I feel as if there were Recovery Community Organizations available 20 years ago when I was using and selling drugs, I may have seen my way out of that lifestyle sooner.
Minnesota Recovery Connection is a Recovery Community Organization, a grassroots nonprofit whose staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors are all people in personal or family recovery, or are community allies. We are dedicated to strengthening the recovery community, and we are proud to share our stories. This month, we hear from intern Jonda Crum.
MRC: How did you get involved with MRC and what does MRC mean to you?
Jonda: I was speaking to my doctor about going back to school for chemical dependency counseling. He had heard of MRC and about the Recovery Coach Academy they offered. He suggested I investigate that to see if that was something I wanted to do. After learning more about the opportunity, I decided to enroll and receive the Recovery Coach training. At the same time, my sister had to go to prison and that was a difficult time for me. However, after I completed the training, I pressed on and started volunteering at MRC, and I have been there ever since.
Getting involved with MRC has been a life-changing experience for me and I have seen how the same is true for many others in the recovery community. I feel as if there were recovery community organizations available 20 years ago when I was using and selling drugs, I may have seen my way out of that lifestyle sooner. MRC is one of the best things that has happened in my life.
MRC: What do you do at MRC?
Jonda: I am currently on a community engagement internship and some of my services include the supervision and training of MRC volunteers, heading up volunteer orientations, and I facilitate MRC’s All Recovery Meetings as well.
I desired to become a Recovery Navigator last year, however because my computer skills were not that strong, I was not selected, and that position requires intermediate computer skills. So, one of MRC’s Recovery Navigators, Justin McNeal hooked me up with someone at Twin Cities RISE, which is an organization that provides career training and professional development opportunities. As a result of going through their free program, I was able to learn the required computer skills as well as focusing on my individual development.
Because of my involvement with MRC and Twin Cities RISE, I was able to work at MRC through TCR on a paid internship. I then applied for a Recovery Navigator position through Recovery Corps. Beginning September 16th, I will be one of three awesome Recovery Navigators at MRC!
MRC: What is something that you are proud of?
Jonda: I am proud that my daughter now sees me in a positive light and for the fact that she says she brags about me all the time. My younger sister has always looked up to me, so when I got sober, she decided a year later to do the same. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that from her. I also take pride in and am relieved that I went through treatment only once and have successfully stayed sober for 2 ½ years! I am just so grateful for being sober, being at MRC, and feeling the accomplishment of getting up every day without feeling the need to use drugs or alcohol.
MRC: Who inspires you?
Jonda: I think Brene Brown is such an incredibly uplifting and awesome person. I also see many people in recovery every day, and each one of them inspires me. My sister, of course. And especially my daughter who see me as the person I am today. I wasn’t in her life for over 15 years, and when we talk, she never brings up the past. We only talk about our future together.
MRC: If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Jonda: To not be so hard on myself. In the past, I seemed to only see the glass as half empty and certainly could not recognize the good things about me. Today, the opposite is true. I am managing my emotions better and telling myself to always go easy on me!