The great Muhammad Ali once said, “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.” That quote is the very foundation on which I have built my life. With goals, aspirations, commitment, and diligent effort I am on the path to making my dreams a reality; ever realizing that beyond my existing horizon there are countless possibilities all within my reach. Wholeheartedly believing that, it is hard to fathom that three and a half years ago I had no concept of self, zero will to live, and I was completely hopeless about anything beyond the next minute. With the help of my loving family, compassion from my attended treatment facilities and their helping professionals, support of my friends, and the extended hand of my 12 step fellowship of membership of choice, I can confidently and proudly state that, my name is Lissa Franklin and I have been a young-person in long-term-recovery since February 1, 2012. If I had to guess on that day, where I would be today, I would have sold myself entirely too short. Recovery affording me a life beyond my wildest dreams is an understatement, because I would never have even dreamt of a life this great.
I am a 26 year old, born and raised Iowan. I have a mom and a dad who have been happily married for 28 (almost 29) years, and two not-so-little anymore brothers who are 23 and 21. My childhood could not have been any better. I never had to want for anything, and my basic needs as a human were far surpassed. I was raised with respect, love, kindness, and manners. Beyond my immediate family, my extended family was just as great. Whether it was a school concert, sporting event, Holiday, or Sunday dinner, we were always cohesive and bound by unconditional love and support.
As a child, and still today, I had a heart of gold, a love for helping the underdog, a drive for athletic achievement, and a passion for learning. Any of my greatest memories include a ball of some sort, and usually an accompanying trophy. I never wanted to stop learning. During my early elementary years, I was in piano lessons, but that wasn’t enough. When I was able to learn more, I played the Viola in orchestra, the Tuba in concert band, and the Electric Bass Guitar in jazz band. Always raising my own bar, I sat first chair in all three ensembles. As far as scholastic learning is concerned, reading was always my most favorite. I could get lost for hours on my dad’s green carpeted office floor reading my mom’s Britannica Encyclopedia collection, or the latest Box Car Children book. Learning was an outlet for me, and reading was my escape. As great as my life was, even as a young as second grade, I always felt ‘different’.