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December 28, 2017

Our 66th spotlight in the FACES OF HOPE: WE DO RECOVER series will focus on Brigette Duba’s story, Redemption Story.

Our 66th spotlight in the FACES OF HOPE: WE DO RECOVER series will focus on Brigette Duba’s story, Redemption Story.

 

 

...My story of addiction and redemption begins at the age of twelve when I drank alcohol for the first time. I’ve always been very curious person and inquisitive, always pushing the limit to next level. I can remember being curious, specifically about drugs.  I remember enjoying the feeling of the buzz from alcohol. Suddenly all my teenage insecurities were gone, and to me there was no better feeling. I believe this experience was a cornerstone in my development and made a lasting impression in my impressionable mind.

I learned at an early age how to expertly lie and manipulate situations to suit me. When my parents would discipline me, I would talk my way out of the punishment by spinning the truth and making them think I had no role to play in the situation. They reluctantly believed me at first, but as time went on, I learned how to better manipulate and play them against each other and eventually became proficient in the art of trickery. This sort of behavior played a large role in the foundation of my addiction.

By the age of fifteen I started smoking weed, snorting pills and drinking regularly on the weekends with my friends. This behavior continued all throughout high school and into college. Once I left home and went to live on my own at college, this destructive behavior became full blown addiction. I learned how to juggle my academic responsibilities and maintain the party lifestyle. In college, I tried cocaine for the first time, which took my curiosity for drugs to a whole other level. I struggled to maintain the double life I was living. To my family and select friends, I was an average college student. But to my inner circle, I was the wild, life of the party kind of girl. It was only a matter of time that this double life would catch up to me.

I met a drug dealer who introduced me to bath salts and from the first time I tried it, a switch had flipped in my brain, I had found my drug of choice. For the next four months, not one day went by where I didn’t consume bath salts.  I quickly spiraled into a constant state of paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. I thought everyone was out to get me. It was not soon after this that going to class fell by the wayside and I had to drop out of college. I spent a lot of time isolated, paranoid and ashamed of what I had become. I knew I was an addict at this point, but I didn’t think I could ever change. I just accepted this fate as how I would live the rest of my life.

My journey took a sharp right turn when the delusions overtook my life and I got arrested and charged with a felony and two misdemeanors for breaking into a cabin because I heard voices. I spent a couple days Southern Regional Jail in Beckley, WV. This is when my double life merged into one and all my family saw who I truly was and who I had been hiding. My parents were devastated and disappointed. Up until this point, they were in denial of my addiction and turned a blind eye to the obvious behaviors of addiction. My mom always says “Hind sight is twenty-twenty vision” and for the first time, she saw the devastating reality of the situation. My parents were gracious enough to post bail for me, and the next couple weeks I spent under lock down in my parent’s house. At this point, I still wanted to continue to do drugs and live an addicted lifestyle. I smuggled drugs in my parent’s house without them knowing in various ways. They thought I was clean because they monitored everything coming and going.

Rehabilitation facilities were discussed, but I refused to go. My mom had a friend who recommended Karen’s Place, a faith based rehab facility and I was completely against it. The idea of rehab was shortly entertained, then it dissipated and eventually the topic was rarely discussed. A couple weeks into this parental-enforced home confinement, I ran away and went on a 48 hour drug binge. My parents filed a missing person’s report with the police and two days later, I was picked up and returned to my parents’ custody. At this point, they had all they could take of the lifestyle that comes from caring for someone so far in addiction. They were done with the lies, done with the manipulation. They made up their minds and decided to drive me back to Southern Regional Jail and turn me in. I was too much for them to handle. In a last minute turn of fate, my dad pulled the vehicle into St. Mary’s Hospital where I spent the next seven days detoxing from the bath salts. I reluctantly agreed to go to Karen’s Place immediately following detox. I got out of Detox on Saturday, and Sunday my parents had arranged for me to meet the girls in Karen’s Place.

I met God for the first time at Christ Temple church. I came face to face with His love and deliverance. God wrapped his arms around me and I gave my life to God. I entered Karen’s Place Tuesday, May 3rd 2011 and spent the next six months there. The day I was admitted, it was pouring the rain and I can remember God saying to me that He was washing away the past and that things will never be the same. I learned who I was in Karen’s Place. I found my identity in Christ and no longer identified as an addict. After graduating from Karen’s Place in November 2011, my felony and misdemeanor charges were dropped. In January 2012 I moved to Nashville, TN to a missionary organization called Youth with a Mission (YWAM). My group spent time in Spain and North Africa doing missionary work with Muslims. This was one of the best times in my entire life! When I came back to the states, I finished my bachelor’s degree at Marshall University. I have been clean for six and a half years and never looked back.

My AHA moment:

I think my AHA moment happened at Christ Temple Church when I felt the love of God for the first time. It was so overwhelming, it consumed me, and I knew things would never be the same. I didn’t have to live in the chains of addiction anymore. From that moment on, I was delivered from my addiction

Feelings and emotions of active addiction:

Hopelessness. Depression

The driving force that keeps me going when times get tough:

My relationship with God

Advice for the addict still struggling:

Look for God in every situation. He always has his hand on your life, even when it seems hopeless, He’s there.

What obstacles or roadblocks have you faced in your recovery?

I struggle with balance, so learning how to balance life while maintaining recovery is a continual learning experience for me.

What is something you want people who never struggled with addiction to know?

Addicts are people struggling in ways that are different than how you struggle. Show them love

What advice do you have for family members of a person in addiction?

Never lose hope

Closing Thoughts

Love wins!

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call Addiction Recovery Care at 606.638.0938 or visit them on the web at www.arccenters.com.

 

There is hope. There is help.

 

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