Local News: Stories of Recovery Speaker’s Series
As Chalonda Coleman, MSW, LCSW LCAS-A, the final speaker at Monarch’s Tanglewood Arbor Stories of Recovery Speaker’s Series, began talking about her former addiction to drugs, heads across the room began nodding in agreement. When she emphasized the unhealthy cycle her addiction created there were murmurs of agreement. But it wasn’t until she spoke about her struggle to get clean and live in recovery, that tears started falling.
“The one thing about addiction is that when you start using, that’s when you stop growing as a person,” she told those currently in Monarch’s 10-day detox program in Lumberton.
Coleman finally decided to check herself into a rehabilitation program and begin a new journey. Through that decision she was able to complete her GED, and then went on to take classes to get her bachelor’s degree and finally her Master’s Degree in Social Work where she now helps other people with addiction like she once struggled with.
She told those in Lumberton that everyone’s journey in recovery is different, but you have to set goals and be willing to learn.
“We all have underlying issues as to why we do things. When we hide them, they keep us sick. There are different roads to recovery. Find the thing that speaks to you,” she stressed.
Richale Reed, MA, LPC, LCAS-A, behavioral health therapist at Monarch’s Tanglewood Arbor, started the series in January with the hope that those in the program could find hope and connect with others like Coleman on their own recovery journey.
“The people we support get an opportunity to identify and connect, be encouraged and inspired, and most of all, envision themselves sharing their story of recovery someday,” Reed said.
Reed also knew that the first time she met Coleman she wanted her to conclude Tanglewood Arbor’s series.
“I saw a young woman who had grown from her past, was now helping others, and was doing so in a transparent way and that is nothing short of a gift,” Reed said. “She shared her story of recovery; the trauma, convictions and challenges in a real way, she inspired them not only to recover but to both value and enjoy the second chance at life that they’ve been given.”