Melissa’s Story

This post is the first in a series titled “Windows into Hickory Wind Ranch”, which will feature stories regarding current and former residents.


It was not so long ago that my life was too dark to dream at all and everyday was the same tired cycle of self-abuse and insanity that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  I was the kind of undesirable so hell-bent on self-destruction that I couldn’t see any other way to live.  Recovery wasn’t in my vocabulary and A.A. with its big book and bible thumping evangelism, well, that just wasn’t for me.

Early on, I romanticized the rock n’ roll rebellion of narcotic inertia.  Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Iggy Pop–They played songs that made heroin sound like the coolest thing since central air in the Texas summer.  But those are just some of the few who survived; the exceptions, not the rule.  After a long, hard road of personal experimentation, I can now testify and I am sure they would agree: being a junky is unequivocally, indisputably not cool!

When I arrived at Hickory Wind fresh out of treatment, I stumbled in with eyes as hollow and empty as the living dead.  I had burned every bridge I’d ever traveled.  My family, having watched me in my addiction for over a decade, had finally thrown up their hands and given it to god.  My friends had fallen by the wayside long ago.  But at Hickory Wind, I found a safe haven from myself.  The warmth and compassion I have been shown here has given me the strength and courage to shed the scales of my addiction and to remember who and what I want to be.

Thank you Polly Parsons and Hickory Wind, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me back my dreams!

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