My name is Shylo and I am an addict. By the age of 14 years old I had already experienced being molested, and raped. I was using meth, smoking marijuana and drinking. I could go on and on about the things that I had experienced in my 19 years of addiction. What I will say is that it definitely became a way of life. A life, I never thought that I would escape from.
March 7th 2011 There I sat on a cold concrete bench behind bars in my blue county jail uniform. I knew that this was my last visit to county before heading up state to prison. This is what my life of addiction brought me to! At age 33 I had nothing to show for myself except a garage of material stuff that I had collected over the years, that probably didn’t belong to me in the first place! All 3 of my children lived with there fathers. The only thing I cared about was using and finding ways to get more. So there I sat, my life flashing before my eyes. The regrets, the pain, the sadness, the desperation for something different, the hopelessness and shame. Everyone has a rock bottom and this was mine.
I was arrested five times in three months all for possession of a controlled substance. It was like a revolving door until they set my bail at a half of a million dollars. Let me tell you, my God was doing for me what I could not do for myself. During my court hearings I was offered the drug court program and I was interviewed by this beautiful, intimating lady know as Nadine Steele. Although, I believe I had never met her before there was something so familiar about her. I was still afraid that I would fail. I was afraid that I would not be able to stay clean, but more than that I was afraid to go to prison. I prayed to God to guide me and put people in my life to help me do something different. So against everything I believed in I accepted the program. My life changing decision.Lets not forget, that when I accepted the program my only intention was to complete it and go back to my so called life. After all, whats 18 months out of jail in a treatment program compared to 8-18 years of prison?
Although I came into the the program head strong, self-willed, and ready to do anything to beat the system. Through the counseling of Nadine Steele this changed. Let me be honest, the only thing I did absolutely perfect was I never drank or used drugs. I made mistakes, but no matter what I went through she still loved. She taught me how to change my behaviors and get down to the source of the problem through group sessions. She helped me process the tragedies that I had been through that began when I was a child. She reunited me with family that I had distanced myself from in my addiction. She taught me real life skills. How to go out a get employment.and keep it. How to dress like a lady. What healthy relationships consisted of and how to set boundaries. She taught me how to build myself up and believe in my self worth. She has a gift and a passion for helping recovering addicts that is priceless!
January 18, 2013. 6 years ago I graduated from the Drug Court Program and March 7, 2019 I will have 8 years Clean and Sober. I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. I have all of my children in my life plus an extra set of twins, and a grandson. I am a productive member of society and have actually had the same job for 5 years. I have a loving husband that is sharing this journey with me. We are active in our recovery. I have a sponsor who has a sponsor. We are of loving service to our recovery and enjoy putting on all the recovery events for our area. We have goals and dreams that are possible! We have a house over our head that belongs to us. Most of all I have peace of mind and I am no longer haunted by the mistakes of my past. I am grateful for the opportunity to have had such an amazing person as my life coach, counselor, and friend. She believed I could, before I even knew how. Thank you Nadine Steele for giving me a second chance, loving me with patience and kindness. You are forever in my heart!
July 2011, little did I know that this was going to be when my life as I was living it was going to change forever. Strung out on Meth and a long trail of crime I was on the worst run of self destruction I had ever been on. Looking at what could have been 18 years in prison God saw fit to give me another chance. He sent me Nadine Steele. For being such a petite lady this woman is Mighty. She broke me down from all the toxic and destructive thinking and behaviors I’ve had since I was a child, to rebuilding me back up into a woman who can deal with and face any circumstance, emotional storm, crisis and relationship issue that comes my way. I NEVER have to turn to any drug, pill, or drink to numb me anymore. I was extremely hard inside, set in my ways, and I lied and manipulated every situation to my benefit. I have no idea what Nadine saw in me or HOW she did it but I’m FREE. Free from the bondages of childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence abuse, relationship heart aches, guilt and shame from the hurt and pain I caused my children and family, and FREE from drug addiction. I owe Nadine Steele my Life without her ……… I cry still every time I think what my life would be like without her. All you have to do is TRUST HER JUST A LITTLE and she will do the rest, she will love you until you learn to love yourself. I’m Lisa and I’m a grateful addict clean date 7/8/2011.
Nadine became my counselor in April 2010. When I entered into her care, my first thought was this was going to be easy all I have to do is follow directions and play by the rules! Boy was I wrong! I had a lot of work to do on myself that I didn’t think needed done! I didn’t like Nadine in the beginning because I thought she was mean to me! Yes I was still stuck in the poor me phase of my recovery!
