Meet Joni Jobeths, 27 years old, a mother of three children who is now in recovery. She tells us how she has greatly benefited from participating in the MOMMIES Pregnant and Postpartum Intervention Program. Joni says she is sharing her story, “not because there is a lot of good in my past, but as a way to help others who can learn from my struggles.”
She came to the MOMMIES Program 8 months ago when she was 18 weeks pregnant and with a heavy heart. She had been feeling scared, guilty, shameful and worried to say the least. She has a history of depression and began self-medicating at an early age, including using opiates. Her battle with addiction to opiates goes back for 10 years.
“Before finding about Santa Maria, I contacted many other different places and nobody would take me because I was pregnant… it was very discouraging but I was determined to get help and get clean,” says Joni.
Joni was linked to a medication assisted treatment (MAT) provider and referred to Santa Maria for concurrent residential treatment, where she successfully completed 120 days of residential services. “Without Santa Maria, the PPI Program, and without this amazing group of people, I could not have been able to accomplish what I have done. I’ve gone to other detox programs in the past but they didn’t work for me” she continued.
Joni’s problems with addiction were lodged deep inside her. The traumas left from her depression, self-mutilation and being bullied at school needed to be addressed. “I didn’t really understand those traumas until I came to Santa Maria. Here, with the help of my counselors, coaches, peers and my sponsor, I was able to take the time to reflect about my self and learn everything I know today…. I learned so much about myself, about my addiction. I learned the coping mechanisms; I learned to recognize my triggers and what to do about them. Now I have the knowledge, the tools and I have a team of people that support me, motivate me and inspire me… It means the world to know that I count on them for anything and everything” she beamed.
While feeding her baby, Joni continues, “Thanks to the MOMMIES Program from Santa Maria, I was blessed to have my daughter born in perfect condition, she was full term, she weighted almost 8 pounds. She is 8 weeks old now and is a happy and healthy baby. I’m trying my hardest, I still attend outpatient meetings, I’m working on my 12 steps and on my recovery every single day. It’s not easy but I’m doing the best I can, just taking it one day at a time.”
Joni knows she is one of the lucky ones to have overcome her struggles. Just in the past four months, seven of her friends back home have passed away from overdose. “It is shocking and sad” she mumbles and continues to explain, “So, I want others to know that change is possible. I hope others realize with my story that addiction is a disease, it’s not a choice and with the support of programs like this one, we are able to educate and advocate for recovery. Often people don’t want to get help because they are afraid of what others will think about their addiction.”
Joni’s heart is filled with hope now… She is about to complete her GED and is confident she will continue her education at a community college in the fall. “I want to go to school, I know that will open a door to a big start. I want to make my family proud… Now just telling my story I look back and I realized how far I’ve come, and this actually makes me feel proud of myself, and this is a good feeling!” she exclaimed.