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Thanks for Giving: Recovering meth addict counts her blessings
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Thanks for Giving: Recovering meth addict counts her blessings

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Thanks For Giving, 11.17

Tanya Iron Thunder with her dog, Ponca, at her mother's home Tuesday in Central City. Iron Thunder has been helped through the assistance of CenterPointe, one of 16 agencies participating in this year’s Journal Star Thanks for Giving project.

Tanya Iron Thunder will pause on Thanksgiving Day to reflect on past decisions and give thanks for being in her third year of recovery from a life of drug abuse.

Thanks in large part to counseling and treatment at CenterPointe, the 49-year-old Lincoln woman has a new lease on life. In her past is a history marred by an addiction to methamphetamine that eventually led to drug and forgery charges.

In 2006, she received a three-year sentence to the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York. She served the sentence and completed a probationary period stemming from an unrelated matter on Feb. 14 of this year.

Iron Thunder says she discovered a different pathway to life through the counseling assistance of Frieda and Melissa — counselors assigned to her case at CenterPointe — and through meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. She has also found spiritual guidance at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ and Christ Place Church.

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“As a young teenager I chose to ‘fit in’ …. I did not know about the addiction that came with that,” said Iron Thunder, who has wrestled with meth abuse since her teenage years.

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“Today, though, I have help from CenterPointe that has taught me how to make the daily choice to not pick up. Most importantly, I have my higher power, Lord Wakonda. By the grace of God, there go I.”

Her list of reasons to be thankful on Thanksgiving next week will be longer than it’s been in a while. She is grateful for being in her third year of recovery, the expiration of her probationary period and for her job as a driver for RailCrew Xpress transportation service — an opportunity that has added significance in light of the pandemic and related financial woes.

Moving forward, she's hopeful for a reconciliation with her 21-year-old daughter, and is looking forward to the release of her husband, who is serving a sentence on a drug-related charge at the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.

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