Recovery Stories

Finding Something to Live for

“I have a very rough childhood (poverty, abandonment, substance abuse in my family, mental health issues).. I went through more treatments than I can even count (I think 12?).. While some helped, there was always something missing.. My last incarceration I was released to the ARC house in Fond du Lac, and this was a changing point in my life. I think a huge factor was I had my daughter and wanted to be a good mother. What helped me was being a part of Darjune, HOWE parenting education, confiding in my probation officer, and support from people in recovery. While I wasn’t someone who was too involved in NA.. I was a part of Ex-po, JOSHUA, volunteered with the ACLU, and my schooling was helpful as well! I think it was just the desire to want something different out of my life and I was willing to do whatever it took! Some coping skills I’d advise is to find what works for them. Sometimes it will be different things for different people. Some may be NA, some may be MAT, some may be family, some may be school, some may be a job… find something you care about to keep you moving forward

I think it’s being able to know what you want to achieve in life, and work towards that instead of tearing yourself down with using substances. If there is enough desire to want something different, change will happen. Go to school, find your passion, get a career you love… I started at a cafe, and I am now able to obtain a social work position and do what I love! Also, give yourself credit for the small steps.. Getting a job, paying off a bill, going for a walk.. I think there are these expectations when someone gets clean to change the world, but if you’re overlooking the small things there will be frustration and a feeling of defeat. Also, enjoy the journey.. gratitude lists and prayers helped me, but this may be different for everyone. I think that is such an important piece – no one will have the same recovery journey, but everyone is capable of success.”

You Are Worth It

“Let’s see where to begin? I grew up in a very strict Roman catholic navy household. And the Roman catholic what is my mother in the navy chief was my father. This created some interesting and search for family dynamics. I was the second youngest of six. My two oldest brothers were from our mother’s first marriage. I never felt comfortable to call them half brothers but yet that’s the situation and so already from the outset there was a sense of stigma. My father is also Native American and so i look nothing like our half brothers. My sister is the only female sibling in the family which also resulted in some sibling rivalry and jealousy between her and an older brother more close in age. I suppose that’s normal but I was the lost child and also expected to be the golden child or the perfect child which created undue pressures to be successful. There were some traumatic experiences due to my parents failing marriage and I’m the oldest siblings feeling like the outcasts in our little tribe. Also my mother suffered from postpartum depression due to a miscarriage which only further eroded my parents marriage and our family life at home. At times my older brothers would taunt are mother somewhat playfully but sadly she could be very neurotic and obsessive compulsive. I remained silent all the while repressing the pain and fear. Which I have learned since has contributed to periodic major depressive disorder as well as subsequent alcoholism and drug addiction. 

I said his music began in middle school with alcohol and some marijuana but later progressed after college and then once I became a working professional I became a high profile alcoholic and a closeted Drunk and Began experimenting with hard drugs such as heroin and opioids. Later, I was homeless and became very dependent on meth and also was involved in trading sexual favors with anonymous men. Today I have successfully completed intensive inpatient and outpatient treatment as well as Sober Living and I am a recovery coach for the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.

I would have to say the best advice I could offer would be to believe in yourself and to know that you are worth it because in the end you will not have anyone else to prove yourself to or to try to earn their approval by lowering your value. Remember that you are not worthless and always always remember that you are more than worth it.”

Your Life, Your Choice

“I chose the wrong path with drugs and alcohol and now that I am in recovery I have to deal with the choices that I made while using everyday for the rest of my life. I destroyed my family, friends and my life. I have been in jail many times, had thousands of dollars in fines, inpatient rehab, car crashes and watched my friends die. If only I had chosen not to take the first drink or drug, my life would be totally different. My advice is not to let other people make choices for you. Life is so much better without drugs and alcohol.”

Tyler started using drugs in sixth grade as a way to make friends and fit in. He was overweight, and other students teased him about it. “I wanted people to like me, and I wanted to feel accepted,” he said. “And the easiest way to find that was with people who partied because they don’t care about you at all. As long as you’re partying, you’re good to go.” 

Tyler’s drug use escalated, from alcohol and marijuana to pills and heroin. He was in and out of jail. Tyler entered treatment at age 21 and has been sober for about six years.

His family life deteriorated from the stress of his drug use.  

During presentations, Ashleigh speaks about the pressure to be the perfect sister in light of her brother’s addiction and feeling neglected by her parents. Rick talks about being angry that his son couldn’t conquer his addiction, and Sandi explains how she enabled her son to the point that her marriage nearly crumbled.

“I was the standard enabling mom. I protected him, I tried to fix him. I loved him to death. He stole, he lied, and I didn’t tell Rick a lot of it,” she said. “And in every family that we’ve met with, we always see that division. We are very fortunate. Tyler could have chosen to go the other way.”

“We know what we’re doing is working,” Tyler said. “It’s affecting everybody, and people are finally starting to open up and try to figure out what we can do about this.”

The Lyberts are passionate about communicating their story and removing the stigma of teen substance abuse in hopes of helping other families.

“We know what we’re doing is working,” Tyler said. “It’s affecting everybody, and people are finally starting to open up and try to figure out what we can do about this.”

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