Health Connect: A Patient Story About Growth and Second Chances

Read Mindy's inspirational story and learn what message she has to share with anyone struggling with addiction and doesn't know where to turn, and why she thanks the team at CHDC for their role in her sobriety.
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What brought you to CHDC and how long have you been a patient?

I first started coming here back in 2017 for the suboxone program – I heard about it through word of mouth. I had been on methadone already and I did not want to get on methadone. In the beginning, I didn’t like coming in once a week or every two weeks. But I had to do it, and I did it. Now it’s only once a month.

 

What CHDC services have you used?

Medical, GYN, vision, dental, MAT, and transportation. You’re helping me with not only my life, my health too. I still had to learn how to be part of life again! So now I’m working on my health, working to live better, to learn how to live a lot better.

 

How has your sobriety improved your life?

You know how we get mad when somebody tells us about ourselves? Yes, I’ll be honest. I do sometimes because I don’t want to hear it. But it helps me to become a mature grown woman because I have wasted so much time in my life where I was. So I have to go back and rebuild myself to better myself as a woman. And I still have hiccups in my life. I always have hiccups. But I’m clean. As long as I get through it clean, I’m ok.

 

How is CHDC different from other healthcare providers that you have been to?

Well, this one is a lot. I’m telling you 100% the program here is way different than a lot of facilities that are in the business of helping people. At other programs you feel like there’s not an actual connection, like you can’t be vulnerable with the staff in order to change your life. When we get clean or when we stop using, we’re weak, mentally, emotionally, physically. We need that hug. We need something to tell us it’s going to be okay.

So when I came back into my recovery, you all were so welcoming. You came right into my room. My room was filled! Everyone was there to see how I was doing. And your team doesn’t just do this for me, they do it for everybody. And that’s what I like, you’re still here, through the years, the same people.

 

Is there anyone that you would like to thank?

I connected to a lot of staff. I don’t know all their names, but I know Mike, Brittany, Dr. Netaji, Wanda, and Christi. They’re the main people in my (family) including the van driver. This job means so much to each of you. It’s not just a job, I notice you all put yourselves into this job. You stay late, you stay at this job longer than you do at home sometimes because you care about us and that’s what we need.

And you showed up for my drug court graduation in Norristown! That’s incredible. They [COE and MAT staff] were there, and that means so much to me. It was an evening, so they took time out of their personal time off to be there at my drug court graduation. They show up for us, that’s one thing I love about Community Health & Dental Care. Out of all the facilities, they show up, and that means so much. You have no clue what that means to a recovering addict when they have people showing up for us, being there, and having our back.

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Why would you recommend that someone become a patient with CHDC?

In the beginning of my recovery, I figured if anybody died in my family, it was my excuse to get high. I have wasted so much energy on my past. Yeah, when my dad died, that’s when I went down the hill. I didn’t know how to deal with death, but probably six months after that I started dipping and dabbing and went right downhill. But I got myself right out and I’m not going back. Because Community Health & Dental Care is not only there for my recovery, they’ve got the resources. They will try their best to help you out as much as they possibly can.

You always suggested and always say “Hey, why don’t you try it this way? Maybe this?” And I like that because you guys gave me different things to look at, different points of view and opinions. But not only that, you listened. You allowed me to get it out even if I was right or wrong. And that was important. You all took time to listen, and that’s what I liked.

 

What advice would you give to someone who is currently struggling with addiction?

All a recovering addict has to do is just focus on tonight. They have to want it. They have to be here because they want to. That’s the truth, otherwise it’s not going to work. I tried to get clean for my son. I tried to get clean for my family. I just tried to get clean because everyone kept telling me to. It didn’t work. I kept using. It took so long for me to even get a month’s worth of suboxone.

It took a while because I had a really difficult time. You guys had my back, you guys were there for me for a while in the beginning because I had a struggle trying to be there for myself. You guys were there through thick and thin with me, trying to show me, “hey Mindy, you are worth something.” You all made me feel like I’m worth something. You all kept telling me that I can do it, that I have to do it for myself. And I’m grateful that you guys showed me the way and that you were there.

 

What is one thing you want other people to know about CHDC?

The communication here is amazing. I love it. As soon as I come in, the woman that checks you in goes “Hey Mindy!” I’m grateful for it because this program I feel is ten times better than a lot of others.

When we feel that we can trust, that’s when we know we can go forward. That’s how our disease is. Once we get clean or stop using and we come here, we don’t know where to go. We have to learn how to be part of society, and we can’t do it on our own because if we did it on our own, we wouldn’t have gotten to be where we’re at. So we need the guidance again. We need someone to re-show us and direct us in a way that should be right for us.

 

Is there anything you want other people to know?

I had to keep coming back until I finally got it, but you guys were still there for me. You guys didn't make me feel like I was wrong. I felt happy. I felt loved. I felt like I was a part of you. It's beautiful seeing other peoples’ process. It is because they turn into something beautiful. I tell people in the program, just because you don’t like them, doesn’t mean you can’t still learn from them, you can still grow from them, because we don’t stop growing.

Thank you to Mindy for sharing her CHDC Patient Story, filled with struggle and triumph. If you have a patient story that you would like to share, please visit ch-dc.org/for-patients/health-connect/

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid use disorder, please call 610-326-9460 ext. 105 to speak with a member of our COE / MAT Team.

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