As part of our campaign to eliminate stigma, Voices of Hope is sharing real stories of real people in recovery. Erin is our Chief Operations Officer and has used her experience to help others overcome barriers to treatment and recovery.
My name is Erin Woodie and I am a person in long term recovery which means to me that I have not found a reason to use a mood or mind altering substance since 2016. I do not let my past define me and I am open about my story to hopefully encourage others to open up, share their stories and give hope to those still struggling. I spent most of my adult life making bad decisions, numbing my pain and trauma with substances and in result hurting the people in my life that were the closest to me. Like most people when we are in active addiction, I lied, cheated and stole to feed my disease until I was left jobless, homeless and alone because I had broken all trust with everyone who cared about me.
The last few months of my active adiction took me to places I never thought I would go and once in those places, I thought I was too far gone to ever return from. My last days using I woke up every day mad that I actually woke up. I was in so much pain mentally and emotionally that I did not want to feel anything. I was living with the guild of my family raising my son and living in my car with my 1 year old daughter. There were not enough substances that could numb that guilt and shame. One day my wish not to wake up almost came true. I overdosed at a local park with my 1 year old daughter in the car. That day was a wake up call for me. I was given a second chance at life when a local police officer administered Narcan and brought me back.
I was given a second chance that day. Without that second chance, I would not be where I am today. Today, I am a great mother to BOTH of my children, a good partner, step mom, friend, employee and production member of society. I once was at a place that I had thought I would never come back from and to look at my life today, gives me chills. I am proud to say that my children will never have to see that person again. I wake up each and every day striving to be the person I was intended to be. Please, if you are struggling, know you are not alone. There are people out there that have been through the darkest times and are here to help!
To hear Erin talk more about her story, and about Narcan, listen here where she appears on an episode of Recovery (Sort Of)