Make The Future Full of Good Memories

Make The Future Full of Good Memories

Shelby is a valuable part of Rage Against Addiction. She is currently a House Manager at The Cottage, one of our three sober living houses for women in the Harford County, Maryland area. Her story is tough to read, but thankfully has a happy ending. We are very proud of Shelby and are thankful for her.

“Hi, my name is Shelby and I am an addict. Here is some of my story…

I am from Rock Hall, Maryland, which is on the eastern shore of Kent County. It is a very small town where everyone knows everyone and everything. I am the oldest of four children, but I was the bad egg.

My world spiraled when I was about ten years old; my mom left my dad for the best man in their wedding. We used to call him Uncle. I started with hatred, sadness, and resentment. After a couple of years of not having the best supervision, I played my parents against one another. I thought, “if dad wouldn’t, mom would, and vice versa.” Manipulation was my middle name.

Before I was thirteen, I was smoking cigarettes and then I began smoking weed, drinking alcohol, and having sex with an eighteen-year-old. It was the beginning of over twenty years of pure chaos that started with weed and drinking, and ended with a needle in my arm. I was that junkie that I said I’d never be and always talked about. I met my soulmate when I was eighteen and everything was relatively manageable for a couple of years, but then it all went out of control. Not only did we use drugs together, but we also fought like people who weren’t in love. Our relationship became very physical and mental, but we continued for nineteen years. I had two children while I was in active addiction. My daughter was not addicted when she was born, but I was in a methadone program at the time. My son was born addicted to drugs and had to be sent to another hospital where he spent time in its NICU. I had to sign over full custody to my mother who was already raising my daughter because in my mind while in active addiction, using drugs was more important than anything else.

I have been in and out of treatment and recovery houses, but they never worked because I was not ready. I always did it all for everyone else. After losing absolutely everything – my children, my family, my friends – I was homeless. I sold my soul to the devil to get one more drug. In 2017, my life shattered even worse than it already was: the love of my life overdosed and died. He was the father of my children. Before that, I wished I would die, but then not only did I want to die, I felt dead inside. Over the next month and a half, I put so many substances in me that any other person would have died.

I finally had enough, and I moved to Baltimore, where my journey began. After about a year, things started coming together. My family and children talked to me again, and I was welcome in their homes. My dad has always been my #1 fan, but my relationship with my mom was a process. I went to meetings, got a sponsor, did the step-work, and got the job of my dreams. I became a supervisor at a treatment center, and I loved it but it became my new addiction. I was working sixty to eighty hours a week. I celebrated four years clean, and life was great until I stopped doing the things I was doing to get those four years clean.

One day, I made the choice to get crack cocaine. I spent the next two months smoking crack. I left my dream job, and I let everyone down again, including myself. Over the next couple of months, I went through all the money I saved. My kids, my family, and others that loved me were devastated. I was put in a psych ward for a week and then went back into treatment. My two kids are now 11 and 18, and they were so done with me then. They grew up, and had their own feelings and emotions, which was hard for me to understand.

I did my treatment and ended up moving into Rage Against Addiction’s sober living housing program, where I have been for a little over two years now. Just because we get clean doesn’t mean life is great, but it is definitely better than a day of using. I have a lot of health problems, but I have not found a reason to use and hopefully I never will. Rage Against Addiction’s Daughter’s House program is the best program I have ever been in. Everyone is so loving and caring, and by my side whatever may happen. I just became a grandmother in January 2024 and I am able to and want to be a part of my little granddaughter’s life. I cannot change the past, but I can make the future full of good memories.”

Read the Note on Matters of Mental Health by WendyWe love our house managers! We promote from within, and each house manager brings their unique personality to the job. Going from resident to house manager is an opportunity that many of our ladies gladly accept. This leadership role creates personal growth as well as a strong work ethic. We can’t do what we do without the dedication of our house managers. We have trained 21 house managers over the last five years in our three sober living houses!

Please check our Event Calendar for more details about what we are up to!

We want to give a special THANK YOU to the Fallston location of Texas Roadhouse for hosting a fundraiser for us in February. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit our mission and programs. We cannot help others without community-wide support.

