Thriving in Recovery: A Testimony by Jesse Bennett

I came through the doors of Healing Transitions on January 9, 2012. I was a 33-year-old high school dropout, and I had spent the better part of my adult life incarcerated as a direct result of my addiction. I started out smoking pot and drinking in high school and then eventually graduated to harder drugs. Eventually I started using meth and then finally heroin. I couldn’t figure out how to stop sticking needles in my arm; I wanted to stop but I didn’t have the capacity or knowledge to understand how to stay stopped. I experienced an overdose in the middle of downtown Wilmington and woke up in ICU. While I didn’t get into recovery immediately, I was afforded the opportunity to stay alive long enough to get into recovery when I was ready.

When I entered Healing Transitions, my family had long given up on me and I didn’t have a single dollar in my pocket. A backpack full of clothes and the clothes on my back were my sole possessions. Initially, I said I was only staying long enough to figure out another ‘master plan’. After about 90 days, I started to develop new habits and new friends. These new friends were concerned with my well-being and how I was feeling and not just where we were getting our next fix. I knew then that this was something different. I stayed at Healing Transitions for about 15 months and I learned how to communicate with others as well as how to build lasting and meaningful relationships. I established myself in 12-step recovery meetings and continued to work with others when I left.

Today my life looks a lot different than it did when I arrived at Healing Transitions. As a result of getting, staying and thriving in recovery, I was able to return back to school and I graduated from Wake Tech with an associate degree. I then transferred to North Carolina State University where I am now working towards a bachelor’s degree in social work and then plan to continue toward a master’s in social work. I am the President of Collegiate Recovery at NC State and a volunteer for the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition. I am also married and I have a 1-year-old son. My family is back in my life and even family members that said they would never talk to me again text or call me on a regular basis. I am now employed at Healing Transitions as a Transitional Case Manager. I am grateful to be able to give back and help at a place that not only helped save my life but also helps to enrich my new life and the lives of those around me.