Misty Brewer has been an employee at Gateway since August. She works at the Seminole location as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist. In this article, she answers questions about her former battle with addiction, how she got help, and what her life looks like now that she is in recovery and able to help others with the same struggles.
Q. What were the experiences in your life that may have made you more likely to use substances?
A. At a young age, while I was still in high school, I started going to parties. As I got older it was easier to connect with people and have something in common with people at bars and clubs. It started off pretty innocently, just trying to fit in. I was not even aware I had a problem.
Q. What made you realize it was time to ask for help?
A. I have three DUI's, but I did not realize I really needed help until my third. The first DUI was "shame on me." I got behind the wheel and got caught. The second DUI was" I don't have a problem drinking. I have a problem getting behind the wheel.” I went through Drug Court and completed the program successfully but I was in denial the entire time. The third DUI, I was involved in a high speed chase because I knew I was going to get arrested. I was caught. At this point I realized I had a problem. I was sentenced to 18 months in prison and then the Drug Court program again.
Q. How did you feel going into treatment at Gateway?
A. It was scary, but I was ready to fix my disease of addiction. I opened up to the fact that I had a problem and I was honest that my life had become unmanageable.
Q. How was being at Gateway helpful for you?
A. Gateway took the time to explain to me what the disease of addiction is and how to use the tools which I need to stay sober. Gateway helped me to find the root of why I would use and the triggers that I have to avoid to live a healthy life.
Q. What does your life look like today and how is it different from before your recovery?
A. My life is so different today. I worked hard to get my kids out of DHS custody. They mean the most to me and I involve them in my new way of life. They watched me in my addiction, so now they know from my experiences that addiction is hard and painful and sobriety is rewarding and joyful.
Q. What would you like to say to individuals still suffering from their addiction?
A. I would like to tell the individual still suffering that it's never too late to ask for help. I also want to tell them that they will know that it's time. When the idea of getting sober moves from your mind to your heart and soul, it is time to get clean. That's what happened to me. I had a spiritual awakening. It is in my heart that I do want this new way of life.
Q. What is your favorite part about working at Gateway?
A. My favorite part about working at Gateway is being able to share my experience, strength, and hope and be there for others. I love helping the underdog because at one time someone did that for me.
Gateway recognizes that addiction affects the entire person, family system, and surrounding community and is intentional about creating a program of recovery and healing that does the same. No matter where you are on your journey, you can Expect Hope with Gateway. To get additional support please contact us at 405-273-1170.
Madelyn Kufahl, Intern, assisted in the interview process. Madelyn is a senior at Oklahoma Baptist University. She is majoring in Psychology: Pre-Counseling and minoring in Professional Writing and Editing. She is currently the writing intern at Gateway to Prevention and Recovery. She enjoys reading, playing volleyball, and spending time with her loved ones.