A Recovery Story: Ashlee

Hi, I’m Ashlee and I’m an alcoholic, an addict, a daughter, sister, friend, business owner, sponsor, sponsee, and an active member in a 12-step program. My life has completely opened to something absolutely beautiful & indescribable today all because I chose to sit all the way down, open my mind, get honest & willing and take some simple direction & suggestions from some people who have walked the same path before me!

 

After being handed my 4th DUI by the boys in blue I still didn’t want to make a change. It took God intervening in my life to literally pull me out from my own pile of hopelessness, despair, and depression. After being placed into treatment by family I was still unsure of recovery – I did the deal before and “it didn’t work for me!” However, I stuck and stayed because somewhere in me was a small whisper of “Just stay Ashlee, for once in your life stay put and stop running.” So, I did.

 

After treatment came a halfway house, and after that came sober living in Ann Arbor. By then I had a sense that doing what I was doing could maybe give me a tiny shot at staying out of prison. At 6 months sober I went in front of the judge for my 4th DUI and I had the option of 1 year in prison or 30 days of jail with 5 years felony probation- so I took the second option!

 

While sitting in jail the AA Big Book pg. 25 came alive- ‘We had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other to accept spiritual help.’ The universe screamed at me that I could continue to live my life in active addiction but clearly, I will end up in jail, history proves that. Or I can fully embrace what has come my way, a life of spiritual principles. My perception shifted in that moment… I cannot live life successfully using drugs and alcohol and if I want any sort of happiness, I need to be willing to give this whole deal a shot.

 

I got out of jail, continued to stay in sober living, continued meetings, working with a sponsor, found myself a job that although didn’t pay much- I was happy, at peace, and around other people in recovery. Through this job I got connected with people in the salon industry in Ann Arbor. Having my cosmetology license since 2010 I prayed for guidance and in the Spring of 2018, I was handed an amazing opportunity at a local salon. My passion and creativity came back! Something I thought I had lost years ago all flowed back into me and my career took off. I had a fire and passion in me that hadn’t been there for a long time! I saw myself continually expanding, growing, flourishing and at a certain point I knew God was pushing me for more.

 

Having previously lived in Las Vegas, I decided to take a solo vacation in September 2018. I scoped out the salon industry, hiking scene, and of course meetings! I had become absolutely blown away by the recovery scene! I never in my life have experienced recovery how people in Vegas do it and I knew I wanted more. The next month and a half happened quickly – I put in my request to transfer probation, was accepted, notified my current salon, found a new salon in Vegas, packed up my life in 3 FedEx boxes, 2 suitcases and flew across the country to start a new chapter of my life. God fast tracked me out to Las Vegas and my life has absolutely taken off in a whole new way!

 

In Vegas I’ve been able to become a successful business owner as a Lash Artist by the age of 29. I’ve built a solid foundation of recovery, I’ve found “my tribe”, rent my own apartment, sponsor multiple woman, help out with the nation’s first publicly funded recovery high school (Mission High School), visited multiple states through YPAA conventions, but most importantly I’ve strengthened my connection with my higher power. I’ve been able to become vulnerable, dig deep, and really seek God in my everyday life. Recovery has been an absolute blessing and I wouldn’t trade this life for absolutely anything! The universe always shows up when we are ready and willing to put in the work. I’ve been able to achieve goals and dreams I never thought possible all from working a 12 step program. Keep it simple. Get a sponsor, work the steps, find God, pass it on and watch your life expand to beautiful measures!

Written by mhill

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