Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashlee Krichmar.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Ashlee. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Imagine a parking lot in the middle of the winter in NJ. I am sitting in the driver’s seat, cold sweats, shakes, and holding an empty syringe. My face is sunk in, eyes completely empty, arms thrashed and full of abscess. Crying, because I am once again, dope sick and need to get well. My dealer pulls up down the street. I watch him exit the vehicle and start walking towards me. I can barely walk due to the withdrawal. My entire body feels weak. He hands me 3 bundles of heroin rubber banded together and ready. I grab the drugs, nearly toss the cash at him, and I jump in the back seat of my vehicle. My hands are clammy and they won’t stop shaking. I start my ritual and fill the syringe up with my liquid brown magic, I tie the belt around my arm and start the hunt for a “good.” vein. I sit in the car for about 40 mins as my parents have called me at least 20 times wondering why I haven’t come back yet with the extra cranberry sauce they asked me to pick up at the grocery up the street. It’s Christmas Morning, and the last thing on my mind is attending to my family’s needs. Eventually, I hit a vein, I push the syringe slowly but steadily, and once again, all is well in world again. The problem? Well the problem was clearly not me, it was everyone else. I fade out, and decide to grace my family with my presence. My eyes are pinned, my face is pale, and I look like I haven’t had a meal in days. Welcome to my addiction.
On October 21, 2013, I found myself begging God for another chance at life. I had done a lot of terrible things in my addiction, and i finally reached my bottom. I was ready to stop taking my own suggestions, and start reaching out and getting honest with myself.
I had lived such an uncertain lifestyle where I had zero clue who I was anymore.
Demoralized and hopeless, I took the first step and made a call, that unknowingly, would change my life forever. I packed my belongings, jumped on a plane, and headed for a treatment center in Los Angeles.
I completed 90 days of treatment, and moved into a local sober living. The real change happened when I walked through those doors. Sober living is where I found my new family. I was required to make my bed, do my weekly chores, attend 12 step meetings daily, and start working the steps with a sponsor. I picked up a part time serving position and started my new life. I surrounded myself with individuals who were goal oriented, and most of all, i stayed clean and sober.
When i hit 6 months sober, I received a phone call from my father. After hundreds of late nights arguing, let downs, and living with the thought his daughter was a heroin addict who could die any day, my father was able to experience the joy of congratulating me on this milestone and blessing me with his words of encouragement that had a huge impact on my future plans. He simply said, for the first time in a long time, “I am so proud of you.”
When I took my first year of sobriety cake, the same treatment center that saved my life, offered me a position in their call center, and from there I went on to work in the admissions department at another recovery center. The common denominator in my life, was that I had whole heartedly enjoyed working with individuals who shared the same disease that I did. The window of opportunity continued to open itself up to me because I continued to stay sober.
In March of 2016, with the support of friends and family, I embarked on a new journey, called Chateau Recovery Sober Livings. I took with me my experience as an addict, my passion for helping others, the want for a better life, and designed a program for people who may have once been sitting in a car, hopeless and seeing no way out. I have dedicated my life to helping others struggling with addiction by owning and operating Chateau Recovery, Chateau symbolizes family, passion, love, friendship, and sobriety.
Being free of the strangle hold of heroin addiction for nearly 4 years, I now am fortunate enough to experience happiness, feeling good on a bad day, and growing as a woman everyday of my life.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been easy. The road to recovery took many different turns along the way, but by the grace of God I was given a second chance at living a good life.
In regards to my professional life and career, being a female and single business owner, I have learned a lot. The odds have been against me on multiple occasions. The fear of failure has interrupted my plans and has forced me to want to give up. Working with addicts and alcoholics of all ages, has its ups and downs. You want to try and save everyone, but the harsh reality is that you can’t do more work the individual is willing to do. Though I love what I do, it’s extremely difficult watching clients you care so much about, make bad choices in their life and sobriety. Every obstacle and all the challenges I have faced, have undoubtedly molded me into the young woman I am and continue to strive to be.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Chateau Recovery story. Tell us more about the business.
Chateau Recovery are safe, up to date, and affordable, sober living homes for people of all ages. We specialize in offering individuals who seek long term sobriety and are looking for that “family like,” environment. As the owner and operator of Chateau Recovery I am extremely hands on. I have the opportunity to meet each new client who walks through the doors of our homes. The love and compassion that Chateau Recovery’s Staff provides is unlike any of the competing sober living homes in the area. I 100% guarantee it. The only requirement to live at Chateau, is the willingness to change, stay sober, and live a healthy life style.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I have had great luck with finding homes in the same surrounding neighborhood.
Clients bond with one another and feel safe when they live close to someone they connect with. We have achieved the family atmosphere with having 4 homes that are 2 blocks from one another.
As far as bad luck is concerned, I don’t necessarily believe in it. I believe everything happens for a reason. If the outcome is not positive then there is always a lesson to be learned and growth to be had from it.
- Website: www.chateaurecoveryla.com
- Phone: 1-800-379-4401
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Chateaurecoveryla
- Yelp: Chateau Recovery LA