Melissa’s Story

My name is Melissa Figueroa.  I came to Recovery Point Charleston on April 10, 2020, after being incarcerated for three months.  Before addiction, my life was unmanageable with my parents who were in active addiction.  My siblings and I lived with our grandparents for a while, but eventually, my mom did get clean.

When I was sixteen, I started working and going to school.  During this time I experimented with marijuana and alcohol.  Drinking and smoking became more frequent but had not yet affected my school or employment.  This went on for several years in New Jersey, which is where I was born and raised.  I moved to West Virginia when I was eighteen years old and ended up pregnant with my first child.  I dropped out of high school my senior year and gained employment to provide for my son as a single mother.  I ended up getting my CNA license and threw myself into working as a CNA.  Three years later, I gave birth to my daughter and started having major back problems. I was prescribed pain pills and became dependent on them.  I relied on them heavily to be able to work and provide for my children.  My pain pill addiction lasted for several years until doctors were no longer prescribing them as easily.  Once that happened, I turned to heroin.  I used heroin for several years on top of working and selling to support my habit.

Eventually, my addiction led me to some serious charges.  I was indicted but missed my court date which landed me in jail.  Consequently, I lost my job, my car, and almost my rights to my children.  Instead of this experience being a wake-up call, I gave up and stopped caring.  I was released on probation and did well for almost a year but slowly slipped back into my old lifestyle.  I saw it happening but could not bring myself to be truthful about it. I was ashamed, depressed, and embarrassed because I let my life become unmanageable again.

I ended up being arrested again, which was a relief.  I had become so tired at that point but did not know how to help myself.  My probation officer asked about going to a rehabilitation center, and I said yes.  I had never been to rehab before, but I was willing to try anything.

I came to Recovery Point Charleston on April 10, 2020, which was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but also one of the best.  My expected completion date is March 20, 2021.  I am nervous, but extremely excited to start a new phase in my life.  When I complete here, I intend to find a career in recovery, get my place and vehicle, and gradually get my children back full-time.  My kids keep me going.  I wake up happy and so proud of myself today and it feels good.  My family gives me the drive to keep going and this time I truly want my recovery