Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Brandi Fincham's Recovery story

 A Recovery Story

By: Brandi Fincham
My name is Brandi Fincham, a person in recovery, which to me means I haven’t found it necessary to use any mood or mind altering substance since January 17, 2016. I am 28 years old and have a 7-year-old daughter, and also co-parent with my boyfriend & his 2 sons. I started using drugs and alcohol when I was 13 years old. It started with just smoking marijuana and drinking occasionally. Growing up I always felt alone. No matter how many friends I had. No matter how much my family was there for me. No matter how good I had it, I still felt very alone and as if I didn’t belong. Once I was a freshman in high school I began to hang out with peers that were much older than me, which also meant the drugs and partying was stronger. I managed to hold down a job and honor roll status throughout my high school days. I graduated high school in 2007 with an Advanced Diploma, 3.8 GPA and Top 60 of my graduating class. After I graduated I enrolled into a community college and obtained a CNA Certification. It wasn’t long after completing the certification course that I met and fell in love with my drug of choice, opiates. In 2009 I was pleased to find out that I was pregnant with my daughter. I say pleased because at that time I thought that was my way out. I knew I had a problem and I couldn’t stop. Once I found out I was pregnant, I said to myself “This is the answer. This will make me stop using.” I quickly found out that my disease was stronger than I thought it was, and I used my entire pregnancy. Due to my higher power’s grace, my daughter was born in March 2010, a very healthy baby girl. After she was born I obtained a new job working at a physician’s office. At this new job, I again found out pretty quick how strong my disease was. At this point my disease was making decisions for me, without my permission. I began calling in illegal prescriptions. I eventually got caught, and was convicted of 13 felony counts of prescription fraud. I lost my job, my CNA Certification, my dignity, and worst of all – my purpose in life. And at that time I thought to myself again, “This is the answer. This will make me stop using.” I was wrong yet again. After my conviction I went on to work in various restaurants serving tables. I ended up losing my home and my car. I lost many friends and was slowly losing my family. Using was all I cared about. Nothing else mattered to me. It wasn’t until November 2013 that something changed. I had just stolen a good amount of money from my parents. They of course caught me. It was either get help or go to prison. I chose to get help. With the help of my parents & The McShin Foundation, I packed my belongings and made my way 4 hours away from to Richmond, VA. The McShin Foundation who took me in with nothing.  I moved into a McShin recovery house and started to do what I needed to change me and my life. I had some stumbles along the way. I would get a few months clean and relapse. One relapse resulted in an over dose that I am very grateful to have made it through.  But each time I relapsed I kept coming back and learned something from each relapse. In January 2016 I had 20 months clean and I made the decision to use. The week that I spent using were by far more miserable than the 10 years I spent using prior to recovery. The gratitude I have for my life and my recovery process today is unexplainable. I am truly happy today. I am able to look at myself in the mirror and see a beautiful woman inside and out. Today I am the Treatment Services Coordinator for The McShin Foundation. The very foundation that helped me to save my life. I help those persons with the same disease that I have. When I was younger I never dreamed that I would be working with other addicts and helping them to get clean and go through their recovery journey. I am very grateful for the position I have today with my employment. Looking back at my past & my felony charges, I never thought I would be able to obtain a successful employment status, lost dreams have awakened.  Helping other addicts who are just like me, help me to stay clean. Today I am present in my daughter’s life & also my boyfriend’s son’s lives. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually involved in their life. The best feeling about being in recovery, to me, is that I am not alone. I don’t feel alone anymore. I feel like I belong. I feel that I have a purpose in life again. I feel happiness, gratitude and love. I have found relationships that are worth more than any amount of high any drug could give me. I have found a man who loves me for who I am, and in return I am able to love him. You see, today I find life exciting, meaningful & precious. I try to take nothing for granted and I live life to the best of my ability. I am able to show love & compassion instead of selfishness. I am a person in recovery & nothing about that is shameful to me today.