A solid foundation of support and access to recovery resources helped Honesty build the life she wanted to live.
CEO Honesty Liller found hope, housing, and recovery support at the McShin Foundation when she reached out for help in 2007. A long-time user who struggled with addiction from a very young age, she never expected to have a life she was proud of. However, her future was brighter than she knew.
“I never for one second imagined I would be the CEO and my life story would give someone else hope,” she said. “Who wouldn’t want to get up every day and surround themselves with amazing people? Fighting to reduce that negative outlook on addiction and being a voice of recovery is something I am very passionate about. The life I have now because of recovery is a gift and I never want to give that up.”
Honesty found new meaning and purpose in recovery. As the CEO of the McShin Foundation, she’s a strong advocate for people with substance use disorder—and a powerful role model for other women. Her recovery started with five months in McShin Foundation’s women-only recovery home. Shortly after moving out of the home, she started working for McShin. She said that her connections to other women helped support and nourish her on her journey to a healthy, happy life. She was accepted to Stanford for an Executive Non-Profit Leadership course. Today, she considers recovery to be a great gift—one that is made for sharing.
“It is my job as a woman in long-term recovery to cherish my recovery and show other women they can do it too,” she said.
Honesty said that housing was especially important to her in early recovery. Being in a safe, caring environment set her on the path of sustained wellness. Twelve years later, she’s still going strong, and seeing the benefits of housing and gender-specific support for others as well.
“I think there needs to be more recovery housing for women and their children. I was fortunate enough that my family took care of my daughter when I was in active addiction and while living in McShin. There are so many women out there that do not have that opportunity. So, their kids end up in foster care or adopted. Having more gender specific programs in communities is needed nationally. Being a woman, I can confide in another woman with some things that I just don’t share with men in my life,” she said.
She added that women have different challenges than men, especially when it comes to social roles and responsibilities like childcare. However, staying healthy and sticking with recovery have empowered Honesty to be a better woman, mom, wife, and leader.
She said, “Being a mom is one of the biggest challenges I face for many reasons. I felt very judged because my daughter was born addicted and I was incapable of being a mother to her. That negative outlook on addiction was so much worse back then. Now, the challenges are just trying to be the best mom I can be. Sometimes I just wonder if I am doing a good enough job for my children, but I do know that I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Recovery has taught me to never give up on myself, love myself, and forgive myself all the time.”
A solid foundation of support and access to recovery resources helped Honesty build the life she wanted to live. Her dedication to advocacy is truly inspiring.