I started smoking weed when I was 12 and got introduced to heroin at 16. My life spiraled out of control and I was sent to AAMA’s Selena Center. That experience would change my life forever. I walked in to the Center a broken teenage girl, very rebellious and defiant. I thought the whole world was against me and I couldn’t be helped because no one knew what I was going through. My counselor broke through to me, and I was able to accept that people at the Selena Center were genuinely trying to help me.
After I left the program I would tell people “I’m going to be a counselor when I get older.” I did not stay sober, but I never forgot what I learned. I knew I did not have to live that way and most importantly, there was a way out. I was no longer lost. The Center showed me that you don’t have need drugs or alcohol to have fun. I was taught coping skills that I still use today, like talking instead of holding things in, and if I can’t talk, then journal. The Selena Center planted a seed in me and showed me a different ways of living.
I became pregnant with my second son, and knew to be a good mother I had to reach out and get help. I was in my addiction, so I was enrolled into the methadone program where I met another wonderful counselor. I told her my dream of becoming a substance use counselor, and she encouraged me to pursue that career path. I enrolled in college to become a counselor.
My dream came true. Working at the Selena Center has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I am honored to be a part of the AAMA team and excited for what the future holds. I hope I am able to touch people’s lives the same way my life has been touched by others who cared enough to help me overcome my addictions.