Stories of Recovery

The women below have been generous enough to share with us their stories of recovery.


PortiaPortia's story: My name is Portia Ann Harvey. I am a 36-year-old woman who suffers from addiction. I was 11 years old the first time I used alcohol, 13 when I used marijuana, 17 when I used crack/cocaine and 21 when I used Ecstasy. I began my rough and long recovery journey on November 4, 2013; this is also my sobriety date. More»


CarolineRobyn's story: Robyn learned early on that asking questions about her parents’ addiction was unacceptable. At a very young age, Robyn learned to quickly adapt to her volatile home situation – unpredictable, chaotic, and wrought with alcohol-fueled anger. More»


CarolineMy name is Caroline Miller. I am in long-term recovery. I haven’t used alcohol or other drugs since January 2, 2011. I am committed and passionate about recovery because it has given me a new purpose and hope for the future. More»


SueMy name is Sue Remus. I'm 53 years old and have a 19-year-old daughter and a 31-year-old stepson. I discovered alcohol when I was in my early teens. I first had opiates in my senior year and felt happy and serene for the first time. In spite of this, I was a very good student and was accepted to UW-Eau Claire. More»


EmilyMy name is Emily Lux. I’m 32 years old and have two teenage daughters and an 8-year-old son. I began my drug career smoking pot at the age of 11. By the time I was 14, I was addicted to cocaine and didn’t realize I was an addict. I thought I just liked to party and have fun. More»


JaneJane Bartels' story: Sometimes it’s hard for me to think back on those decades of addictive behavior and all of the ridiculous things I did to hurt myself and my family. Like many other children growing up in an alcoholic family, I learned about addiction at an early age. More»


DonnaHello, my name is Donna Treadway. My story is not unusual or unique, but it is my story. I don’t believe explaining my whole life experiences through all of the destructive events and insane decisions will be of any use to those who are suffering addictions. More»


RuthieHello, my name is Ruth Houghton. I am a 33-year-old Ho-Chunk Tribal member and a single mother with three children. On June 17, 2012, I started seeking help for my alcohol problem. I was drinking a lot, found myself in legal and financial trouble and realized that I had to get help with my drinking. More»


TaijaTaija's story begins much like most “normal” people's, in a loving, supportive environment with parents, a younger sister, and a wonderful, large, extended family. Her drinking career began when she was just 15. At 22 she was drinking a liter of vodka a day and was ready to seek help. More»


DottieDottie, like many, grew up in a household with alcoholism. She too was affected by the disease of addiction. She found the life lessons she needed in the 12 Steps, went back to school and got a job working as an AODA prevention specialist working with schools. More»


ThuyWar takes its toll on many lives, including families. Thuy was not a soldier as it’s usually defined, but fought her own “Vietnam” due to negative experiences. She went from using once-in-awhile to developing a dependency. Eventually someone reached out to her. More»


KristyKristy grew up in a middle-class home where life was simple and fun. In junior high school, she began experimenting with alcohol, marijuana and an occasional line of coke. After a series of car accidents, she became addicted to Oxycontin and then heroin. More»


RoxanneRoxanne had been living in the Milwaukee County Huber Correctional facility. Today she is drug and alcohol free, completing her AODA program. She is not going to settle for less anymore – and will continue to aim high for herself and her children. More»


PatriciaEscorted by an officer, Patricia arrived at Beacon House carrying a brown paper bag with a few belongings and the clothes on her back. At Beacon, she was introduced to 12 Steps and found a sponsor. She graduated from the program and received “the key to the house.” More»