We Love Recovery

February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day. During this month, family and friends find many ways to express their love for one another; love can be shown through acts of kindness, words of affirmation, gift-giving, and physical touch.

Of course, Rage Against Addiction loves recovery, not just around Valentine’s Day, but every day. We love to celebrate those who are on a healthier and happier path; we know it can be very tough to maintain recovery, especially in a pandemic, and we want to encourage those who are new to this road to keep going and to keep reaching out for help. We also love to highlight recovery stories as a way to remind others who are currently struggling that there is hope and love out there, and that recovery is possible.

Meredith Morris is a former resident and House Manager at Daughter’s House, the first sober living house created by Rage Against Addiction. (Daughter’s House is also the name of our program that is designed to assist women with the transition from substance abuse treatment to recovery.) Her road to recovery was long and difficult, but it’s also inspiring.

The progression of her addiction started our slow. She took her first drink in 2007 right after graduating high school. “In my college years, my drinking and smoking weed picked up quite a bit. Partying on the weekends became an everyday occurrence. I loved going out and being the life of the party. Every day there was a reason to do it…I was addicted to the lifestyle just as much as the substances.”

As this lifestyle continued, so did her challenges. In 2012, her brother Brian passed away from an overdose. Meredith tried to stop her destructive path, but she was unable to do so. “Trying to remain clean and sober without any help and off sheer willpower did not last long. When I picked up again, my using progressed,” she said of this time. However, when she discovered she was pregnant, she remained sober throughout that time and while she nursed her son.

She fell back into the familiar routine of going out and drinking when her son was finished breastfeeding. This led her to experimenting with other substances, which in turn, caused more problems. “I would come home late at night drunk, and be a hung over mother during the day; really only half present, going through the motions,” she said. She was in and out of toxic relationships, which only fueled her addiction. She got a DUI in 2015 and though she said she is “grateful” for it, she did not stop her dangerous partying habits. The relationship with her family was tense; her parents warned her at an early age that addiction ran in the family and they tried to talk about it with her as her addiction increased. She did not associate much with her sister – who maintained a healthy lifestyle while she struggled – and she watched both of her brothers battle the same problems she had, though she believed that she “could handle it better” since she was using different substances than they did. She could not keep a job for more than a month due to poor attendance and performance. She was homeless, carless, jobless, and friendless. She was often physically ill, spiritually bankrupt, and just “despised” the person she had become.

 

It was during these random bouts of reflection, remorse, shame, depression, and guilt that Meredith realized she needed help. In the fall of 2018, she tried to stay clean on her own but only made it one day so she called her father to admit that she needed to go to rehab. She began an Intensive Outpatient Treatment program at the Harford County Health Department until a bed in a treatment center was available for her.

She discovered Daughter’s House during this time and was adamant she try it out. “I believe my Higher Power planted that seed for me,” she said. But she was unsure of what to expect of herself and of others when she arrived in the fall of 2018: “could I stay clean in the town I partied in?” she often wondered. The women in the house immediately began teaching her how to live a better life. She quickly formed a network of support that was filled with like-minded people who just wanted to get better. She completed her Intensive Outpatient treatment plan at the Harford County Health Department, attended 90 support meetings in 90 days, participated in recovery events, found a sponsor, secured a job, and began working on the much needed steps to maintain sobriety. It wasn’t easy and she really missed her son, but she knew she “needed to become a better me so that I could be a better mother for him.”

Meredith noticed that with all the hard work and dedication, her life began to change. She was eventually asked to become the manager for Daughter’s House, though she doubted herself at first. However, she soon led the way for incoming residents who were at the very beginning stages of recovery and she was also able to hold a job as a deli counter clerk. She learned a lot about herself while at Daughter’s House and realized that she could not succeed at recovery alone. “When I started to take the suggestions, I began to do the next right thing. I began to live with spiritual principles in mind. Early in my recovery, I lost my brother Christopher to this disease, and the women showed up for me and loved me through it,” she said. “I never knew how to live life on life’s terms before. Instead of using, with the help of women in recovery, I dug even deeper into my step work and recovery. I’m forever grateful to have met the women associated with Rage Against Addiction and Daughter’s House.”

The next phase of recovery was becoming more independent and continuing to move forward. She left Daughter’s House in June of 2020 and now works at Ashley Addiction Treatment as a Clinical Aide. She recently became a certified Recovery Coach and has re-enrolled at Towson University. She prides herself on being a “fully present mother, daughter, sister, and friend.” She recognizes that recovery has given her a full life with many blessings. “I feel my life has purpose. It’s amazing to be clean, sober, and happy.”

