St. Louis, MO – December 2022 – Taylor is probably not the face you picture when you picture the face of opioid addiction.
“I had so much shame and guilt,” says Taylor, a former INSynergy patient. “I felt like I was a terrible person. It was really dark.”
Beginning in her senior year in high school, Taylor started down a path that led no place except misery as she became addicted to painkillers.
“I think a big part of why I really loved them is whenever I was feeling depressed or anxious or any kind of negative emotion, it felt like kind of an escape from the situation,” Taylor says.
But after ten years of opioid dependence, it was becoming clear that the handful of pills Taylor was taking every day were not killing her pain, they were causing it.
“I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I was thinking the only way out would just be to end it,” Taylor says. “To just kill myself, honestly, because I didn’t want to have to deal with that.”
Finally, at the urging of her fiancé, Taylor checked into a detox center. But that was just the beginning of her recovery journey. What Taylor needed following her detox was a program that treated her dependence issue like the disease it was.
That is when she found INSynergy, a St. Louis based drug and alcohol treatment program that specializes in innovative, personalized, medically-based solutions to addiction.
“She came in with a huge amount of family support, yet all this anxiety and fear and shame,” says Ashley Halker, INSynergy’s Director of Operations. “(She had) so much shame about who she thought she had become.”
The doctors at INSynergy treated Taylor with the anti-craving medication Vivitrol. And through genetic testing, they discovered that Taylor dependence was rooted in both depression and ADHD which they treated successfully with both medicine and talk therapy.
“Everyone at INSynergy was so supportive,” Taylor says. “Just having a place that was judgement free, and I felt like I could really talk about what was going on was huge.”
Now Taylor’s path has become a joyful journey through life. On May 28, 2022, her birthday and the anniversary of her sobriety (a day she calls her rebirth day), Taylor got married.
“Oh my god, it is so much better,” says Taylor.
“The wonderful thing about recover is that you haven’t lost all that addiction has taken from you for a period of time,” Halker says. “The growth potential is more than you’ll ever know and I think Taylor is seeing a lot of that at this point.”
“(She is doing) things that I don’t think that she thought she could do,” says Halker. “She is gaining that confidence in herself and in her relationships and the positive outcomes of her sobriety. And she is valuing sobriety because of it.”
Today Taylor celebrates her sobriety by sharing her story through social media, offering fellow travelers the following simple advice.
“There is hope. You can get better and it is okay. A lot of people deal with this. A lot more people than you may think,” Taylor says. “I’m confident it is behind me. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t have room to grow. It does get better. It gets a lot better.”