Hi, my name is Melanie. I wanted to take a little time to tell you about myself, share some of my story, and why I am so well suited to help you find treatment.
I certainly did not have a tragic upbringing. I was raised by two loving and supportive parents and have three pretty talented and successful older brothers. Of course, our family was not perfect and we had to deal with our fair share of problems. But I was raised well, had a fantastic education and grew up playing sports, following in my brother’s footsteps. A series of injuries derailed my athletic career, but they opened the door to another opportunity when I was only 15.
Those opportunities led me to a career as an international model. I was fortunate to have a successful career in a difficult industry, traveling and living in many countries before settling in New York City. As most may think that was the start of a lifestyle of addiction, it was not. That came some years later.
What I learned during the years that I struggled with my addiction is that there are many events in one’s life, some very sad and tragic as was my experience. I turned to alcohol and drugs to cope and, in my mind, to “survive”. Others have been introduced through the environments they find themselves apart of which opens the door to exposure to drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately in this day and age drugs are readily available to anyone. It is truly an epidemic.
It was easier for me to place responsibility for my addiction on the sad losses in my life than confronting my own choices. I now realize that by placing blame on these occurrences, I was maintaining a victim-like attitude an existence that kept me in the cycle of addiction. I had lost hope after many failed attempts at treatment. I lost my career, family support, friends and worst of all myself. I was self-destructive, making poor decisions and not taking care of myself. I wasn’t reliable; I hated and resented everybody, especially all of the doctors and councilors who tried to help me. I received two DUI’s and was in and out of destructive relationships.
After thinking there was only one road, one type of treatment for success I spoke to a woman who educated me on the different types of treatment available to me. I still remember being amazed that there were actually options. After believing that I would never recover, I found the right help for myself and was successful in overcoming my addiction. I gained back hope, self-esteem and the realization that there is solution to the epidemic of addiction that is destroying lives, families and ultimately our society. Every individual is different; the solution for each is not always the same.
After overcoming my addiction I became a Registered Addiction Specialist. I have worked with addicts directly and their families educating them on addiction and helping them get through treatment. I spent years as a liaison working with the courts, probation officers, and attorneys helping recovering addicts handle their legal issues. I worked with the system, keeping addicts in treatment, or helping to place them in treatment where they belong, rather than being sent to jail.
I joke now with my family, telling them I have lived many lives in these 36 years and I have learned a great deal from all of them, good and bad. There is one thing that is clear to me now. There is recovery, there is hope and there is a life of happiness available to all those struggling with addiction no matter what walk of life you come from no matter what your story is.
I have been given another opportunity in life and that is the ability to help other addicts and their families. I am a source of knowledge and experience and it is my mission to help as many as I can through education as to the types of treatment available, and placing each individual in the Right Treatment Program for them and their family.
Death is sad and the loss of loved ones is never forgotten, I know this first hand, but remember addiction is what kills and the choices that addicts make. Education on Treatment and the right Treatment brings about hope and solutions for the addict and for all of those affected by the addicts’ addiction
My family has their daughter and sister back. I am a proud aunt and friend to those that are in my life. I have an amazing boyfriend and most importantly I am happy. I am here to help you get your lives back and find happiness and freedom.
I know how exhausting, confusing and scary the process of looking for treatment is for the addict and the family. I know I can help and I refuse to lose the war against addiction.