Profiles in Recovery

Diana Dubbs

Dubbs is passionate about her work in Pennsylvania, where she helps people rebuild their lives after addiction. It’s a familiar journey for Dubbs, whose own battle with opioids led to a harrowing descent. Her health ravaged by drugs, she was sought by police and lost jobs and homes and her sense of self-worth.

“I covered all the mirrors in my apartment because I hated the person looking back at me,” Dubbs recalls of her active addiction.

She found a path to sobriety through intensive inpatient treatment and immersion in a 12-step recovery program. “Today, I find purpose in leading a healthy and sober life,” Dubbs says. “I have people who trust me and count on me. I have to remain accountable in all aspects of my life, whether I am working my program or just being human.”

Day Job:
Clinical Outreach Specialist

What I lost to addiction:
I could not support myself and my habit, so I began to live a life that required the bare minimum for survival. I lost my friends and family, I lost jobs, homes, personal items, my self-esteem and most of all, my dignity.

At my worst:
My skin had turned gray from the lack of nutrients I was putting in my body, and I began losing my hair. I stole money and trust from my friends, I stole precious family heirlooms, and I stole from any job that I was able to keep . . .

I was in a terribly abusive relationship, which I now realize was not really a relationship, but two people feeding each other’s addictions . . .”

What worked for me:
My family gave me an ultimatum and told me if I did not get help, I would no longer be apart of the family. I agreed to go to detox and completed 32 days of inpatient treatment at Caron Foundation.

At Caron, I was exposed to education about the disease of addiction, and it finally clicked . . . I learned that I drank and used drugs to feel more comfortable with myself and the people around me. I learned that I was not the only person that felt this way, and that there was a better way of living.

I changed my surroundings and moved back to my hometown where I had minimal relationships. I started over and immersed myself in a 12 Step AA program. . . Today, I still have a sponsor and I rely on my sober network of women to help me during my worst moments.

Advice to my younger self:
You aren’t alone. Speak up and tell someone how you are feeling. Other people identify with you and don’t have to do anything on your own.

Rules I live by:
Be honest. Just be honest. Everything will be OK if I am honest and do not pick up.

Best advice for newbies:
Everything takes time. You didn’t get into recovery by using one time, you won’t get clean and sober in one day. Trust the process and keep coming no matter how hard it gets!

What I value most in recovery:
My family. My supportive parents and brother, my husband and my two beautiful baby boys. I would not have them if I were not sober!

Proudest moment:
Today, I am blessed to work in recovery. I have helped many young women and men get the help that they have needed. But my proudest moment is having my boys. To be able to put my body through labor and not wanted to use. To deal with the hormonal and physical changes and not stress myself out. Those are my proudest moments!

What saves me from myself:
My sponsor, AA Meetings, God and my network of sober people. I cannot stay stuck on the things I do wrong . . . When I have no answers and no control, I drop to my knees and pray. I trust that God puts things and people in my life to teach me lessons, whether I can immediately recognize them or not.

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