Detroit Lakes woman shares the story of her road to recovery from addiction

FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – A Detroit Lakes woman, who was once one of the Valley’s Most Wanted, is celebrating her one year anniversary of sobriety from heroin and meth.

Now, she’s telling her story to let others struggling with addiction know they’re not alone.

“I hated my life before. It was just so hard to get out of it,” says Heather Heisler.

Heisler was addicted to to meth and heroin for 10 years.

She had gone to treatment over 15 times and had gone to jail several times.

Today, she says recovery is doable, but the beginning is the hardest part.

“You feel hopeless,” Heisler says.

She says one year of sobriety never seemed possible while she was using because of her track record.

“Everyone says, ‘If I can do it, you can do it’. But that’s true. I was homeless. I was staying at hotels that were not the Radisson Blue. I was really lost,” says Heisler.

“You’re fighting for your life, basically, when you’re fighting a substance use disorder. It’s so worth it. If people are willing to put the work in, there can be very good outcomes,” says Soul Solutions Recovery Center’s Patti Senn.

Looking back, she wishes she could tell herself it’s okay to not fit in.

“That’s how it started for me. Everyone was doing it. I didn’t really like the way it made me feel, but it was something to do. Then, before I knew it, I was addicted,” says the mother of two.

Last year while in jail, Heisler found out she was pregnant.

With everything going on in her life at the time, she says it seemed like it was the worst thing that could’ve happened to her.

“She (Heisler’s baby) is wonderful. Everything worked out. Everything does work out. It might seem like it’s the worst thing in the world, but everything works out how it’s supposed to. I’m realizing that now,” says Heisler.

Her baby girl is happy and healthy.

But Heisler says she feels as if she’s 10 years behind everyone else because of her addiction.

However, being one year clean, she’s laid the foundation to live how she never thought her could while being a mother and an active part of her family.

“I thought, after a year of sobriety, I’d be over there and not here. But everyone progresses differently. This is where I need to be right now,” she says.

“You can have a life you’ve never imagined in recovery. It’s truly incredible to watch someone go from active addiction to finding a life in recovery. It’s possible for everyone out there,” says Senn.

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