Fifteen years into her addiction, Megan thought she had it all figured out.
“I was married, with two beautiful kids,” she says, “and I was high all the time. It didn’t matter if I was driving my children around or volunteering at their school – I was constantly using. I really thought I had manipulated the ‘system,’ until one morning I just couldn’t do it anymore.
I told my family I was stepping out for groceries and didn’t return for a year and a half.”
On her own, Megan “hit rock bottom pretty hard,” she says. As her addiction spiraled out of control she turned to prostitution, and her association with “some pretty scary people” led to having a gun held to her head.
Eventually, she recalls, “everything just started to fall apart. I was in such a dark place, and I was terrified. I saw a close friend overdose, and I didn’t want to be next. I immediately thought of my nine-year-old daughter seeing on the news that a prostitute meeting my description had died.”
In an incredible twist of fate, the following day Megan’s husband called her for the first time in two years.
“He said if I was sober, I could see the kids,” she says. “For him to reach out – on a day when I happened to be clearheaded, no less – seemed like a sign that my babies needed me.”
During her visit, Megan’s family told her she needed to seek help. She entered treatment at Renascent 43 days into recovery and “kicking and screaming – because by that point, I was back to thinking I had it all figured out.”
Despite her initial resistance, however, Megan says her experience in treatment “was absolutely life changing. Initially, I thought it sounded like voluntary jail – and I had been to jail, with no interest in going back. But then I met my counsellor Martha and found out she was in recovery and also had kids. She knew what it was like to be me.”
As she came to learn that all the counsellors were in recovery, Megan’s resistance softened. “Having someone counsel me who I could relate to was so inspiring,” she says. “I had been told so many times that my love for my kids should be ‘enough.’ Being with people who understood this was a disease was so freeing.”
Today, Megan lives with her husband and children and works in mental health and addictions. She says helping people is her calling, as well as a reminder of how far she’s come – and what’s possible for not only herself, but also for others.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for my journey,” she says. “While in treatment, I fell in love with recovery. Now I want to help women, women with children and women in prostitution get their lives back. I hope to inspire them the way I was inspired, and most importantly, to help them believe the truth: that if they’re here, it’s because somebody out there loves them.
Don’t believe for a moment that’s not true.”