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Breaking the Silence by Brianne Griego

Written by Laura Herrmann, MA | Updated on Sep 6, 2022

Gallus Medical Detox Centers is honored to share Brianne’s powerful story about her journey through recovery. Read her full story here.

Breaking the Silence

Being an alcoholic and drug addict in recovery, I feel it is important to share my experiences. I believe recovering with vulnerability and transparency is key, to breaking the silence, inspiring hope, and letting others know, THEY ARE NOT ALONE! Like many, my road was long and painful and before I reached the willingness to change and the ability to acknowledge, I was absolutely defeated and held hostage by my addiction. However, I needed to go through what I did to find that place of honesty and desperation within me. Without being able to get honest with myself, my journey into recovery could not begin. Being able to say, “I need help, I just cannot do this anymore!”, was HUGE for me and the start to my truth.

I suffered in silence for a long time, isolated in my using, filled with guilt and shame. So, if you’re feeling this way, I understand, and you are not alone. I understand what it feels like to sit in the parking lot of a liquor store waiting for the open sign to turn on. I understand what it’s like to live in the insanity of the mental obsession, wishing I could just shut the noise out for 5 seconds, to not have to think about the next drunk or high. I understand what it’s like to self-detox, feeling like I’m crawling out of my skin, shaking, and sweating. I understand what it’s like to not want to look in the mirror, staring down at the track marks on my arms, thinking “what happened to me?” I understand what it’s like to have caused a lot of hurt to the people around me and be asked, “why do you love drugs and alcohol more than me?” More than anything, I understand the hopelessness. I was so hopeless, so broken, so miserable and so confused.

My reality became so painful, there came a point in time, I really believed taking my own life was the only way out, and I tried. I felt like I couldn’t survive anymore if this is what it was going to be like. Being afraid of myself and being afraid of my addiction, was a big turning point. I had fought myself for so long, trying to prove I didn’t have a problem, that I could control it or quit on my own and I never could. I was so tired and so desperate to not have to feel this way anymore. The raw truth was, I was going to die or get sober, period. When I could finally get honest with myself about that, I was relieved and scared at the same time. Relieved, I at least wasn’t fighting myself anymore and scared because I didn’t know how to get or stay sober. All I knew is I couldn’t do it alone. It was time to ask for help and break my own silence, so I did.

I ended up going to detox, then to a sober living that encompassed treatment, and from there found my way into the rooms of a 12-step fellowship. Along the way, I tried my best to stay open-minded and say “ok” to whatever was suggested. Whether it was from the professionals at detox, my sober living community, people within the rooms of 12-steps, I kept saying “ok”. As I continued to do that and show up, my life started to change. With time, I was gifted a new and full life, my relationships were rebuilt, I found self-love, I found healing, and I found my tribe. However, relapse is a part of my story.

After 2 years and 9 months of continued sobriety, I relapsed. One may ask, after everything I just said, “how could this have happened?” I had to ask myself the same question. Through a lot of soul searching and reflection, the answers became clear. At the time of my relapse, I was working in treatment and it was during the prime of COVID. COVID has significantly impacted the world as a whole, especially affecting the ability for us to connect and be in togetherness. Not having that togetherness was absolutely detrimental to my sobriety and working in treatment, I was giving away what I no longer had. But, the truth is, I no longer had what I had, because I stopped showing up, I got complacent and I started doing this thing alone.

So, the answer to my question was simple – I believed I was safe, safe from the disease of addiction now that I was in recovery. Even when I started struggling, before I picked up the drink, I still thought I was safe, safe enough for it not to end with me relapsing. I believed that I could get through the struggle and complacency without using. This was not the case. It resulted in another rock bottom, suicidal thoughts, and self-destruction.

I am incredibly fortunate for the community I have acquired throughout the years. I am incredibly fortunate for the experiences and gifts I have received through recovery. Because of that, when it came time to stand back up and fight, I knew I wasn’t alone and there was hope. I was able to call a friend and she connected me to Gallus Medical Detox, which provided the necessary stepping stones back to recovery. The answer is still the same, “I need help and I cannot do this alone.”

I share the part about my relapse because it’s a very important part of my story and I hope my experiences can help someone else. Words cannot express how crucial it is to stay connected and plugged in. Staying connected keeps me in the middle, helps me stay accountable, helps me stay honest, humble, and centered. If I’m not a part of it, I’m doing this thing alone and just me and my disease is a very dangerous place to be.

So, with all that said, regardless of COVID, regardless of life circumstances, I have the responsibility to take ownership of my sobriety and play an active part in my recovery, consistently and honestly. I have learned I am never safe and I don’t “got this”, no matter how many days in a row I am sober. I pray I never lose sight of the importance of unity, forget where I came from, or take my recovery for granted again.

I am absolutely blessed and so grateful to be gifted with another opportunity to LIVE a life in recovery. Gallus Medical Detox gave me hope again and I was able to detox safely and comfortably, as opposed to trying to do it on my own. Not everyone gets this chance, to not only make it out but make it back. My new sobriety date is March 12, 2021, and I own and cherish this date, by keeping my recovery the most important thing in my life.

Yes, life still happens, life can be painful, and some days can be really hard. But, today, I don’t have to live in suffering and try to get through hard times alone. Today, my son can look me in the eyes with trust. Today, I get to be present. Today, I show up when I say I’m going to and even when I don’t feel like it. Today, I have friends and family that can count on me. Today, I have stability and can give stability. Today, I can sit in silence and experience serenity. Today, I can be in today. Today, I get to be an example that recovery is possible. Today, I have hope, that my sobriety date can stay March 12, 2021, as long as I keep showing up and doing the next thing in front of me.

So, if you’re struggling, you are not alone. If you’re bound by guilt and shame, you are not alone. Whether you’re trying to make it back or achieve sobriety for the first time, I promise you, you are not alone. Please, please reach out! TOGETHER, by breaking the silence, unity, and community, recovery is possible, and YOU DO MATTER!


If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or alcohol use, please call us today to take your first step towards achieving recovery comfortably: (720) 669-8178

Laura Herrmann, MA

Laura is the Chief Outreach and Marketing Officer at Gallus Medical Detox, she has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare marketing field in digital, social, product marketing, strategy and sales leadership. Her passion for those struggling and recovering from substance use disorder and mental health as well as advocacy for patient empowerment has driven her career and continues to be the motivation to work within the best treatment options to help those struggling. With a Master’s Degree from Tufts School of Medicine and Emerson College in Health Communication, Laura has continued to find excitement and challenge in her chosen field. She is also the Board President, BarZero and Board Member of the Colorado Professional Liaison Association.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, call Gallus at
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