With a loving and understanding community, many of our fallen will rise again to become a part of this amazing journey we call life.

My name is Kaitlyn John, and I am a woman and a Mother in long-term recovery. What that means for me is that I haven’t had a drink or a drug in over four years. June 12th, 2012 was the beginning of my journey on my road to recovery. I had lost everything, and this is my story of how I got it all back! The day I was arrested was a God send. I had been praying for months, “If there is a God get me the F**** out of here!” I was homeless living in a rundown RV with a leaky roof. I had lost everything including my daughter.

I had struggled for many years with an addiction to pain pills which were prescribed to me after my C-section on April 7, 2004, the night my beautiful baby girl was brought into this world. Now I had been given pain pills before but never had I felt the feeling before that they’d given me that night.

The night after my daughter was born I got a phone call at one thirty-six in the morning that my fiancé, her father, was being life-flighted to UMass Worcester. He had been in a terrible car accident and broke his spine in four places. I was beside myself with grief. How was I to take care of her all by myself and care for him? Then the nurse came in with this pill that made all my worries go away and made me feel like I could do anything!

I lost a piece of my soul that day. I spent two years learning how to take care of my quadriplegic fiancé with the final goal to take him home to a wheelchair accessible apartment where we could live happily ever after. But the universe had different plans. Jose ended up having many complications, and he died two and a half years after his accident. The pain of losing him made me shut down emotionally and numb my feelings even more with these evil little pills.

I lived for eight years in my addiction. Many horrible things happened, but that is not something I chose to share in detail.

The day I was arrested I was sent to holding for the summer where I was able to get my head on straight. I worked with a case manager to find a program to help me. I found an amazing jail diversion program in New Bedford, MA. I spent one hundred and two days there. In this therapeutic community, I was taught how to live life without drugs through focusing on positive spiritual principles and forming healthy relationships and rational thinking.

From this program, I was sent to a halfway house back home just a town over from my daughter. I lived in this social model home for about ten months where I was integrated back into the community with a new lease on life. I met many people along the way who supported me through my recovery process including my family. I was also brought to The RECOVER Project, a volunteer peer to peer resource center, where I was able to get involved, make new friends, re-build my self-esteem and most importantly have a safe space to be with my child to re-form our bond.

Summer 2013, I graduated from the halfway home and moved into a three-quarter house right down the street from my little girl. Throughout this whole process I was rebuilding my relationship with my daughter, she would come with me for an hour or so then as time passed she was able to spend more and more time with me. The final goal to be reunited. I lived in this tiny unit for one year, and my daughter was able to sleep over on the weekends and vacations. I continued to volunteer at the RP and earned a leadership role through hard work, dedication, trust, and accountability.

On October eighth of 2014, I was granted custody of my beautiful daughter Jordin. On completion of my stay at the three-quarter house, I was awarded a section eight voucher and found a beautiful apartment for Jordin and I. In August 2015, a job opened up at the RP, I applied and got the job. I now have an amazing job, a beautiful home, a car, a loving family, and a community of individuals who care about me and my daughter.

Most importantly, I am open to learning new ways and quickly admitting when I am wrong. In life shit happens, people make mistakes. With a loving and understanding community, many of our fallen will rise again to become a part of this amazing journey we call life.