Recovery Spotlight: Heidi M

My name is Heidi Mandl and I have been completely abstinent from drugs and alcohol since November 10, 2019! After completing treatment at Frederick Memorial Hospital, Orenda, and Gale House, it was God’s will to place me at Up & Out Sober Living, where after a few months I was given the opportunity to be house manager. I am trusted enough today to have extra responsibilities and to set an example for other women. I had never STAYED before. I need the structure and guidance so I can learn how to live again. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. I am exactly where I need to be at this moment. God will never give me more than I can handle and any success or accomplishments I owe to Him. I would like to thank the Up & Out Foundation and Korey for helping me continue this journey of sobriety. Korey sets our standards high so that we do not get comfortable. “Comfort is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there.”

I was completely powerless over drugs and alcohol when I crawled through the doors of recovery! I was disgusted with myself (physically and mentally). I was angry that I had to live my life, that I was an addict. I was disgusted with the fact I couldn’t stop hurting myself and others. The disease of addiction was my enemy and I felt I did not have the tools to defeat it. I was a junky, a prostitute, restless, irritable, discontent, selfish, ungrateful, impulsive, stubborn, baffled, scared, sick, lonely, rebellious, passive-aggressive, hopeless, helpless, angry, guilty, shameful, and suicidal! I was in this vicious cycle from 12 years old until I got sober but I always felt different even before I put a substance in my body!

I was a stranger to everyone who loved me because I would do ANYTHING for my fix despite the consequences. I would lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, sell my body, be homeless, abandon my morals and take from you just to help me. All of my trauma was from a direct result of me using drugs and alcohol. I was beaten, choked to unconsciousness, robbed, raped and more. Despite almost being killed I still couldn’t stop. Despite having 3 beautiful children and watching all of my friends die or go to prison, – you know that vicious unstoppable cycle!!

After 37 failed treatment centers, countless stays at psychiatric hospitals, and serving many sentences in jail, I finally was made aware of my problem. Now I see the solution that people had been trying to freely give to me for years. The disease of self (a spiritual sickness), because drugs were just a symptom of my problem. Through the 12 steps I was able to connect with my Higher Power and look deep inside to find the problems that I desperately needed to change if I wanted to live! I admitted I was powerless of drugs and alcohol. Accepted the fact, and turned my will and my life over to the care of God! I had been introduced to the program before but this time I was willing to do the work. I got a sponsor, home group, service position, read literature, helped others, and worked the 12 steps! When I had a craving I prayed and let it pass. When I felt disturbed, I looked within myself to find out why. I am willing to try my best and work my program in every aspect of my life.

Today I am worth it! Beautiful! Kind! Caring! Willing! Helpful! Happy! Organized! Hard working! Focused! Honest! Healing! Teachable! Available! Accepting! Positive! Patient! A Grateful Recovering Alcoholic and Addict! I am able to deal with any consequences of my past and make amends. My past doesn’t define me. I do not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it. The Promises do come true. They can for you too! #sisterhood

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