Let me tell you a little about how I came in to recovery and where my mind set was, as I am sure some of you can relate! I came in to recovery scared, a manipulator, fake (I wore a mask with a smile like everything was okay), a people pleaser, and in denial about my addiction! I had secrets and pain I was going to let anyone know about! They were mine to keep and if no one knew about them I didn’t have to deal with them and they would still like me! I think the reason I was scared was because I knew she could see right through my mask and the smoke and mirrors I was portraying.
After fighting her tooth and nail, I began to open up! I began to tell her my scary stuff that I didn’t want anyone to know! Why did I do this, well I began to trust her with my life! I no longer wanted to be miserable on the inside! I wanted to be happy, and forgive my self! While in my addiction I hurt a lot of people, my family, strangers, and myself! My biggest fear was that if I opened up to her she wouldn’t like me anyone! On the contrary it was just the opposite then more I opened up the more love she showed me! I finally felt safe! I felt like I could walk through each and every hurt, pain and shame I was carrying and that she would still love me no matter what! I learned how to love myself, be authentic, have integrity, be the person I always wanted to be with her help and guidance! When I left her care I was a new person and I was happy again! Yes it was a lot of hard work and tears, but Nadine held my hand along the way! Did she push me and make me do things and talk about things I didn’t want to do! Yes she did and I am so grateful for every single part of it!
On April 24, 2019 I will have 9 years clean and sober! I thank God and Nadine for helping me become the woman I am today! I am the daughter, Mom, sister, sponsor to other woman, and the friend to others I never thought I could be! Not a sobriety birthday has past that I don’t thank her for what she has taught me! I know that no matter what if I reach out to her she will be there to help me and give me advice! I might not always like what she says to me, but I know that she speaks the truth and it comes from the heart! I seriously don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith and entrusted Nadine with my life and recovery! Although I would imagine it wouldn’t be good! I am and will be forever grateful for the hard work, and tears she made me walk through! Every single thing I had to do was so worth it, even though I didn’t think so at the time! On many occasions I wanted to throw in the towel, so grateful I didn’t!
Thank you Nadine for helping walk through the darkest of days and showing me the beautiful light at the end of the tunnel!
If you are reading this my guess is that you are needing help, please take that leap of faith! Trust Nadine with your walk through recovery. Accept the tough love, unconditional love and honesty she has to give, so that you can become the person you want to be!
My name is Teri and I am am addict and an alcoholic. My clean/sobriety date is 1-19-2009. I am a 55 year old woman who has not picked up a drug or a drink in over 9 years. I came to know Nadine Steele through the IROC program in March of 2009.
Nadine was my counselor in the IROC program. I had never been introduced to recovery before that time, and thought I was too old to start. I sat in our groups and listened to all the young women, wishing I had that opportunity when I was young. I soon realized, through the gentle counseling of Nadine, this was my opportunity, and Nadine taught me that my Higher Power brought me to this program and recovery when it was my time. Nadine taught me to love myself just the way I am. She taught me that through loving myself, I could finally give and receive love.
Over these past 9 years, I have been working in treatment for 5 years, I have gone back to school and will soon be certified by the state of California to be a counselor, if I so choose. I have lost both my parents and was with my dad when he took his last breath. I have also become a grandmother, one of the greatest gifts of recovery so far. Every time a significant life event happens, I still hear Nadine’s soft voice walking me through the pain as well as the joy.
I consider Nadine a true friend today. I believe she has worked miracles in so many women’s lives, there are too many to count. I believe she is doing what she is meant to do and I wish her all the success and happiness she deserves.
I met Nadine in March of 2008. I had just turned myself into jail and was awaiting the start of the Riverside County Drug Court program for which Nadine was the primary women’s’ counselor and a Behavioral Health Specialist. I had just pled guilty to 14 felonies and really had no intention of changing anything but new I was in deep. My adolescent life and into early adult hood had been characterized by heavy addiction and many failed outside attempts to change me. In the time immediately precipitating drug court I had become involved in a criminal lifestyle which in addition to my addiction had become addictive.
Within 5 minutes of meeting me Nadine did something no one else had ever done in my entire addiction/ behavioral health history. No one had ever called out that my father was my chief enabler or called me out for the years I had spent taking advantage of him. Within that first five-minute interview Nadine saw right through that dysfunctional dynamic and told me that if I was to get the opportunity to do drug court it would be initially entirely without my father. I would have to, for the very first time in my life, do things COMPLETELY on my own. This was pivotal to my growth. I believe with all my heart that my work with Nadine over the next almost three years had a profound effect on my deepest self which enabled me to have a complete change within my soul, mind and spirit.
