Rebecca, a graduate of the Serenity Treatment Center of Louisiana shares her story and her recovery journey to sobriety. She discusses how she came to get involved and made choices about using heroin. The escalation to hard drug use and what led to coming to Serenity Treatment Center. She describes that because of the education given to her through the programs and ‘teachers’, she has grown personally, regained the relationships with her children, and daily experiences a continued peace.
“The benefits and rewards are beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” states Rebecca. If you are struggling with even a part of what our graduate Rebecca struggled with, we are able to help. At the Serenity Treatment Center of Louisiana, we go above and beyond to ensure that treatment is successful. We understand the many challenges associated with substance and alcohol addiction, plus we know how the problem can impact family, work, and society. It is for that reason we emphatically believe that choosing the right facility is a critical choice. With two campuses here in Baton Rouge, we have the space and staff to help you meet your challenges.
“My name is Rebecca Carpenter, and I have been in recovery since November 12th, 2021. I never wanted to get sober. Even when things were so terrible with my family, what made sense to me is I was trying to figure out how I could keep drugs in my life forever, because I thought that, that made me better. I thought it made sense to marry into the cartel. I was going to try and meet these people who were making these big drug runs and everything, and I tried to do that. That made more sense to me than coming to a place to try to get sober. I was in fear of what people thought of me from a very young age. I isolated myself because I was so fear driven by what I thought people thought about me or not being good enough.
The first time that I did any kind of substance, I felt free. I wasn’t afraid. I got along with people. I could go anywhere. I could do anything. When I would do something, I would do a lot of it. Whereas other people may simply have a drink, I would drink a bottle. I may not do it again for a week, but the next time I did something, it would be somebody’s going to take one ecstasy pill, I’m going to take four ecstasy pills. Consequences of using maybe, but just life choices in general made me feel less than. Drugs made me feel more than until I had to have more and more drugs. It became a lifestyle that led to losing a lot.
When I was 19, I lost a child. I had probably only drunk and used marijuana up to that point, but after that, I made some really poor choices, taking justice into my own hands for the reasons that I lost my child. I didn’t believe that there was any way other than fixing it myself, so I thought I did. Really the consequences of the things that I did, stayed with me from there on. I drunk more to cover up the way that I behaved in that situation to meeting my future husband and losing his mother, and heroin was our best friend. It took over in a matter of weeks. We started out smoking it, sniffing it to intravenously shooting it up. Then that wasn’t enough, so we were doing Coc. Then that wasn’t enough and ripping off things, just it was a lot. Fast forward to 2001, I went to treatment with my husband. We were addicted to crack and heroin still. He recovered, and I was okay if he was okay. Then in 2009, he died unexpectedly. He had a heart attack. It took me two weeks from the moment that he died until I was shooting up meth.
The weeks leading up to coming to Serenity, I was living in a trap house. The people in the trap house wanted me out because I was too crazy and too much of a – I was just too much. I was a lot. I was a lot to handle and I was going harder than everybody there, and they were afraid I was going to draw attention or I was going to die. The people in the trap house who are also trapping, drugging just as much as me, oh, I thought just as much, called my children and they were like, you have to do something with her. My oldest daughter told me if I didn’t do something, that she would never speak to me again. I was like, yeah, okay, whatever. Then my son, who hadn’t spoke to me for three years, through her said he will indefinitely never speak to me again. Then my daughter, who at that time was 16, just told me I want to be able to love you, but I can no longer allow you to hurt me.
When I got here, it was simply to get somebody to speak to me, get the people in my life to deal with me again, to get a job, and then I would figure out how I would maintain my life using drugs. That’s what I thought that I was going to do. When I got into education with Jeff Simmons and he started teaching me that there was an obsession of the mind and an allergy of the body, it took a few weeks, honestly, before I really was clearheaded enough to understand what he was talking about. The way that he put it, that it was just I had no choice. Once I put a drug in me, the choice was no longer mine, and that if I wanted the obsession to stop that I had to replace it with something. When I learned that there was a way to live and I didn’t have to depend on anything or anybody except for my higher power, it was scary, at the same time, it was extremely relieving because it was all – he just kept saying everything that I need is inside of me, everything that I need to do everything that needs to be done is already with me, I don’t have to get it from anywhere else. I just have to do the next right thing, and that resonated.
The benefits and the reward has been more than anything that I could have ever imagined. The peace of mind that I have, I don’t have to lie to people. For a person like me, not having to remember a bunch of lies to try to get people to do what I want, it frees up a lot of time in my life that I didn’t even realize I was occupying. I just get up and I do what it is that I’m supposed to do next, and I don’t have to worry about the big, immense, huge, looming the rest of my life. I work at it one step at a time, and it’s working. I speak to all of my children. I have grandchildren. I have a sponsor. I come back to Serenity and sponsor every opportunity that I get because it helps me to remember what it was like.
It’s given me a life that I always wanted. I wanted people to like me, and I was so worried about what they thought about me. Through this program, I learned that I don’t need to be concerned with what other people think. Then I’ve been rewarded with people who tell me how they feel about me and what they think. I have people in my life that I’ve been trying to make be in my life, and now they just are and I don’t have to try. I tell my sponsees all the time, living in what was comfortably miserable was easier for me than to take a step and walk through something I had no idea was going to happen. Sometimes the firing squad is what you know, and freedom is what you don’t know.”
No matter your story, or your truth, there is hope. The Serenity Treatment Center of Louisiana stands ready to help you find that hope and successful recovery. Call us at (225) 361-8445 to learn more or to schedule an appointment. All calls are confidential.
Located in Baton Rouge, we have the space and staff to help you meet your challenges and have helped many Louisianans as well as out-of-staters find their peace.