“My name is Jenny Pierson. After 14 years of active addiction, I got sober at Longbranch.”

Meet Jenny Pearson. From the outside, she seemed to have it all together— she was a thriving stay-at-home mother with a happy family, and a picture-perfect life. But behind closed doors, Jenny was battling a hidden and escalating addiction. Her story is a powerful reminder that addiction can affect anyone, regardless of their background or outward appearance.

A Hidden Struggle with Alcohol and Prescription Opioids

Jenny’s addiction began in her teens with alcohol, but it was in her thirties that it truly took hold.

“I got exposed to opioids through getting sick a lot,” Jenny remembers. “I got bronchitis several times when I was pregnant with my second child and my doctor kept putting me on this opioid cough syrup, and the one thing I remembered about that was that it made me feel nothing.”

That feeling of nothingness became her escape. “It made me feel numb, and I liked that,” she recalls. Despite her outward success, Jenny’s addiction grew. “I had this really traditional, very Hallmark-y type upbringing. I didn’t have big trauma and I thought that was something that always coincided with addiction. It turns out that’s not the case.”

Visit the Longbranch Recovery YouTube channel to hear Jenny’s full recovery story

Leading a Double Life in Active Addiction

Jenny was the epitome of a high-functioning addict. She managed to maintain a façade of normalcy—earning a master’s degree, caring for her children, and keeping a well-run household. Yet, her secret life revolved around obtaining drugs. “I was super functional… everything looked really good. But the way I felt on the inside did not match what was going on on the outside.”

Jenny’s story is particularly powerful because it defies the stereotypical image of an addict. “I didn’t look the part, right? I looked like a mom with, you know, a designer bag and dressed well,” she shares. This stark contrast between her outward appearance and inner turmoil underscores that addiction can touch anyone, regardless of their lifestyle or background.

Her desperation led her to extreme measures, including “doctor shopping” and eventually scheming to obtain opioids from over 30 veterinarians, claiming that her elderly dog needed medication.

“The progression of addiction for me looked like doing things that went against my values,” Jenny said. “I was behaving in a way that I would have never if I were sober, acting outside of myself. And there was so much shame and guilt and I didn’t know how to get out of it. I didn’t know how to ask for help.”

The Turning Point on Jenny’s Path to Recovery

A vivid vision of her teenage son finding her overdosed pushed Jenny to seek help. She drove to Longbranch Recovery, desperately ringing the doorbell. “I said, ‘I think I’m going to die. Can somebody help me?’”

At Longbranch, Jenny faced her addiction head-on, starting in detox and completing residential and intensive outpatient rehab programs. The support from her counselors and the structured 12-step program were crucial in her recovery. She learned to love herself and rebuild her relationships. “Connection is like the opposite of addiction,” Jenny emphasizes, highlighting the importance of community in recovery.

Finding True Recovery

At Longbranch, Jenny faced her addiction head-on. The support from her counselors and the structured 12-step program were crucial in her recovery. She learned to love herself and rebuild her relationships. “Connection is like the opposite of addiction,” Jenny emphasizes, highlighting the importance of community in recovery.

Jenny’s commitment to recovery was tested when she faced legal consequences for her actions. “My 30th day in treatment, I found out that… I had 26 felony counts of prescription fraud against me,” she recounts. Despite this, the support from Longbranch staff helped her navigate these challenges and stay committed to her sobriety.

“All of the counselors, my gosh, they, they worked so hard to expose us to things we needed to work on,” Jenny said of the staff at Longbranch Recovery. “They worked with us to help us meet our goals, our treatment plan, all of it. The work that they put into me was really unbelievable. I couldn’t believe that someone would take the time to help me grow in a way that would benefit everybody in my life.”

Real Connection, Lasting Recovery

Longbranch Recovery Alumni Jenny P Testimonial

“In the last five years, my life has been more fulfilling, more emotionally intimate, more exciting, just more than I could have ever dreamed that it would be,” said Jenny. “I’m so content. I have inner peace. I have been able to rebuild trust with my family, with my kids, with my husband. My marriage has never been better.”

Today, Jenny helps others overcome addiction to find their own path to recovery and community as a Business Development Representative with Longbranch Recovery. In her role, she connects with patients and providers in the community, using her story to show that lasting recovery is achievable through evidence-based addiction treatment programs, community, and determination.

“The work I did in treatment helped me develop a relationship with myself that I didn’t have. I learned to love myself the way I am,” she shares. “I wasn’t connected to anybody when I was using, but now I can. I can connect in an honest and meaningful way.”

Jenny’s Message to Those Struggling with Addiction

Jenny’s story is especially compelling for those who feel they shouldn’t have a problem because they “have it all together.” Addiction does not discriminate, and it can hide behind the most successful facades. Jenny urges anyone struggling to seek help.

“It’s terrifying. Giving up the relationship that you have with drugs and alcohol, it’s like, grief. But there’s so much hope on the other side. There is so much goodness and community and connection on the other side. You’re not alone.”

Jenny’s journey from a seemingly perfect life to the depths of addiction, and ultimately to recovery, is a powerful testament to the fact that addiction can affect anyone. Her story serves as a beacon of hope for those who feel trapped by their addiction but are afraid to seek help. Jenny’s message is clear: no matter how put-together your life may seem, reaching out for help is the first step toward a truly fulfilling and connected life.

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