Heidi C.

I live in Eagle River, AK with my husband and 2 children. I am Alutiiq and Athabascan. I am from Old Harbor, Alaska a village on Kodiak Island. I also spent 4 years in Nenana, AK attending boarding school. Growing up drinking was seldom but when there was drinking drama and chaos followed. I took my first drink at 13. Throughout my teen years I was rebelling after my father died. I took every chance I got to party. I drank from the age of 13-29. I called my addiction my love story, it truly was. It brought chaos, heartache, regret and comfort when I needed it. I chased that feeling for sixteen years.

What inspired me to find recovery? I was inspired by so many things. I wanted a happy home for my children and to be a good mother. I wanted to be a better wife. I wanted to not be a statistic. I was determined to help other addicts like me. When I was using it always felt like something was missing. While I was in intensive outpatient treatment I found myself being fascinated with wanting to attend school and working in the Substance use field. There was so much information that needed to be shared about drugs and alcohol, I was hooked.

What inspires me to stay sober? I continue to stay sober for my Family. I am also inspired by my participants that I work with in Residential and Outpatient Treatment. I get to share my lived experience with other addicts and show them that recovery is possible. Leading by example is important to me today. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing my participant do a 180* in their life.

The biggest surprise that I wasn’t expecting in my recovery is that I am able to challenge myself and learn to overcome life’s obstacles sober. I don’t doubt myself anymore, I am smart and I am worthy! With the help of my higher power, my life has never been better! All the glory belongs to Jesus! I have completed the Regional Alcohol Drug Abuse Counselor Training twice. I have obtained multiple certificates. Today I am also a student at UAA and I will be graduating the Fall 2022 with my Associates in Human Services.

Today, I work at Cook Inlet Tribal Council-Recovery Services as a Cultural Peer Support Specialist. I get to share my knowledge and lived experience with others. I am ready and willing to help the next person that wants their recovery as bad as I wanted it.

My advice to those who are contemplating recovery is, if you want to get sober, reach out to others, and ask for help!
In recovery, “I can genuinely be myself.”