Profiles in Recovery

Christine Hamm

Hamm was only 29 years old when crystal meth ravaged her organs. “I was going through pancreatic failure,” Hamm recalls. “My naturopathic healer told me if I stayed on the path I was on, I had four years to live. I had the organ toxicity rate of a 75-year-old woman.”

Hamm white-knuckled her way to recovery with lots of professional help and the support of Narcotics Anonymous. She found the courage to quit using drugs and to leave an abusive ex-boyfriend who was a meth supplier.

Today, Hamm shares her journey to freedom as a Speaking Ambassador for the United Way in Alberta, Canada. “I have learned that my addiction does not define me,” she says. “Yes, it was a huge part of my life and shattered me into a million pieces, but that brokenness doesn’t make me who I am. I used that to build myself up (with God’s help) to become a strong, beautiful woman who has the tenacity of a warrior. I can make it through anything clean today!

Day Job:
Administrative Clerk with the City of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada

What I lost to addiction:
Everything.  My sanity, my soul, finances, self-esteem, 101 jobs, the trust of my family, my will to live.

At my worst, I was:
A homicidal and suicidal maniac.  I was an animal looking to kill and be killed.  I could not tell reality from my delusions.

What worked for me:
Prayer, my faith in my Higher Power (God), the NA fellowship, getting a sponsor, working the steps and therapy.  A lot of therapy lol

Advice to my younger self:
There is nothing that drinking and drugging will fix.  It won’t make you feel whole or accepted, it will not bring you peace . . . I know you feel unworthy – I’m here to tell you that you ARE OK, you are worthy and no party is going to fix your hurts.  Stick with the people who love you for who you are, right now in this moment.  Those are the people to treasure.  Try to love yourself, you are so worth all the great things in life!

Rules I live by:
Live by faith.  Live real and authentically.  Take care of myself first because no one is going to do that for me.

On my bucket list:
Hang gliding, cage diving with Great White sharks, traveling the world, moving to British Columbia, getting married, creating a healing ranch for abused dogs

What I value most in recovery:
How it gave me my life and my smile back!  I have peace today, I sleep easily and soundly and I have people that love me, not because of what I can do for them but because they see my spirit, my glow and my shine.  They see that I have a kind soul and a confidence I never had before.  I am now a home owner, published author, a government employee, a Speaking Ambassador for the United Way and most importantly I am solid in my faith.  Without that I would be still be a lost, broken, mere shell of a woman.

Proudest moment:
When I bought my first home two years ago and published my book last year (“Flying Free.”).

Having arrived in Edmonton with only 10 bucks, a mustard seed of faith and 41 days clean, I never thought in my life I would be where I am today.  That I could save up enough for a down payment or have the endurance to write a book and yet one of my greatest gifts is my ability to write and also my gift of public speaking.  I am also amazing with my finances.  I am very proud of me today and don’t mind saying so in the least.  It’s huge what I’ve accomplished.

If you’re a person in long-term recovery who wants to share your insights, please contact us at [email protected].