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Lisa’s Journey to Freedom


Published on May 28, 2020

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Lisa wanted to share her story in hopes it would provide hope to someone.

I began using mood altering substances at 14 years old. I spent a lot of my 20s selling and using drugs. For me, it was what life was about. I got my first prison sentence at 28. I was locked up for 6 years. I did my best to remain compliant on my parole, however, once I was released, I went back to the life I knew. That led me to being in and out of jail and prison until I was 42.

At 39, I lost my parental rights to my children and at that point in my life I’d lost the only reasons to live. So I went on a wild using spree that was just devastating. I was arrested and just tired of the same routine of getting out of jail and using so I started seeking help for my problems.

I got out and went to a homeless shelter and humbled myself to get a dependency assessment. From there I went to treatment and stayed 4 months in inpatient treatment waiting for a bed to open up at Red River Recovery Center.


I got connected with CCRI and my ARMHS worker Jamie helped me begin my journey to freedom, which is the way I look at it. I would make goals, set a schedule and follow the schedule I accomplished many small tasks that led me to receiving housing and eventually leaving Red River Recovery Center after 8 months of treatment. I now have my own place and a car and go to college. CCRI and Jamie and Natasha and Linda have been such a tremendous part of my recovery and stability in my life that even though I did the work, the guidance I’ve received has truly helped me become stable. I also work with Lakeland for my mental health so I can function in a world that I’ve never been a positive part of.

I am waiting to be a certified peer specialist also. It’s exciting to have become a person who wants to work with people in recovery.

I’m now 27 months sober and connected to my community. Thanks for letting me share this short story with you.

Find out more about CCRI’s Mental Health Program by watching this video or visiting our website.