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!
Expression of Gratitude:
I entered sobriety broken, pregnant and rather helpless. My plan was to stay in treatment, get cleaned up and go back to my old way of life. As I got deeper into my recovery, I realized that there was a better way of life. I met a wonderful, caring, beautiful Counselor named Nadine Steele, who guided me toward a better way of thinking. She made sure me, my teenaged daughter and newborn baby were OK and had everything we needed. She taught me how to forgive myself and move forward in life. She truly cared about me, more than I cared about myself, at the time. She created a safe environment to open up to talk about my struggles with my drinking and using drugs and to look at solutions that I would, to the best of my ability, utilize for long-term sobriety. I now have 16 years in sobriety. I have a beautiful life and I am touching lives, just as Nadine touched my life, all those years ago. I am forever grateful to this woman and I live each day with an attitude of Gratitude!!!
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.
There is not enough that I can say about Nadine….
I started counseling with Nadine in December of 2012. She was my counselor for a year and a half.
When I got to Nadine, I was 38 and heavily addicted to meth. Committing crime after crime, I had a broken relationship with my 18-year-old daughter and I wasn’t a good parent to my 14 year old son. The rest of my family didn’t want anything to do with me, I was in a toxic relationship with a man, and my life was broken in every way imaginable.
Nadine, from day one, welcomed me with open arms and never passed judgement on me. She taught me how to dig deep, into my very core, to find out why I kept going back to using drugs. She helped me realize that using was only a symptom of my much deeper issues.
Nadine treated me with dignity and respect, while teaching me how to do the same for myself. She made sure I respected her boundaries while teaching me how to set healthy boundaries as well.
Today I have a great relationship with my daughter, I became a mother to my son, and I have learned that I do not need a man in my life to make me happy. I have found my own happiness.
Even until this day, if I have struggles in life, I know I can always call on Nadine for guidance, but more importantly, Nadine gave me the tools to get through life struggles on my own and without using drugs.
I am employable and trustworthy. I started a serving position at a restaurant towards the end of my counseling with Nadine and today I am a manager of that restaurant.
My son is now 21 and my daughter is 24. I have a beautiful life today.
Thank you Nadine.
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!
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
I recently celebrated 4 years of recovery and can honestly say that if I hadn’t received the counseling I got my first 18 months of my recovery I would not be writing this. I got to experience life changing counseling with Ms. Steele and her services through the IROC program. When i came into the program December 2014, I was lost and very broken. I had lost everything that meant anything to me. I suffered from drug addiction and was going through a grief process. It wasn’t until I got honest with myself and others that I began to recover. I remember Ms. Steele telling me through one of the sessions that it’s that one thing that you don’t get honest about that will take you back out and that is was when I realized I wanted to stay clean and sober and stop hurting my loved ones by my selfish actions! I was able to move on with my mourning the loss of a loved one. I had counseling before IROC program and had released the balloons twice into the sky and still no healing until this one session Ms. Steele had and I got to the root of my grieving process. I was able from there on out to be able to talk about my loved one and not break down crying. I was able to move on. I thank my God for putting the IROC program into my life and that I got the opportunity to be under the counseling of Ms. Steele.
My experience with addiction started a long time ago. 37 years of my life was wasted to drug addiction. I tried several times to get clean, but the drugs always called me back. Finally, at age 52 – I simply got tired of all the work it took to keep up the addiction and to stay out of jail. I got tired of seeing the hurt in my kid’s eyes and missing special occasions.
When I was sitting in jail for the last time, the court offered me a choice – either spend 2 years in prison or complete a program for drug rehab. I chose IROC drug court which is where I met Nadine. She assisted me with my family issues and now I have the best relationships with my family. Today, 7 years clean and sober at 59 years old – I am happy to report that drugs could never take me away from all the happiness I enjoy. I believe in a God that provides for all my needs just for the asking. I follow a 12-step program that keeps me connected to my sobriety. I am currently in my internship program to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor. Anything is possible now!!
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.
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.
At my family counseling sessions with Nadine, she was very professional and helpful. She new all the right question to ask and really made a difference in my life. I have eight years now clean and sober; and I have a great relationship with my children and Nadine was a big help in the process. I don’t know where I would be without her professional help.