Kelly Benson of Windham.
Kelly Benson of Windham. Credit: YouTube

Kelly Benson of Windham promised herself that she wouldn’t turn 30 as an active heroin user.

“I considered myself to be a completely hopeless case. I was homeless, on the streets of Boston for more than two years,” she said.

She was in and out of treatment and detox centers more than 12 times. “I wanted so badly to get healthy, and I just couldn’t grasp it. I ended up feeling defeated and stuck in a cycle of guilt, shame and fear,” she said.

In the summer of 2010, though, she had her last visit to a rehab center. It’s when she first experienced yoga, which gave her a feeling of calm and, with it, hope. She was 27.

She maintains that centeredness today: “I have a positive loving relationship with myself, as well as my loved ones. I am able to consciously manage stress and find balance.”

Her message for others: “Find what works for you, and never give up hope. There are many healing paths to recovery.”

Benson’s video is part of the BDN’s Recovery Project. We want you to share a video with us, so we can capture and spread your messages of hope and support for those experiencing addiction.

Whether you’ve had an addiction or not, show people they’re not alone.

In 2014, 208 people died of overdoses. In the first six months of 2015, 105 died. Many more are struggling.

But every day people also survive.

Will you help celebrate their recovery in hopes it saves another’s life? Learn how to submit your own video here:

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Erin Rhoda

Erin Rhoda is the editor of Maine Focus, a team that conducts journalism investigations and projects at the Bangor Daily News. She also writes for the newspaper, often centering her work on domestic and...