This Week's Beit T'Shuvah Spotlight
This Week's Beit T'Shuvah Spotlight: Tami Silver
Without transparency, there can be no real accountability, and recovery is all about accountability. Tami Silver learned this lesson many times over in her addiction. After years of abusing heroin and pills, Tami has rebuilt a relationship with her family and young daughter. Today she’s an intern in the clinical department and plans to explore a career in addiction counseling. She’s a respected member of the Beit T’Shuvah community and a southern belle who serves as an example to us all!
Tami grew up in Memphis, Tennessee in a nice Jewish home. In eighth grade, she took her first drink of alcohol. Like many of us, Tami’s addiction was built on a foundation of partying in high school and college where drugs and alcohol were humdrum extra-curricular activities with no apparent consequence. For some people the party doesn’t stop, it only gets louder. Her partying carried into her personal relationships, where her excessive drug and alcohol use created an irreparable rift between Tami and her ex-husband. “My whole day revolved around finding drugs and if I didn’t, it would be a bad day at home for my daughter,” Tami says. A dreadful family outing, a run-in with the police; these things became commonplace for Tami and she had clearly run out of slack. With the love of her daughter hanging in the balance, Tami decided enough was enough. She came to Beit T’Shuvah in August of last year but it took some harrowing experiences for her to truly surrender and turn her life around. She recalls, “My roommate overdosed and had a seizure; it freaked me out. It hit me one day here, I can’t keep doing this. It was like things finally sunk in.”
Tami’s story is rich and vibrant. A social butterfly at heart, Tami’s done it all. Her proclivity for social interaction, like most addicts, is a blessing and a curse. She’s infinitely likeable, which has gotten her into some trouble. In sobriety, however, she’s using her personality to recover her passion for social work. “I want to try and make a difference in the lives of others because this place has made such a difference in my life. I was always good at helping other people but never helping myself,” Tami says. Now she can do both. In Tami’s story there’s happiness, tragedy, destruction and pain. The latest chapter is redemption. She’s embraced the twelve-step programs and is a member of the Freedom Song troupe. She’s a natural in the clinical department; other residents look up to her and she provides a calming voice in what is a very chaotic time for most people. But most of all, Tami is transparent. Her story is laden with heartbreak and calamity, but she tells it with the vigor of someone who has clearly learned from it, as if the journey itself is what’s made her triumph over addiction all the more sweeter. By being transparent she’s accountable, and that’s what made the difference.
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