Recovery is a long road but one that is possible. It takes a lot of work, gratitude, and self-reflection. It cannot be done alone. If you are in recovery, it’s important to show love to those who are walking with you on this journey, but it’s more important to show yourself love and remember that you’re worth it.

Upcoming Events

2021 Virtual Recovery Run / Memory Walk

When:

April 1 through April 30, 2021

Where: 

Your neighborhood

Join us, in partnership with Charm City Run in Bel Air, MD as we see how far we can go for addiction. Raise money, collect sponsors, and share your progress and personal stories on our social media pages.

Registration information will be available soon!

The Emily Evans Concert for Hope

When:

May 15, 2021

Where: 

The Main Street Tower

29 South Main Street - Bel Air, MD 21014

Promote hope, enjoy live music, and support two causes. Proceeds for this concert will benefit Rage Against Addiction and the Klein Family Harford Crisis Center in Bel Air, MD.

Stay tuned for ticket purchase information.

Get Involved

  • Create a Facebook fundraiser for us on or around your birthday 

  • Host a fundraiser for us if you have your own business or ask your employer to do so

  • Use Amazon Smile when shopping online

  • Share your story in one of our newsletters

  • Share our information on your social media accounts

  • Participate in our virtual and in-person events

  • Purchase items from our Wish List

Community Resources

​*Please be aware that some policies, locations, programs, and contact information have changed due to COVID-19 protocols.*

Addiction Connections Resource: A non-profit organization that assists with providing resources and support for addiction treatment and that educates the community about substance abuse disorder. Located in Fallston, MD. Please visit here or call 443-417-7810 for more information. 

Ashley Addiction Treatment: An inpatient treatment center that personalizes clinical programs based on individual need. Located in Havre De Grace, MD. Please visit here or call 800-799-4673 for information about online and in-person meeting services.

Celebrate Recovery: A local support group for those with addictive behaviors. Located in Bel Air, MD and Joppa, MD. 

  • Mt. Zion Church in Bel Air, MD: Contact lheitmuller@zoominternet.net or visit here for more information about meetings.

  • Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, MD: Please register here to join. *Please check out the updated information regarding meeting details.*

GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing): A local support group for those who have lost someone to addiction. 

  • 7:00pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. *Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.*

  • Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church - 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

  • Contact lisa.craig4@verizon.net for more information.

  • The private national Facebook group is available. Please visit here to ask to join.

The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center: A clinic that provides immediate care for mental health and addiction. Located in Bel Air, MD. Please visit here or call 410-874-0711 for information about online and in-person meeting services.

Loving An Addict: A local support group for family and friends of those in active addiction.  

  • 7:00pm every Saturday. *Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.*

  • Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church - 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

  • Contact lisa.craig4@verizon.net for more information.

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We serve locally but think globally. For counseling, or for addiction, substance abuse disorder, or mental illness treatment, please contact your area’s health department, county government, hospital, or law enforcement agency.

Rage Against Addiction Programs

Daughter's House: Designed to assist women who are transitioning from substance abuse treatment to recovery; includes two sober living houses (Daughter's House and Sister House) located in the suburbs of Harford County, MD. Click here to visit the Facebook page.

 

HALO (How to Live Without Our Addicted Loved One): An online grief support group specifically for those that lost loved ones to substance abuse. Click here to ask to join the private Facebook page. *Please read and answer the membership questions prior to joining.

RAA ABC (After Baby Care): Provides newborn-care items to mothers in recovery. Please send monetary donations to:

Rage Against Addiction (Rage ABC)

P.O. Box 1

Forest Hill, MD 21050

 

Rage Club: Designed for children (8 to 15 years old) who are impacted by substance abuse disorder. This group meets several times a year; meetings include counselor-led discussions and fun activities. Click here for more information.

Rage Against Addiction Team Members

Wendy Beck Messner

Founder and Executive Director

 

Amanda Buddenbohn

RAA'S ABC (After Baby Care) Coordinator

 

Tara Kuzma

Chairman of the Board of Directors

 

Rachel Bongiorno

Recovery Coach and Daughter’s House Program Director

 

Mia Ellis

Newsletter Writer and Administrator

Sarah Hoover

Rage Club Event Coordinator and Volunteer

Michael Nesline

Rage Club Mascot

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Rage Against Addiction

501c(3) Non-Profit Organization

P.O. Box 1

Forest Hill, MD 21050

Wendy@RageAgainstAddiction.com

Copyright © 2019 Rage Against Addiction. All Rights Reserved