenced to Cinnamon Hills in Utah. They didn’t want to lock me up in Montana. I ended up going there and completing their program. My dad wasn’t doing anything to get me back. I reunited with my mom and wasn’t supposed to come back to Montana until I was 21 because I had some assault charges and was labeled dangerous. That was who I was. ​ I ended up moving to North Carolina and met my step-dad. I have 4 siblings, 3 brothers and a sister. I wasn’t there for too long. I think I moved there right after Christmas of 2000 and I was back in Missoula by April 2001. I didn’t get the help there. I went from an only child, with a single parent, to a whole family and my mom accused me of using drugs when I wasn’t. I was trying really hard to not use. I ended up claiming I was suicidal so they took me out of the home and put me in a group home. I ended up coming back to Montana and my CFS caseworker said, “Well what do you want to do?” I had met this caseworker at Talbot House, and I wanted to go where she was. When I ended up staying in the attention home for a week, we celebrated because I had stayed longer than 2-3 days. ​ I went through the Talbot and I was in Tom Roy and I met a guy in high school. This guy was using and on 4/20 right before my 18th birthday, I relapsed. I drank and smoked marijuana. I was sober maybe a year and a half that time. I ran away and got into using meth again. I ended up pregnant and miscarried in 2002. Then I ended up pregnant again. It was the first time I used cocaine and I kept throwing up and that’s how I found out I was pregnant. My first son was born in 2003. I quit using meth as soon as I found out. I drank a couple of sips of wine cooler when I was pregnant. ​ Then after I had my son, the father was abusive and selling drugs. I ended up leaving him and started to go to the bar a lot. I was a single mom and knew that I needed to take care of this child but I didn’t know how. That’s when I started drinking again, used meth a few times after he was born. I started cocktailing and got into a relationship with the manager when my son was about 1 1/2. I ended up moving to Arizona. I was drinking a lot. I became operations manager of a dog kennel and didn’t see my capability in it. My boyfriend hit me once; so I packed up my son, dogs and came back to Montana. I automatically jumped into a relationship with another guy. ​ I ended up moving to Butte pregnant with my second son. The relationship became abusive, both drinking, both abusive to each other. My dad ended up moving down outside Vegas and he had pancreatic cancer, so I went down there and picked him up and brought him to Butte where my aunt, my uncle and grandma lived. We did hospice care in the home or at the hospital. I was taking some of his morphine and drinking. When he died, I started to give up. I didn’t know how to cope. ​ I didn’t want to admit that I was drinking because of my problems not that my problems were coming from my drinking. We both received a partner family assault and going in and out of court with him on custody of my second son. Also, I had my first son the whole time and he was going on five when my dad died. I reconnected with his dad and thought we were meant to be. I moved to Helena with him and got a grooming position there. I got a DUI with my first son in the car. That relationship was toxic. I wrecked my car. ​ I went into intensive outpatient at Boyd Andrews in Helena. I learned a lot, but I still didn’t have that self-worth. I dealt with a lot of shame. My second son was back and forth between his dad and me every two weeks. He was also taking my first son until he got a new girlfriend. When my first son’s dad was in the picture, I ended up signing over power of attorney. I was homeless and staying at God’s Love in Helena. Because of the DUI, I could only go to Great Falls to see my second son every other weekend for certain hours. I rescinded the POA and ended up taking my first son back and was sober for not very long, not even a year. ​ I connected with one of the guys that worked at the shelter and got in a relationship with him. He was a very good, kind-hearted guy and moved in with him and got pregnant with my daughter. I ended up living a double life. I started seeing another guy and he didn’t know I was pregnant. We were toxic together so that was comfortable. When I had my daughter at the hospital, I sent him a picture and he still forgave me. I didn’t know how to tell my nice boyfriend, so I made up stuff and left him and moved in with the new guy. We drank all the time and took pills. I had no idea how to budget money. ​ I started using meth again. I knew I was going back to court and just unaware of what my drinking and drug use was doing. My first son was ADHD and I had him on medication. I was so drunk and/or high I wasn’t even able to get a hold of his doctor to tell him he needed a refill, so my son was out of school. I had tax return money. I was doing dog grooming at Petco. I had an awesome job and that was too good to be true so I ended up losing that job. I knew I had a gift with dogs, They were the only being that showed me what true love and forgiveness are. ​ After like 10 days, the schools contact police and they were going to put an alert out. They found us at a hotel and my first son was taken to my daughter’s Dad’s house. My daughter was at her dad’s house. It was the weekend and I ended up blowing my money on drugs so I couldn’t get into a place. I just stayed really high and even showed up to a visit at CFS drunk. They brought my first son’s dad back into his life. I ended up coming to Missoula and got another DUI and PFA. He ended up beating me up at my dad’s grave and we ended up fighting. They ended up placing my first son with his dad and I gave up. It really hurt because I did have times where I was good mom. ​ I ended up pregnant with third son. His dad ended up in prison for selling drugs. I ended up selling drugs. I was using while I was pregnant. I got so involved with selling drugs that I was leaving the state to pick up large quantities. They took my son at the hospital. I ended up walking out and I was homeless. I manipulated my grandma for money and was going to move to Wisconsin. I started selling again. I had a name in Helena for dope dealing and thought that’s who I was. ​ I ended up getting arrested for dangerous drugs a month after my third son was born. I got out on bond and the person ended up robbing me and I went right back to selling drugs. I ended up in debt to my drug dealer. I was two days late contacting my bondsman and I was set up and the friend I was with was wanted for murder. The police arrested us and I got a max sentence for felony possession of dangerous drugs. I was released on probation and then I got a suspended sentence. I went to