Marie Miller is expecting her first child — a son — in three months. There is noticeable excitement in her voice and that beautiful pregnancy glow about her. After suffering two miscarriages while abusing drugs and alcohol, she is full of hopes and desires for the future.

She admits none of this would be possible without Forward Recovery, an addiction treatment center based in Los Angeles, and its team of counselors.

The oldest of two girls, Miller grew up in Virginia with a single father and a mother who was absent from her life for five years. She attended Catholic school and had an active social life. After graduating from high school, she started college like the rest of her peers. She was a normal teenager until one life-changing moment.

“My grandfather tried to have sex with me when I was 18. That’s the moment it all started,” Miller said of her battle with addiction.

Through hard work with counselors, she’s been able to pinpoint that moment, which led to her developing post-traumatic stress disorder. She said her PTSD led to her drug and alcohol addiction.

“If the drugs weren’t available, alcohol was always there,” she said. “It was so easy to get.”

Her life quickly spiraled out of control, and Miller lost her way. At 20, she was facing felony charges for grand larceny.

That’s where her recovery story begins.

Her friends stepped in and asked her to go to rehab and get help. The rehabilitation centers for drug and alcohol detox in Virginia didn’t have what she needed, so she went to California.

After a month in rehab, Miller returned home and relapsed. She returned to treatment twice more after that, relapsing each time. “The rehabs didn’t work,” she said. “I felt judged.”

She recalled arguing one night with her best friend over something stupid, which led to him insulting her and her slapping his face.

“We were both high,” she said. “He started choking me, threatening to kill me. … I found myself on the ground, him sitting on my chest, slamming me around like a ragdoll.”

Miller isn’t sure how long she was unconscious, but when she came to, he was dragging her through the street until a neighbor intervened.

Then a friend recommended Forward Recovery.

“I felt accepted; the staff was encouraging,” Miller said. “There was no judgment. I could rely on the staff and felt comfortable in my own skin.”

Miller said the therapists at Forward Recovery dove into the root of her problems, and through her own hard work, she and her therapists were able to unlock her passions in life and discover the talents to guide her.

Miller credits her success to her therapists, her sponsor and the program at Forward Recovery, including CEO and owner Dr. Renee Solomon, who she said always supported her.

Today, Miller is 16 months sober and has been employed at Forward Recovery for nine months as a Behavioral Technician.

Although she loves her job and the people, she plans to return to Virginia in May. Her parents are eagerly awaiting their first grandchild, and Miller is excited to raise her son and go back to college for finance.

“I wish certain things in my life hadn’t happened, but now I know those are things I never want to put my child through,” she said.

Her final words of advice for those braving recovery?

“Do the things your therapists advise you to do. Vocalize your needs. And, above all, be patient with yourself,” she said.