My Recovery Story – Shannon Lathrop

I was born to a wonderful family. Both my parents served in the Army and I grew up with three siblings. We moved around quite a bit but I was very outgoing and enjoyed it.
Addiction is something that definitely runs in my family. My father was an alcoholic but he got sober before he married my mother and I have never seen him drink a drop of alcohol. My father’s father was also an alcoholic. He passed away before I was born, but got sober late in life. My dad’s brother, my uncle, was a heroin addict and died of an overdose.
When I first started experimenting with drugs and alcohol, I was eleven or twelve years old. During middle school and high school, I experimented with a few harder drugs, but mostly drank and smoked weed. Throughout childhood I played soccer. I was talented and that kept my partying at bay, to an extent. In high school, I drank heavily and I tried every party drug that was offered to me but I managed to still have good grades, get a scholarship for soccer, and graduate high school.
When I went to college, I played soccer at The University of Alabama. We were drug tested often and since I loved playing soccer, that put a halt to my drug use. I later realized that soccer was my higher power during this time.
After college I started working. I partied hard when I could but always kept a job and stayed healthy. When I was 25, I fell in love with a man who partied hard and had two children from a previous marriage. We’d party when we didn’t have the kids and when we had the kids we were the perfect little family. At 26 we got married and my life was wonderful. I was active with the kids and my own family. At 27 we went through a custody battle I had no control over or say in. We lost custody of the kids and my life took a turn for the worse. I couldn’t find a meaning in everyday life or staying healthy. I later realized that I was using my family as a higher power. My husband was using drugs or drinking alcohol every day and so was I. We soon found both of ourselves unemployed. I habitually used drugs and overdosed on several different occasions. My family had an intervention but I still kept using. Three months after that intervention, after one last overdose, I decided it was time to ask for help.
I called Bradford Health Services expecting to be able to do outpatient, or as I thought “take some classes.” Instead I was sent to inpatient in Warrior, AL where I did the extended care program for three full months. I started therapy for trauma and grief while I was there and continued that after my stay. After that I spent six months at a halfway house for women and went through the process of divorce in order to stay healthy. I am proud to say that I have now been sober and clean for two years! I still go to therapy monthly and see a psychiatrist. These health professionals combined with my 12-step program are what keep me thriving today. My family has been so supportive throughout everything and I actually enjoy living these days.
Thank you for letting me share my journey with you in hopes of encouraging someone reading this that sobriety is possible. People do recover! There is HOPE!

Join The Coalition. Make A Difference.

Take the first step! 

Join the thousands of members across the community helping to prevent and end substance use disorder.
Partner with us by signing up. We’ll send you the latest tools and information to advocate for sobriety in Birmingham.