SMRS Staff Highlight: Michelle Anders

"I was raised in a healthy family dynamic. I started my career as a firefighter and loved what I was doing. I met my now ex-husband who introduced me to meth. My life spiraled downward, and I gradually started losing everything: my career, my self-respect, my sense of direction. I landed in prison with a four-year sentence. I had long periods of abstinence, but it failed when I got into another bad relationship and ended up relapsing.

I was released from prison one more time and made the decision to transition to treatment. I was able to learn a lot about myself and how to utilize coping skills. I now have 4 years sober. I knew that I wanted a career where I can be in a helping field. I was told by a friend that there was an opening for a Case Aide at Royal Palms, and here I am. Working here at Royal Palms has inspired me to get into school to obtain my Drug and Alcohol counseling certificate – my goal is to work as a counselor.

The joy that I get the most is when I am able to help someone change their life around and show them that it is possible to make a change, no matter what stage or phase they are in at that moment. It will be challenging, but the reward at the end of the day is far greater than any drug."