Janie Gullickson spent 2 years in prison after being addicted to meth — now she’s a mental health professional helping others out of similar struggles.
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Janie Gullickson is a recovering meth addict who is using her past to help others find sobriety.
Janie: ‘Drugs for me were everything. They were how I functioned. They were. What got me through the day. My addiction spanned a couple of decades as well as my mental health. At first I tried to function. I was the mother of five children. Teenage mom. And tried to tried to function and then eventually became more of that stereotypical image that folks may have of a meth user on the streets. Or like a person with schizophrenia in the streets. Yelling at traffic trying to stop cars or just a very public face of my. My struggles.’
Gullickson was arrested and face 5 felony charges. She served 2 years in prison.
‘In jail. Things started to get better. I think you know just the basic needs getting my basic needs getting met safe. Safer place than the streets.’
During her sentence, Gullickson attended a job readiness program hosted by Goodwill.
‘It was all about what’s my game when I get back out.How do we how do we dress for an interview. How do we talk about. Our gap in. An employment and or maybe never having had a real job and how to take some of those. Other skills or strengths that we had. And. Then respond to those questions and how not to to practice to not be ashamed.’
‘They were inspiring to me and in their support and their non judgment of me. And just by their presence changed changed my life.’
Now Gullickson is an executive director at the Mental Health Association of Oregon. She’s using what she learned in recovery to help other addicts heal.
‘We have a lot of programs that are focused on peer support which is. Like supporting folks who are on their on their path whether they’re still in their addiction and either mental health crisis something like that or at whatever point in their recovery they could use support.’
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