Overcoming addiction: 4 years sober


Annie Goodman

Alaina Fontenot, a junior early childhood education, PK-3 major, sits with her daughter Luna Fontenot underneath Friendship Oak. Alaina Fontenot has been sober from her addiction to alcohol and pills for four years.

Annie Goodman, Editor-In-Chief

“There was a small part of me that knew that if I didn’t, that I was going to die, and that same small part of me didn’t want to die,” said Alaina Fontenot, a junior early childhood education, PK-3 major, who is four years sober from drug and alcohol addiction.

Now 28 years old, Fontenot first began drinking when she was an adolescent around the age of 13.

“I stuck to mainly alcohol and cigarettes until about 16,” said Fontenot. “At that time, I started smoking weed and taking pills every once in a while. After I graduated and moved away for college, things picked up. I started using anything and everything that I could get my hands on.”

Fontenot started using as part of a social trend, but soon became reliant upon these vices to avoid dealing with her emotions.

“Everyone was doing it, with drinking at least,” said Fontenot. “And with drugs, there was just so much pain in me. I used to change the way that I felt. I had a lot of anxiety, so I used. I disliked my situations in life, so I used. I disliked myself, so I used.”

After struggling with an addiction to substances such as alcohol, Xanax, cocaine, Molly, Roxicodone and heroin, Fontenot sought out a rehabilitation center.

“I went to a long-term, all-female treatment facility called The Journey Home,” said Fontenot. “I stayed in treatment for a long time and worked on all of the things that I needed to work on. I learned to live without drugs and alcohol, and I learned to truly love myself.”

Since becoming sober, Fontenot reveled at the opportunities and experiences she is now able to have in life.

“My life is beautiful today,” said Fontenot. “I’ve been sober for a little over four years. I’ve been back in school for a few years and doing well. I have an absolutely perfect baby daughter that I am able to be completely present for her life. I have a huge group of true friends that love, support me, and I get to do the same for them. I’m an active part of my family again.”

However, she acknowledged that the road to recovery is a long and winding one as she is still coping.

“It’s not all good stuff,” said Fontenot. “I’ve recently been going through a very difficult transition in my life, but because I’m sober and because of the things I’ve learned in sobriety, it’s not so impossible. I can still be calm during the hard parts of life, and I don’t have to use because of them.”

Addiction often carries genetic components, just as Fontenot is not the only member of her family to have been affected by alcoholism.

“Addiction nearly took my life away,” said Fontenot. “I’ve also watched so many of my friends and family deteriorate because of this disease. My grandfather died younger than he should have because of the damage his alcoholism did to his body. My uncle is in treatment right now finally.”

Fontenot is grateful to recovery for returning her life to her.

“My addiction took me away from all of the beautiful parts of life,” said Fontenot. “Through sobriety and recovery, I have gotten those parts back and so much more than I could have ever dreamed of.”

The University Counseling Center offers Campus Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting Monday and Wednesday from 7 – 7:45 a.m. in the Student Union Annex Room 2204.