By Rhea Graham
When I look back on my life I could never have dreamed or imagined that it would be what it is today. I have spent most of my life surviving instead of living. I was broken and had lost all hope for a future where I could be happy, healthy and loved. It’s nothing short of miraculous how our lives have changed and evolved in five short years. By trusting in God and the programs of recovery, we’ve experienced freedom from so much more than just active addiction.
In the two years since the original “Unmasked” magazine, Brian and I have grown both together and individually in our recovery. We’ve had the opportunity to share our stories of recovery with so many people. The pain and suffering we’ve endured in our lives have been turned into a vessel of hope and today feels like it has some higher purpose. We are humbled that we’ve been able to connect with so many people who can relate to our journey.
We are not special. There are many recovering addicts who have powerful stories. They are the silent warriors whose names no one knows, but whose influence behind the scenes has helped countless people. We could all learn a lot about humility from the people who inspire us.
We are grateful to be a part of the “Unmasked” projects and are excited to see how many more people can be helped through the work college students are doing to connect story with community. We want to thank God, our family, Ball State University, the Ball Brothers Foundation, the students, their instructors, and everyone involved. You helped start the much-needed conversation in our community about addiction. This has helped begin to replace the heartlessness and indifference of how addicts have generally been treated with care and compassion for them as equal human beings.
To the addict still lost and suffering in active addiction, you can trust there is hope for a great new way of life and that recovery is not only possible but achievable with diligence, honesty, and willingness.
Rhea Graham is a recovering addict. She is a peer support specialist at Meridian Health Services working with the Maternal Treatment Program, and vivitrol and jail diversion programs. She and her husband, Brian, committed nonviolent crimes as a result of their drug use but are focused now on recovery and helping others.