Angela Mallette’s auroral red hair and beaming smile illuminate any room she walks in whether she is educating Mississippians about the dangers of opioids or advocating for addiction treatment and drug court expansion.
“I want to show that recovery is possible. No one should remain stuck in the cycle of addiction because they can’t afford treatment or are ashamed,” explains Angela. “There are resources available to help those struggling with addition, and we need to inform our communities of these resources.”
But for Angela, her commitment goes much deeper. It’s more than a job for her. Following a miscarriage in her late twenties, Angela became addicted to prescription pain medication, but she didn’t think addiction could happen to civil engineer with a successful career, promising future, and loving family. However, as her life began to crumble around her and she continued to reach for a bottle of pills to numb the pain, she could no longer hide the addiction—not even from herself.
“I lost everything. My career, my home, my family, and eventually my freedom,” recalls Angela. “By the time I was court ordered to treatment, I was a broken shell of the person I had once been.”
In retrospect, Angela doesn’t believe her addiction story is all that significant, explaining how her battle was marked by many of the same circumstances thousands of others who’ve struggled with opioid addiction have experienced.
“My recovery story, however, now that’s something worth talking about,” Angela says with a sanguine smile.
She found a network of support at Friendship Connection in Jackson, where she also learned about the power of recovery. “Those women saved me,” says Angela. “They taught me how to pray. They taught me how to forgive myself. They taught me that I was strong enough to stand up and face the world again.”
After completing treatment, Angela was placed on the Drug Court program for the criminal charges she incurred during her addiction. She accredits drug court with helping to provide the accountability that is so crucial to people in early recovery.
Recovery has brought many blessings to Angela. She is now a mother and wife. She is a friend, a sister, a voice, and a believer. “Faith will see you through,” she says. “The darkest places you could ever go, are not dark enough to dim His light.”