SHELBYVILLE, Ky. — Motherhood can be a joyous occasion. However, the struggles of addiction can impact a pregnancy.
Stacey Lewis knows that pain. Spectrum News 1 caught up with her at her home to learn her story.
“After I tried heroin I was hooked,” Lewis said. “It didn’t take like maybe three days and heroin grabbed me like nothing has ever grabbed me. I thought I had self-control with other drugs but this drug, I knew like I had no control.”
She says she would like to be able to say that she stopped using drugs when she found out she was pregnant. But, honesty is a part of her journey. Lewis admits there isn’t much she wouldn’t do during the worse parts of her addiction.
“The delusion that I was in told myself that if I made my money and I wasn’t taking anything from anybody that it was ok,” Lewis said. “But, I sold my body and I sold my soul.”
Her decision to finally get clean came when she was eight months pregnant. She says she was simply exhausted but found the energy to reach out to a friend.
“I don’t care where you take me but you have to take me somewhere. He took me to a hospital that wasn’t equipped for pregnant women, so I went immediately to Norton Suburban. At the time, there was a program called New Visions and they helped me medically detox,” Lewis said.
From there she found herself at Women’s Renaissance Center in Shelbyville and then just a few weeks later gave birth.
“She was beautiful, I think when I first saw her I still wasn’t quite sure. I had just started letting myself bond with her when I came here and I thought I was going to be able to keep her because up until that point I knew there was no way I’d be able to keep her doing the things I done for so long, so then I had a little bit of hope and I started bonding and it was exciting her but I’ll be honest I think I was scared too,” Lewis said.
Lewis does not have custody of her daughter but is able to see her weekly. She makes a choice to stay clean every day.
“Today I’m enough,” Lewis says. “I wasn’t when I first got here. I didn’t think that I was, you know. I was doing it for my kids, I was doing it for my family, but then it got to a point where I realized that I was enough. So, that’s what keeps me sober,” Lewis said.
Life has also come full circle. Stacey is now an employee at Women’s Rennaissance Center. It was a goal she kept even on her darkest days. She offers women the same support she found when she was first taking the steps to get clean while being pregnant.
“It makes me feel good to feel like I can be that hope for somebody, if they see me and they know like she’s been in this same spot maybe worse and look at her like if she can do it I can do it,” Lewis said.
“When she walked in it brought me so much joy so much joy to see someone doing so well and to have enough clean time to come back and still do this and she’s so passionate about her job and about these ladies and recovery and she shares with them a lot. And they relate to her even more than they relate to me because not only is she in recovery but she actually walked the exact path they did through this program,” Anna Blakey said.
When her daughter is old enough, Lewis says she might share what she’s been through.
For now, she wants everyone to remember this message: “You are never too far gone, always ask for help, always ask for help.”