Lighting the Way to Sobriety

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When Amy Temple walked through the doors of The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center in April 2013, it was not her first attempt to conquer addiction. This time, though, would be different.

Amy’s story looked much like any other Hoosier’s until about 14 years ago. That’s when she underwent bariatric surgery and developed medical complications during her recovery. Prescription narcotics helped with the pain, but it wasn’t long before Amy became addicted.

“I was never one of those addicts who was in denial about having a problem,” Amy explains. “That was apparent to me fairly early. What I was in denial about was that I could control my using or get clean without working any kind of a program or without God in my life.”

Amy began to seek help after more than eight years of active addiction, but each time she would fall off the wagon. “It’s true what they say about life getting worse and worse each time an addict goes back out,” she said. “Mine certainly did. My using ran rampant and completely ruled my life.”

After an intervention by family, Amy found herself on the doorstep of the Harbor Light Center for the third time. Though embarrassed and filled with shame, Amy was welcomed with open arms. She saw this as her last chance to reclaim her life.

The facility addresses the medical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of its clients. From detox to 12-step classes and counseling to chaplaincy, the program works with each individual to create a unique path to a successful recovery.

“In the months before I came here, I was hopeless and suicidal,” Amy says, revisiting that heartbreaking time. “My family had had enough enabling me. They had to love me enough to stop helping me kill myself. My willingness to do something different and their tough love helped to make the difference.”

For the first time, Amy was able to fully embrace the changes that had to be made in order to overcome her addiction. “We have so many clichés in recovery, but one of the things that’s said a lot is ‘you only have to change one thing, and that’s everything’ and that really has been true for me. I feel like everything has changed. I went from having no hope and praying to God to die every single day, to having so much hope for the future, so much hope for what God has in store for me.”

Now well into her second year of recovery, Amy is still at the Harbor Light Center, but now in a supportive role. She is a Ladies Resident Assistant for the Transitional Housing Program at the facility and teaches several classes for clients going through the 12-step program. As a role model for residents, she is able to encourage them in their own difficult journeys.

Amy is thankful for the supportive staff at The Salvation Army who saw her through her darkest days. “I finally have some peace and serenity in my life,” she remarks, before adding, “but God both deserves and gets all the praise and all the glory for my transformation.”