Her dedication to facilitating the work she saw that I needed to do coupled with my willingness at that special time provided me a chance at a true spiritual awakening. I was reborn and had a second chance at life. I had never had anyone pull my covers so hard and expose my truth to me like she had. It was tough work, tough enough to change the course of my life forever.
Since 2012 I have worked in the field of commercial real estate. In 2014 I obtained my real estate license and have had all my felonies expunged.
I learned how to be a good daughter and now the tables have turned, and I am able to care for my father who is currently 91 years old.
My story of recovery does not get shared without mention of Nadine. She is a main part of my foundation and I will forever hold her in the dearest part of my heart.
My name is Sherri sobriety date is 4/4/2011 i was addicted to meth and heroin. I was arrested in Feb 2011 and thought for sure i was headed to prison again . It was a miracle i was accepted into the drug court program where i met my counselor Nadine. I figured “I’ll do this program to stay out of prison” but I really had no intention of staying clean and sober past the program. To my surprise Nadine taught me I didn’t need that stuff and that i could be a productive person in society. she taught me how to be independent, how to be a wife, a mother, a daughter that was actually there for her family. And soon now I’ll be a grandma who gets to be a part of my grand daughters life. Most important Nadine taught me how to stay clean and sober even when life gets tough. I’ve lost my son my mom, dad and brother and managed to stay clean because of the tools i learned from Nadine. Couldn’t have found a better counselor. I’m very blessed to have been in her program.
Walking into drug court 10 yrs ago was not a decision of mine, I had no idea how broken I was, or how addicted I was to drugs and alcohol. From my experience I realized today what I didn’t know then, and that was I needed tough love, when I met Ms. Nadine I never expected her to be the one to hold me accountable and to lead me to look at myself for who I really was, and that was a lost and lonely Lil girl deep down, she taught me what it was I did to seek unhealthy validation to what I had not gotten when I was a child, she taught me the difference between toxic and real love, I have never met a woman so passionate, caring and loving about her work, Ms. Nadine has a way to make one dig deep down inside there soul and look at what’s real, and what’s an illusion. Ms. Nadine gave me the tools I needed to make life’s choices, to be a productive member of society! I have the utmost respect for and up to this day I still look to her for guidance, thank you Ms. Nadine for all you done and continue to do and that’s love me till I was able to love myself.
I had the opportunity to spend two years with Nadine. That experience was the hardest, most rewarding time of my life. I hated myself and the disgusting life I had created. I was filled with false pride and grand stories of what a “tough chick” I thought I was. Nadine had her hands full with me, to say the least. I had built so many walls to cover my guilt and shame of poor decisions. I was a mess. Nadine broke down all those walls. She broke me. GOD knew what I needed, and who I needed in my life at that moment. It was her. She REALLY cares. She taught me what boundaries are and how to set them in my life. She taught me how to trust another woman and how to be a friend. I will FOREVER be grateful. She is an amazing woman. I would recommend any woman that is searching and ready for a healthy life-changing experience to contact her. You’re worth it! Remember ladies, you are wonderful and beautiful; Blessings to you all!
Your Sister in Recovery
In the Spring of 2018 I had reached out to Nadine in the hope of getting some resources and guidance for my kids. Little did I know the spiritual healing path she was going to take me on. She recognized that I was the one hurting and needing help and before I could bring healing into my home I needed to work on me first. Out of the kindness of her heart she took me under her wing and coached me into believing in myself again. I was so broken during this part of my life. I had just separated from my boyfriend of 6 years that I had just had my son with. I’m raising my daughter, son and his son on my own. I was completely overwhelmed. Nadine was very patient with me; she saw how scared I was to open up because of my past traumas I’ve had in my life. I didn’t realize how much my past was plaguing me and Nadine challenged me to dig up those roots that I’ve been avoiding since childhood. I was shocked! I shared moments in my life with her that I’ve held in for over 25 years. Secrets that I’ve never spoke of that were haunting me. It was through each session we built trust, a trust I never knew existed between client and counselor. I felt like I had a friend I could trust but always remained professional. She was always there for me, whenever I was experiencing a PTSD moment and needed to talk or text she found the time for me, she amazed me in so many ways!
Nadine empowers women to stand up for themselves and for what is right, she made me feel brave again. I am so thankful God sent her to me when he did. I don’t think I would have been able to get through that part of my life without her. She is gifted in so many ways. She has taught me tools to use while I’m having panic attacks, PTSD episodes, how to explore and be true to my authentic self, stand up for myself and so much more! I learned so much from her! My journey is still continuing and I’m forever grateful for her help and guidance. I will use her powerful teachings for the rest of my life and know I have gained a friend, coach and teacher out of our experience.