check in with my PO and she wasn’t in so I was supposed to check in Monday, but by then I was already in another state picking up drugs. Things got dangerous and scary. When with my drug dealer, people jumped in the backseat of the car in front of a casino, broke a beer bottle over his head, stabbed him in the face and was shaking us down for money. I still felt like this was where I was supposed to be. I got in an accident and wouldn’t talk to the police. I got revoked and went to Passages alcohol and drug treatment with a suspended sentence. ​ Because of what happened to me as a child, I didn’t believe in God unless it was to think that he hated me. There was a thing in my room with my roommate that was like I’ll carry your worries today. And I really opened my heart to the idea that maybe who I thought God was, was not who he was. I came to the pre-release in Missoula. I was afraid of what people would think of me. When I had been pregnant with third son, I received paperwork on my second son and I was too afraid to look at it, so I lost rights to him and he was adopted. I ended up relinquishing rights to my 3rd son. ​ I was in touch with my daughter’s dad and then he stopped communicating with me. He moved to Michigan which I found out later. I didn’t want to talk about my childhood rape. Why bother? I didn’t want to look weak in front of other people. My case manager/CP&R instructor said, “You’ll probably never see these people again. Use this as your dumping ground.” ​ That’s when I started putting work into it. I came to pre-release here in 2014. I started working with dogs again. I really started to do some work. I was seeing a counselor. I even did EMDR therapy. I also went to that church and I wanted to face it. I stood outside of the house where most of it happened and those memories don’t really haunt me so much anymore. ​ I started seeing a guy in the pre-release and he was in pre-release too. He was a very good looking guy and he thought I was pretty, which was a very new concept for me. So I stopped seeing him and then started seeing a bondsman. I ended up pregnant and I had an abortion. I didn’t know how to cope with that and all these new perspectives and not knowing how to implement my skills. I started going back to drinking, gambling and got back together with the boyfriend who I knew was toxic for me from the pre release. ​ I ended up getting high with my toxic boyfriend, and I lied to my current boyfriend so he threw me out and I immediately started living with toxic guy and using meth every day. I lost my job and everything I had just learned. I was so ashamed and so depressed. I started having contact with my daughter and then stopped right before Christmas of 2015 because I was high. It was the most scary time of my life. ​ I ended up pregnant again. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter when I went septic and I was in the ICU in the hospital. The toxic boyfriend only came about twice to see me. I still didn’t want to believe that he didn’t love me. I stayed home with his kids and I stayed high. I believed we had this “connection.” ​ I would not use for a while and then I would start again to cope with what was going on. I still was just starting to work on my feelings about what happened with my three sons. I felt like I didn’t deserve this child either, but I wanted it to be different. Then one night, I was at home and about five months pregnant and I had stopped going to the doctor. The toxic boyfriend raped me and I ran out of the house and I didn’t go back. He stalked me where i was staying. I stayed as high as I could. That was early September of 2016. ​ In later September, he ended up getting arrested so I went back to the house. I used really hard and had to go to the PO the next day and thank God, I had a dirty UA. So I had to go to jail for 30 days. ​ When I got out of jail, my PO said she’d let me go to Wisconsin. My grandmother ended up driving in. That was very unhealthy. She didn’t tell anyone she was coming to get me. She wrecked in South Dakota and didn’t tell anybody and blew all the money a friend had sent to her. ​ I called my PO and said I wanted to pursue treatment and I followed my CD eval and started at Turning Point. I applied at Carole Graham and I did not want to lose my baby. I did not want CFS to come in and take her. Carole Graham said I had to go to inpatient so I came to Recovery Center Missoula. A lot of what I had learned was reinforced and there was more stuff like communication skills and boundary setting and thoughts that I was afraid to share because I thought they were crazy. It was the first time in my life that people related and I felt equal and kept sharing. I had my daughter in January of 2017 and they discharged me and CSF didn’t show up so I came back to RCM with her. ​ I ended up getting into emergency housing through the YWCA and was doing outpatient here until I could get into intensive outpatient at Turning Point and kept working through stuff. I did everything opposite. I asked for help. I would actually call and go to a meeting and not because I had to. I didn’t have to be the Lone Ranger. I could let people in. I was always worried about judgment. CFS came every week or called on the phone. I ended up telling her what I was doing. I got denied at Carol Graham because of my violent crimes. My PO appealed it and I went into Carole Graham in March 2017. I was afraid my daughter’s dad was going to come after me. I didn’t want him in the picture at all, no child support, nothing. Now I am at a place where I can start to deal with everything about abandoning my children. I am now 19 months clean. I have had such momentum. Fear has always crippled me. I learned that courage is not the lack of fear, but acting in spite of it. I don’t worry so much anymore about what people think. I read my bible every day because I now have a higher power and it took that rape to gain a relationship with God. I still have the letter where CFS closed the case on her and she’s with me. I had never really lived sober so how to fit in with people and not be so hard on myself. The cravings and old tapes that I’m not good enough come back so I’m so grateful that I had Carole Graham because I don’t know how to go out and live normally. ​ I’m starting to work on reuniting with my first son and first daughter, and I got some rejection there. My first daughter refuses to talk to me. I haven’t been able to see her. I’ve never been sober this long without incarceration. That double life is what addicts do! It keeps you so alone. My doctor said he had another woman who was really in a hole and he was able to say to her, I know someone who did it, and it can be done. He meant me! That’s amazing to me. I Just feel more at peace. < Previous Story Next Story>