How one student in recovery found support and connection at Michigan State University

By: Student engaged in MSU’s Collegiate Recovery Community

I was just having fun, this was the mantra I continued to tell friends, parents, doctors, and the police as my addiction spiraled out of control. Everything revolved around how I was going to use that day, no matter what the cost. There were many mornings that I would wake up and say “Okay, that was scary, I am never using again”, but then a couple of hours, sometimes a couple of minutes later I was using again. At this point in my active addiction I couldn’t stand being sober, but at the same time using drugs and alcohol was destroying me spiritually, physically, and mentally. I didn’t think I would ever be able to break the cycle.

During spring break my freshman year of college, I hit rock bottom. I was desperate to break the chains of active addiction, to never feel this way again. I started going to recovery meetings and with help from the sober community, I got sober on January 11, 2017, and have been ever since. About a year after being in recovery, I was able to transfer to my dream school, Michigan State.

I was really excited when I found out that the Collegiate Recovery Community was available for students like me at MSU. The college environment often revolves around partying, so I often felt like it was hard to connect with other students. The CRC gave me a place on campus where I could cry, laugh, and be surrounded by like-minded individuals who knew what it was like to be a student in recovery.

I was lucky enough to get a leadership role in the club, working as the CRC Ambassador and Student Leader.  This position has given me opportunities to help many other students in recovery, which has had a large impact on my own personal recovery. My hope is that by sharing my experiences with others, it creates a space where everyone can feel open to talking about their own experiences. Addicts helping other addicts is a powerful tool that has gotten me where I am today in my recovery. I believe that being vulnerable is an important part of the recovery process and it is essential to have a safe space to do so. I am grateful that the CRC has given us a space on campus to listen and learn from each other. As much as I try to help the newly sober students, they are helping me stay sober too.

I have experienced personal growth, meaningful relationships, and countless memories from being a part of the CRC these past 3 years. Recovery is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but it has been filled with many beautiful moments that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Before being in long-term recovery, I was never comfortable in my own skin. I am finally getting to a place where I am happy with where I am today. I’ve learned that recovery is not a linear experience, it’s more like a wave with many ups and downs. I have had times in my sobriety where I struggled with severe anxiety and depression, and I have also had long periods of time that I felt peaceful, happy, and content. As long as I keep going to recovery meetings, I know that I can get through whatever life throws my way, and I can get through it sober.

Since 2019, the Jamie Daniels Foundation has provided annual grant funding to Michigan State University’s Collegiate Recovery Community to ensure students in recovery have a safe and supportive community while they pursue their goals.