Note to Self: Mona’s Story

At Herren Wellness, Thursdays are a special day. Each week two guests are selected to write a letter to their younger self and read it to the community.

Note To Self was instituted as part of our program after our founder, Chris Herren, was asked to be part of The Note to Self series featured on the CBS morning show. The assignment seemed so simple, but the impact of writing the note to his younger self had a great impact on him.

In this week’s blog we have the privilege of sharing previous guest Mona’s note to self.

Your path to recovery will by no means be a straight path. It will be full of twists and turns. There will be rivers to cross and mountains to climb but I promise you it will be so worth it. One day you will see your worth and realize that all the pain you will endure  will eventually begin to make sense. Little by little you will have moments of brilliant clarity which will help you survive even the darkest of times. 

With each obstacle and test you soon learn that the only thing that stays the same is that everything changes. The day you put a substance in your body is the day all your fears and insecurities will instantly disappear. That is also the day you will eventually realize was the day you made a deal with the devil. Sooner rather than later the sun will fade and the darkness will prevail. The saying that drugs are hell disguised as heaven will be devastatingly real. 

Your life will become a storm that seems impossible to find shelter from. People will come and go; each branding a unique lesson on your soul. Your heart will be broken so many times that it will be hard to count and quite honestly pointless. With bravery and endurance you will pick up the pieces and with love and defeat put the pieces back together silently wiping away the falling tears. You have faith in people. A faith you question with each piece.

Through the ups and downs of your life and your drug use you will find hope by witnessing the unconditional and relentless love your mom and dad have for you. You will realize that there is a very good chance that your mother’s prayers saved your life more times than you would like to admit. You will understand the power of that same exact love when you meet the two true loves of your life. Paxton Michael and Makraya Grace will be born four years apart to two mentally and physically abusive ex-boyfriends. 

Sadly, there will be years of your life where eggshells are your ground and fear is comfortable and certain.

You will spend years watching your life pass by like a movie. A sad drama filled with rock bottom lows, love, hope, determination, and heartbreak. 

Home will become a mixture of water and crystals and safety is a pigment of your imagination. 

God will flash huge warning signs before your eyes meant to make you realize the severity of your chaos. You will ignore each one and live on with a dangerous and fake invincibility. One major example being the day you skid and rolled several times across the highway traveling almost 80mph like a tiny matchbox car potentially taking the lives of you, your nephew, or sister. Even then you don’t realize the wreckage of your use or how life could have changed drastically the instant your eyes closed behind that powerful wheel. 

Child Protective Services will play a huge role in your story. You will doubt yourself and that unbreakable bond you have with your two miracles and each time the State of Montana takes them from your custody as a direct result of your drug use they will look at you with tears and confusion in their sweet eyes. You will know they question their mother’s love for them and wonder why mommy chooses meth over them.  Your helpless heart will break yet again. You learn to deal with this kind of self-inflicted trauma by sprinting away and searching for peace in little baggies. 

You will unfortunately memorize the cement walls of multiple jail cells and sit for hours on end trying to solve all the incorrect equations of your life. God works in mysterious ways, which you have always prayed would one day make sense. You have to feel pain to appreciate the good things in life. Please keep believing that things will work out!! 

You will realize that you have been searching your whole life for someone that truly understands you. You know you have to be meant for someone right? That someone is Kyle. Not only will you have found your best friend but you will discover that you have found your soulmate. Suddenly, all the heartache from past relationships will sorta begin to make sense and you will make peace with your past and all the people who hurt you so badly.

All those people were just stepping stones to build your path to Kyle. 

You will still struggle with the effects of drugs and your heart will literally ache for your children. You will find yourself lost and broken and search fearlessly for help. One day you will learn that being drug free and living a life in recovery are polar opposites.

The moment you press send after writing a 2 am cry for help Instagram message to Chris Herren is the moment your life will change drastically but this time for the good. He will message you back the very next morning asking “where are you from and when can you get here?” You will impulsively book your flight without a second thought but wisely mom and dad advise you to “make sure it is really Chris Herren.” By the grace of God everything checks out. 

Little do you know you are about to take part in the most important adventure of your life. You will feel extremely proud because for the first time in your life YOU are choosing to do this for YOU so that your sweet brown eyed boy and precious blue eyed girl can have a mom they so badly deserve. 

You will soon discover this gold mine of beautiful, genuine people all away across the country in Seekonk, Mass. They will help save your life and they will love you until you learn to love yourself. Your journey to find your peace will begin 2,430 miles from home!!

Mona left a large impact on the Herren Wellness community and infused so much of her vulnerability and creativity into her Note to Self, exactly what the exercise is intended for.

Before guests leave Herren Wellness they are asked to do this exercise and it is truly a moving experience to see how far guests have come and the community support around each of the selected speakers, it is a moment for guests to feel the connection and love of the Herren Wellness community.

About Herren Wellness

Herren Wellness is a thriving community of people at all stages of their recovery journey. We introduce healthy habits and routines centered around emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness that provide a solid foundation for rediscovering your interests, experiencing joy in sobriety, and building structure and routine.

We provide several alumni support communities, including a weekly recovery support group, monthly alumni meeting, and online alumni community you can access anytime. Your connection to Herren Wellness doesn’t end when your stay ends; we are there for you throughout your recovery journey.

If you, or a loved one, are looking for help, please call us at (844) 443-7736, email us at, or fill out a contact form. You are not alone.