HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Honesty Liller’s path to success is paved with potholes and detours.
“My life rocks. I have an amazing life. I am lucky to be alive in this day and age, to be honest with you,” Liller said. “I’m in a position where I can help and I can lead and I can make change.”
Liller, 42, works at McShin Foundation headquartered in Henrico County, helping save the lives of addicts.
It is a place she knows well as an employee and as a client.
“I had to have drugs every day. So I had to do what I had to do,” Liller said.
The Hanover County native turned to narcotics and alcohol when she was a child.
“So from age 12 to 26, I used drugs. In the last nine of those, I used heroin. That was when I was full-blown addicted,” she described.
By 17, Liller's addiction nearly took her life.
“So I had to lie, cheat, steal do what I had to do to get money for drugs for years. It was exhausting. It is like a full-time job times ten,” she said.
Sixteen years ago, on May 27, 2007, the single mother entered the facility with nothing but her addiction.
“I didn’t have a life when I walked into McShin. I had two garbage bags of clothes. I didn’t have my daughter. That is it,” Liller said.
She didn’t hold out much hope.
“I tried so many forms of treatment. But I didn’t try recovery,” she said.
Five months in, Liller got clean.
She was offered a job working at the recovery center.
“We keep it very authentic. Very real. This is a life and death disease,” Liller said.
The married mother of two has flourished becoming McShin’s CEO.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do. I eventually thought I was going to use again. But I haven’t because of the recovery environment,” she explained.
She recently published a raw memoir, “Scattered Pink,” detailing her difficult journey. Honesty hopes her story will inspire others just like her.
“The situation is horrifying. It is completely out of control right now,” Liller said. “You need people with lived experience in your corner.”
Just a few weeks ago, she and her team opened a recovery house dedicated specifically to pregnant women and mothers of young children.
“So for me to be able to come here and see so many humans get recovery and get lives and get their children back, that is life-changing there is nothing like it for me. Period,” Liller said.
A long-time vision for Liller, Destiny House in Henrico provides a safe space for women.
“It is not our job to parent the child, but it is our job to have a safe environment for the mom to heal in her recovery,” she said.
Joyce Bronson is the foundation’s Director of Admissions.
“We just like to see them build themselves back up,” Bronson said. “Honestly, the best thing you can see is someone as they recover.”
Bronson, a one-time client, said Liller serves as a role model for people looking for hope.
“She is an inspiration to me, but there are just so many other women who come in here they’re like, ‘Wow a woman runs this place now,’” Bronson said.
She is the CEO, embracing her life’s mission and a second chance at life.
“Not a lot of people can say that they love getting up. They love getting to go to their job and their career and I’ve built a career from being a new woman in recovery to where I am today, almost 16 years later,” Liller said.
After hitting rock bottom. Honesty Liller has reached the top.
“It was a full circle for me 1000%. It has been a dream of mine to do that here. I think it is going to be brighter and even more beautiful in the future.”
If you need more information about McShin’s life-saving work or Honesty’s book, ‘Scattered Pink”,go to McShin.org
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