Robyn grew up an inquisitive, happy and spirited child. She learned early on, though, that asking questions about her parents’ addiction was unacceptable. At a very young age, Robyn learned to quickly adapt to her volatile home situation – at times, it was a peaceful, quiet retreat conducive to family bonding and her studies, while at other times, it was unpredictable and chaotic, wrought with alcohol-fueled anger.
Robyn and her sisters followed the example her parents set for their four young daughters. At twelve years old, Robyn began to drink alcohol. At fifteen, she started smoking marijuana; and, at sixteen, she began experimenting with cocaine. There was nothing jarring about any of the first-time experiences, because this was the environment in which Robyn was raised. Substance abuse was an everyday occurrence, and she knew of no other lifestyle. Robyn was an average student and graduated high school at seventeen. She entered college that fall.
At eighteen, Robyn learned she was pregnant. The father, Robyn’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, also struggled with substance abuse. Their relationship, while toxic and abusive, made Robyn feel validated and more confident about her place in the world. During the pregnancy, Robyn fought hard to stay clean and gave birth to a healthy daughter. Three weeks later, Robyn’s mother passed away from the effects of addiction. To escape the pain of this harsh reality, Robyn turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. Her substance use turned into an addiction. By that time, her four sisters were also struggling with their own addictions. She found the solace and support she needed in her father, but he too, struggled to stay sober. Less than a year later, Robyn’s dad lost his battle with addiction, reigniting the pain and loss that she felt. This time, though, Robyn felt differently; she sought help. In late 2010, Robyn entered a methadone clinic. She was confident this was the answer, but instead, she met unhealthy people that introduced her to opiates. In the two years that followed, she struggled to stay clean. Her daughter was taken away in January 2013. Robyn knew that she needed to get clean for her daughter. She checked in to a residential treatment program, where she stayed clean for six months. Unfortunately, though, the core issues that caused Robyn’s addiction were never addressed and she relapsed and began to use again.
Robyn’s life changed on July 18, 2013 when her case worker found a place for her in the Meta House residential treatment program. She spent six months in the program, addressing all the facets that perpetuated her addiction. She worked with parenting specialists on how to nurture and communicate with her daughter. She successfully completed the methadone program that she started three years prior. She opened herself up to other clients, many of whom she today calls friends. She began to attend meetings in the community and broaden her support system. Through this network, she found a sponsor that she meets with regularly.
Today, Robyn feels empowered and lives in Meta Housing, inspired by the strong, supportive women around her. It’s been an incredible summer for Robyn – on June 6th, she and her daughter were successfully reunified, on June 17th, she graduated from Family Drug Treatment Court, on July 10th, Robyn celebrated one year of sobriety. Currently, she volunteers at a runaway shelter servicing underprivileged teenagers and is looking forward to working at State Fair this summer. Both she and her daughter are looking forward to attending school in the fall. Her daughter will be entering K5 and Robyn plans to complete her Associate’s degree.