Celebrating Recovery


The road to recovery can be long and winding.
"It's such a difficult path," admits Ashleigh Rodgers.  "No one wakes up one morning and says, 'You know what I want to do today?  I'd like to become a heroin addict.'  Or, 'I'd like to pawn my jewelry.'  No one wakes up and wants to do that.  Yet sometimes it's easier to stay in that miserable place than it is to take the first step.  But once you take the first step, it's all momentum from there.  And I don't want anyone to ever just give up. Because there's always hope and there's always help."
Rodgers was one of dozens providing public testimony at a recent Logan County CORE Celebrate Recovery event.  The Bellefontaine resident has been piecing her life back together one day at a time for the last 18 months thanks to the support provided by several community organizations and churches.
"I had burned every bridge," she said.  "Family. Friends. I was very close to becoming homeless.  I lost my job.  I'd given up every single thing that mattered to me.  But the truth is, I just got sick and tired of always being sick and tired all the time.  That's when I picked up the folder that the CORE Overdose Response Team had given me nine months earlier and made a phone call. Kathy Zeller was the one who answered the phone and she encouraged me to come to Recovery Zone."
"Recovery Zone is my sunshine.  They welcome everyone.  It doesn't matter if you are an addict or if you have a physical or mental illness.  You get a warm lunch every day. And sometimes, that the difference between someone being fed at all.  And they put you in touch with so many different groups, resources, and services that we would never find on our own."
They got her in touch with counselors at Community Health and Wellness Partners and TCN Behavioral Health.  Now she's been clean for 18 months.  
Lacey Grow suffered two miscarriages 13 years ago.  Her doctor prescribed morphine to cover the pain.  She got addicted.  That lead to search for cheaper pills off the street.  That's how she found heroin.
"I started hanging out with the wrong crowd," Grow said.  "I spent 13 years of my life running back and forth to Dayton daily, doing a lot of things I would never be proud of.  In school, I was straight A's.  Played sports.  But I completely let go of everything that was important.  I was disrespectful to my family.  I would steal things.  I was dependent on men.  It's one thing after another with addiction." 
Lacey says her "glory story" started when she overdosed for the first time.  Her father had recently died of a drug overdose.
"That's what opened my eyes.  I grew up in an addicted household.  It was normal to party.  It really broke my heart.  I overdosed on his birthday right after he passed away."       
Realizing she didn't want to follow in those footsteps, she got involved with her church (Christ's Covenant International in Bellefontaine) and Logan County Drug Court, graduating from the program completely independent from substances, even Vivitrol.  
"It's amazing!" she said.  "Don't give up.  Everything's possible with God. I'm telling you, this is the missing piece of recovery.  That's what set me free."
YOUR United Way gift helps people like Ashleigh and Lacey recover their lives through our support of the Bellefontaine Police Department, Logan County CORE, Logan County Sheriff's Office, Recovery Zone, and TCN Behavioral Health.
"What we've been able to accomplish here can't be missed," said Brandon Standley, Bellefontaine Police Chief.  "United Way and the funding that goes to CORE and so many other groups for treatment, and the opportunities for recovery?  Those are the things that are going to get us out of that problem.  And now we can look back and know success stories and point to people who have been through this.  They know how tough it is to be a recovering addict and succeed, but they're on their way because our community cares."

Top Photo:  Lacey Grow (5th from left) surrounded by support from her church and community at the Logan County CORE Celebrate Recovery event this fall.
Side Photo:  Ashleigh Roberts (right) embraces Kathy Zeller, Director of Recovery Zone, after sharing her story at the Logan County CORE Celebrate Recovery event this fall.