Meet Caroline, our December “Mama’s in Recovery” feature story. Caroline took the time to sit down with Faces & Voices of Recovery to share a bit of her recovery journey.
Caroline’s story is one we hear far too often. At the ripe age of 14, Caroline began drinking and smoking marijuana, quickly taking to pain medication. By the age of 17 she was in full blown addiction. Her parents did what they could, sending her to long-term treatment facilities, but Caroline “had no desire to be in recovery…her parents tried to control it and she only stayed because she had to”. Her first treatment experience was in Florida and when she came back to her home state, she picked up that first drink and soon found herself right back in the grips of addiction. After her second go at treatment, Caroline moved home for good, connecting to a three-quarter recovery house, and her journey began.
It was in the recovery house that Caroline was asked to join a few others in recovery for a fellowship convention. Of course, for Caroline, the convention was exciting and as a bonus, she was exceptionally excited about the guys, “it was like a man fest”. That’s where she met, her now husband, Dan. They were babies in recovery with about six months under their belt, but there was something about Dan that drew Caroline, “I was young and naïve, and he was well established with a career”. For Caroline, this was her first “real” relationship, “I acted out and he would leave…we would go back and forth but he didn’t give up on me”. That support spoke to Caroline as she transformed through her recovery process, “I slowly became more polished. If the old me were to meet the new me…the old me wouldn’t think I was capable of being the new me”.
Caroline and Dan both continued their journeys and after 5 years of marriage, little Sydney made her mark on the world. For Caroline, there was a lot going on in her life when she got pregnant, “it wasn’t an ideal time” but they welcomed the bundle of joy with open arms. Juggling responsibilities, Caroline knew that change was on the horizon and wanted to make a change that could help other women just like her. That change came when Caroline opened a recovery house. Between selling her cleaning business and opening up a recovery house, Caroline stays active in the recovery community. She doesn’t have much time on her hands and while the recovery house keeps her connected to women who are fresh in recovery, she still enjoys connecting to the mamas in recovery. For Caroline, the group of moms share their struggles and joys, “I look to them as friends. They know things about me that I wouldn’t share with everyone and we can be vulnerable. We talk about sex or lack thereof”. Caroline mentioned that, “mom shaming is a big thing in the world. There’s a lot of judgment passed on us and we judge ourselves. Anything I feel guilty about, I bring it to them. They are my confidants and understand every aspect of my life”. For the mamas, recovery comes up but its not all about recovery, recovery is interwoven into life, “I take my recovery skills and apply them to real life. “I have awareness and live life, striving to be the best version of myself that I can be”. Caroline expressed that her recovery lifestyle impacts Sydney, “I’m raising her to know that she is enough”.
Caroline has the support of the mamas in recovery but also has the support of her family. Both her mom and dad are in recovery and her mother, Jill, even works as a Certified Family Recovery Coach! With the mamas, Caroline has grown in her recovery and the connections offer new discovery and companionship. Faces & Voices of Recovery is proud to be one of those connections. Thanks to Caroline and Dan for sharing their love and showing so many that recovery is a family affair! Happy Holidays to you and congratulations on your precious gift, Sydney!