Carrie, 37, from Detroit, U.S.A., was literally on her deathbed seven months ago, suffering from severe heroin addiction. Two of her good friends realized that the only way that Carrie would survive would be if they intervened. One friend gave her money, and one friend flew with her from the other side of the world, to bring her to Thailand.
Before Carrie came to Thailand, she said she had no hope. However, before coming to the New Life Foundation, she needed to take a couple of steps on her path to recovery. Her first step was to physically detox at Wat Thamkrabok, a Sajja Buddhism monastery, near Bangkok. Heroin is very physically addictive, thus physical detox is imperative. According to Carrie, her 28 days in Wat Thamkrabok not only cleaned her body, but helped her get some clarity. “Before coming to Thailand I didn’t care if I lived or died” says Carrie. “I mostly used heroin, but any mind-altering substance helped me to escape reality.”
Thankfully, the monastery gave her hope. However, after 28 days of detox, she knew that going back to Detroit was not a good idea. As she was interested in the monastic lifestyle, she ordained for four months as a nun. Being a nun helped Carrie with focus, her spiritual journey, and structuring her life.
Carrie has been in and out of A.A.and N.A. for fifteen years, but mostly out. Carrie says, “it was the desperation that brought me in. When going through the doors of either A.A. or N.A., I desperately wanted to be clean.” But Carrie never stayed clean and sober for very long, with six months being her longest period of sobriety. She emphatically states that without the intervention of her friends, she would not have had the motivation to come to Thailand.
After disrobing as a nun, Carrie began to waver because she didn’t have a program to continue with. According to Carrie, “being a Buddhist nun wasn’t enough to help me stay clean.” At Wat Thamkrabok she learned about the New Life Foundation, and was asked to escort a recovering alcoholic to the Foundation, thus deciding to join.
When Carrie arrived at New Life, she was struggling. She realized that she wasn’t spiritually fit. Carrie found that joining the Resident Program gave her the structure she needed. It also gave her an opportunity to teach Yoga, her passion. The different takes on recovery and mindfulness, coupled with the 12-steps of N.A. helped Carrie to stay on track with her recovery.
Carrie says, “Wat Thamkrabok got me clean, but it wasn’t enough to keep me clean. Addiction recovery is a never-ending process. We’ll always be addicts, but today I know that I have a choice. I believe that we have the ability to transform our suffering in order to help others.”
Julie, New Life Resident