TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — We all have things in the past that we regret, but some regrets are bigger than others.
But Shonna Frye proves regrets can lead to accomplishments and encouragement other people need to hear.
For multiple years, Frye used meth.
“I really liked the way it made me feel. It numbed the pain. It helped me, what I thought, get things done,” Frye said.
She also sold meth.
“I was attracted to the money and the status and the ability to have the drugs that I was using at my disposal,” Frye added.
One night, it all ended.
“I was part of a federal investigation,” Frye recalls. “The federal agents, the FBI watched us for six months building a case on us.”
In December of 2008, police arrested Frye along with more than a dozen others. She served almost four years behind bars. While awaiting her sentence, Frye made a decision she says changed her life.
“I broke down and I got on my knees beside my bunk and I prayed to Jesus to take away my addiction and my desire to use,” Frye remembers.
Along with that prayer, Frye worked on her sobriety. She took part in a rigorous addiction recovery program while in federal prison.
Once released, she spent time in a half-way house and worked at restaurants.
She eventually got a big break with a job at Hamilton Center.
Frye now works as a “Peer Recovery Specialist” at Wabash Valley Recovery Center.
She provides resources and encouragement to other woman trying to find their way to sobriety.
“I love it,” Frye smiled. “I love showing these girls that it’s possible because I was where they are.”
“She’s amazing,” said Frye’s boss Christie Crowder. “We love having Shonna here. She’s been such an asset to us. Woman can look at her and see the journey that she’s gone down and everything that she’s overcome and that they can do the same thing.”
As part of her job, Frye visits inmates at the Vigo County jail. It’s the same jail where she hit rock bottom. She recently asked to see her original mugshot. It’s a visual reminder of how far she’s come.
“I looked sad and I looked scared. I looked lonely and it was a wake up call. It was like, wow, I really have changed. When you see it in literally in black and white. It was an eye opener, but it was a positive experience,” Frye said. “It made me feel proud to not look like that now and to not be that person anymore, because I’m not.”
Frye says her next goal is to own her own home.