Clean and sober for almost 15 years, Geri Bemister is grateful for the life she has now.
Getting to a place of gratitude was a journey for Bemister, who suffered years of sexual abuse as a little girl.
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In an effort to cope with the trauma, she turned to drugs and alcohol. At one point while in the throes of addiction, she weighed just 97 pounds.
“The abuse was so significant I would basically do any substance that I could find and get,” she said.
The turning point came when her mother asked Bemister who she wanted to attend her funeral.
Bemister said she had “sores all over my face, grey skin, no will to live. By the time they did my intervention, I don’t think I’d eaten in two weeks.”
She entered rehab, sticking with it through a cancer diagnosis. She went back to school, eventually earning a master’s degree in criminal justice.
Today the 49-year-old counsels others in recovery.
“I think it’s really what I was meant to do.”