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Photo of Lori

Lori's story

“Recovery allows you to heal from a lot of things.”

Lori has been living in recovery from drugs and alcohol since February 15, 1997.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Lori’s story begins around age 13 when she started drinking and smoking. While she had strong family around her including her grandparents and mother, her father was often absent. She was hurt and distraught to learn he was a, “gambler, hustler and a pimp.” It wasn’t until much later she was able to understand how his behavior hurt her as a child and fueled her drug and alcohol use.

Throughout college she continued drinking and drugging, eventually Lori entered the military. She lived abroad was able to maintain her work and her substance use. No one could ever tell that she was drunk or high, and she excelled in her military career until she tested positive on a random urinalysis and was demoted. She left the military and returned home to Indianapolis.

She had her daughter at 30 and was able to stop while pregnant, but soon after giving birth she was back to drinking and using. She was managing her corporate career and raising her daughter. Despite her use, Lori was never arrested, never lost her job and was never publicly questioned about her use. This made her think she couldn’t have an addiction. She said no one was suspicious. “As long as it looks good, it was good.”

However, on the inside, she knew something was wrong. She wanted to stop using but couldn’t, but she was losing hope and questioning her mental health.

Lori checked herself into a facility for mental health issues, and the professionals there helped her recognize and identify her substance use disorder. She quickly discovered that full in-patient rehab was not the treatment for her for her, but she took to 12-step programs very well. The understanding and guidance of counselors and peers helped her understand the magnitude of this disease. For the first time in years, Lori finally felt the hope that recovery had to offer.

As her recovery journey began, she faced many challenges, like her mother’s death and reconciling with her past and her relationship with her late father. But as Lori says, “recovery allows you to heal from a lot of things.” Now, more than two decades into her recovery, Lori has raised a loving adult daughter, and now works as a recovery coach and counselor.

She knows the importance of giving back, the value of community, the pervasiveness of addiction, and the gratitude that comes with it all. Lori shares her story because she knows the joy of recovery.

Stories of Recovery

Meet the Artist: Cierra Johnson

Cierra's photo

Born and raised in Indianapolis, and a proud Eastside resident, Cierra Johnson’s art focuses on identity and the ethereal nature of human existence. A mixed media artist and designer, she is a member of the Visual Arts Center Committee at Arts for Lawrence. She believes art allows people to see themselves and others in a new light, “I am inspired by my community. I try to make work that encourages and reflects the communities that I am a part of. Life can always get better.” While working with Know the Facts, Cierra was deeply moved by Lori’s story, “She’s a really captivating personality. She’s bold and fun. She radiates joy.”