Local News

November 20, 2012

Photo project aids in recovery


“I spent Christmas in jail in 2010,” she said. 

She was eventually released and sentenced to serve three years of probation, but even that didn’t initially stop her from using drugs. 

“I was using, and I did it successfully for a year without my (probation officer) knowing, and I finally just had enough of the secrets, the anxiety, always trying to hide and run, lying to myself, lying to everybody.  

 “One day I just looked at her (my probation officer) and said, ‘You know, I’m an opiate addict.’”

Following her confession, Quilliam was sent to rehab, but she left after two and a half weeks. 

“I just thought that it was kind of worse in rehab,” she said. “There was heroin; there was pills. It just wasn’t meant for me.”


But Quilliam was determined to turn her life around one way or another. 

“I said, ‘I can do it. I can be me. I don’t know what that is because I haven’t seen her since I was 14, but I can make my own path.’”

So she begged her parole officer to allow her to receive rehabilitation services at Behavioral Health Services North, and finally got the OK. 

“It’s awesome,” Quilliam said of the organization’s Personalized Recovery-Oriented Services, which she participates in four days a week.  

“It gives us people a chance at life again and to realize you’re not the only one out there.”

To represent her new life, one that includes her being sober for nearly six months now, Quilliam chose an image of herself smiling.

“I stop and think about things (now),” she told the group. 

One person never far from Quilliam’s thoughts is her daughter, whom she now sees during supervised visits. 

“She deserves a lot better than what I was giving to her,” she told the Press-Republican. “That doesn’t mean that I don’t love her.”

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