April 11, 2024: Weichert Realtors (414 South Main Street – Bel Air, MD 21014) is kindly offering their space to us from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Racekits are available for pick up to those who sign up by April 10th. Stop by, say hi, and get your Racekit filled with some really cool stuff!

April 13, 2024: It’s less than a month away! Are you ready to step into helping spread hope while bringing awareness about addiction? Do you know someone in active addiction that needs healing thoughts? Have you lost someone to addiction? Our Memory Walk / Recovery Run is our biggest event of the year and we need you. We will celebrate ten years of community service and we want you with us for this incredible milestone. We have a special price for those runners and walkers under 18 years old. Please register here: 2024 Memory Walk / Recovery Run.

We are looking for like-minded organizations to become a resource vendor at our event. If you are in the field of mental health and/or addiction recovery/treatment, please join us. You must register as a runner/walker for the event, and bring your own table, chair, and tent. Sign up here.

April 18, 2024: It’s Alcohol Education Awareness Day at Harford Community College (208 Thomas Run Road – Bel Air, MD 21015) and what better way to give college students the power of choices than to show them alternatives to alcoholic drinks? From 11:00am to 2:00pm, mocktails and community partners will be on hand, including Rage, for an afternoon of important information. You CAN have fun without alcohol!


We serve locally but think globally. For counseling, or for addiction, substance abuse disorder, or mental illness treatment, please contact your area’s health department, county government, hospital, or law enforcement agency.

Addiction Connections Resource: A non-profit organization that assists with providing resources and support for addiction treatment and that educates the community about substance abuse disorder. Located in Fallston, MD. Please visit here or call 443-417-7810 for more information.

Ashley Addiction Treatment: An inpatient treatment center that personalizes clinical programs based on individual need. Located in Havre De Grace, MD. Please visit here or call 800-799-4673 for information about online and in-person meeting services.

Celebrate Recovery: A local support group for those with addictive behaviors. Located in Bel Air, MD and Joppa, MD.​

Mt. Zion Church (1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015): every Thursday at 5:45pm. Please visit here for more information about meetings.

Mountain Christian Church (New Life Center 1802 Mountain Road, Joppa, MD 21085): every Friday at 6:00pm. Please visit here for more details.

GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing): A local support group for those who have lost someone to addiction.

6:30pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church: 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

Contact for more information. The private national Facebook group is available. Please visit here to ask to join.

The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center: A clinic that provides immediate care for mental health and addiction. Located in Bel Air, MD. Please visit here or call 410-874-0711 for information about services.

Loving An Addict: A local support group for family and friends of those in active addiction.

7:00pm on the 1st Saturday of each month.

Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church: 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

Contact for more information.

Voices Of HopeAn organization made up of people in recovery who advocate for behavioral health disorder prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery resources, who eliminate the stigma of addiction through outreach events and education, and who support all pathways of recovery including harm reduction and Narcan training. Located in Cecil County, MD. Please visit here or call 443-933-7055 for information about services.

Daughter’s House: Designed to assist women who are transitioning from substance abuse treatment to recovery; includes three Level II Maryland Certification of Recovery Residence (MCORR) sober living houses (Daughter’s House, Sister House, and The Cottage) located in Harford County, MD. Each house is tailored to meet each individual’s needs.

RAA ABC (After Baby Care): Empowering new moms in early recovery with postpartum care packages for mother and baby. Items are selected from a predetermined checklist for qualifying and referred families.

HALO (How to Live Without Our Addicted Loved One): An online grief support group specifically for those that lost loved ones to substance abuse. Click here to ask to join the private Facebook page. *Please read and answer the membership questions prior to joining.*

Wendy Beck: Founder and Executive Director

Rachel Bongiorno: Daughter’s House Program Director and Recovery Coach

Mia EllisAdministrator and Board Secretary

Amanda Buddenbohn: Board of Directors President

Tara Kuzma: Board of Directors Treasurer

Abby Dodge: Peer Support

Rich Bennett: Board Member

Meredith Morris: Board Member

Jeff Pollard: Board Member