Today we’d like to introduce you to Malory Ruesch.
Hi Malory, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
LISTEN HERE (this will help with much more detail): https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lwlf-podcast-season-2-episode-24/id1503178918?i=1000535163093.
Growing up, my childhood was difficult. My father didn’t want me, and my mother was an alcoholic. We moved around often, mostly in hotels, or friends’ homes.
As I got into high school, my home life was still a struggle, but I found peace through school activities. I joined the cheer team, yearbook committee, honor society, and student council.
I was a straight-A student that no one knew was broken completely on the inside. A young girl who never had a place to call home or believed she was loved. How could anyone love a girl that not even her own father wanted? I was scheduled to graduate early but easily fell into the need to fit in, be a part of, and be accepted by my new college friends.
A straight-A student with multiple scholarships…. so quickly fell into addiction’s grasp. My grades dropped, and so did my need to succeed. My inner child didn’t know how to heal, so alcohol and drugs became my coping mechanism. Alcohol turned to weed, weed to oxycodone, oxycodone to heroin, and eventually meth.
I was unaware that the things guiding me in this direction were the things within me undealt with. By the end of 2012, I was a full-blown heroin addict. By May of 2013, I was arrested for the first but not the last time. I did a week in jail, finally got clean, and my mother bailed me out on the stipulation I move back home. I agreed.
While I was packing my things, I noticed SWAT left drugs and the evidence against me behind. Within three months, I spiraled further into my addiction. By August of 2013, I was arrested on 15 felonies and 13 misdemeanors and faced nearly 30 years in prison at the age of 19 years old. I was offered treatment in many forms: Drug court, Inpatient, outpatient, etc.
I failed each one for one reason or another. (I wasn’t dealing with what I was running from. Addiction is an effect, there is always a cause). In November 2014, my sentencing date arrived. Finally, after being told I was a lost cause by many therapists and treatment facilitators that gave up on me, I was ready to either take my life or go to prison. I no longer saw the value of my presence and believed no one else did either.
That day in the courtroom, I stood at the podium and accepted my fate. Wondering how I got to this point… As the judge was about to sentence me to prison, a man came through the courtroom door. He asked to speak with the judge and prosecution. I didn’t know who this man was.
The judge looked at me after about 30 minutes and said “Malory, I’m not sure what Chuck Marshall can do for you that I haven’t already tried, but I’m going to give him the chance. I am sentencing you to three-year, private probation with a ZERO tolerance.”
I was released that day to go home. Chuck Marshalls with OMS probation told me he would meet with me in a couple of weeks. I did what any addict would have done. Once again, used. The next day, I receive a call from Chuck. He asks me to come into his office. It was obvious I was high.
I arrive and sit at his desk. He takes one look at me and grabs a paper from his fax to start filling it out in silence.
I ask him what it is and he tells me it’s the incompliance report for the judge, and I was going to prison.
I start bawling. Chuck stands up in anger, banging his hands on the desk, and asks “WHAT THE HELL DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET YOU TO CHOOSE TO LIVE??” We sit there in silence as I process my answer. “I want to be inspired into recovery, not punished,” I cry.
Chuck takes a minute to think, and rips up the report. Then tell me that he wants me to find my way again. He had been following my story for a while and believes that I am not a lost cause.
From that day, he made me promise to call him every day. If he answered, we would talk about how my day went. If he didn’t then I was required to leave a one-minute voicemail. This would tell him two things:
1. That I’m alive.
2. If I’m high.
For the next six months, not only did I stay clean, but I built a relationship with someone who believed in me more than anyone ever had. He became a father figure that inspired me every day to want to choose to live. He helped heal the little girl within me. After the six-month check-ins, he told me It was time TO START LIVING.
I enrolled in school for my bachelor’s. So badly I wanted to be in healthcare but because of my record, there seemed to be no possible way. Chuck encouraged me to go for it if that’s what my heart wanted. Although confused, I trusted his advice more than anyone.
I got a job and started doing what made me happy. I rented a room from a man who became my best friend and attended all of my therapy with me. He became my biggest supporter in living the best life. His family understood my situation and loved me through it. My mom got sober, and we started celebrating recovery together.
Life was good and smooth. I continued staying clean and growing every day with so much support.
2 1/2 years into my program, I receive a letter on my doorstep. No name, no address. Just a blank envelope. I open it to read the biggest miracle I’ve ever received. One paper was a congratulation confirmation on my successful graduation from OMS probation. The second paper, A full 402 clearance of my entire record. With a small note at the bottom, that said “it’s time to start living.” I knew there was only one man that loved me enough to make this happen.
My best friend months later, ended up proposing. This proposal brought up alot of pain because I didn’t have the one thing every woman needs for a wedding. A father. My fiancé “Why don’t you ask Chuck?” That was the best person I could ever have asked.
For the next five months, I called Chuck. No answer. I wondered if it was a conflict of interest because I was now graduated. I didn’t leave a voicemail, because I wanted to see his reaction. Two more months, and no answer.
It was nearly two weeks before my wedding, and I had to make a decision. I asked my grandfather.
Fast forward to the day before my wedding. I receive a call from a number I don’t recognize. It’s Chuck’s best friend Bobby, a man I had only met a few times.
“Malory, I’m so sorry to be the one to tell you this, but Chuck was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has been fighting for his life ever since. He asked that I call you. He is being placed on hospice and has asked that you come to see him if you are able.”
I left at that moment, arriving at his home. I sat there with my hero for what only seemed like a few minutes. This man put everything on the line to save me, a stranger.
He wouldn’t be able to walk me down the aisle but he hugged me so tightly and knew how broken his absence would leave me. His words at that moment were: You were never a lost cause. I love you so much. Promise me one thing… You’ll tell your story and save others like you have been saved. “I promise Chuck,” I cried.
I walked out that day knowing that was going to be the last day I was going to see my hero again. I didn’t yet understand the pressure of the promise I made that day. I went from the worst day of my life to the best day, in 24 hours, thanking Chuck wholeheartedly for everything he had given me.
Three days later, my hero died. A year passed, and I was unsure of how I was going to fulfill such an important promise. The one thing I never got with Chuck was a photo. I was fearful I would forget all of our good memories. So one night, I sat down and journaled every memory I had with Chuck, every piece of advice, every lesson, motto, or understanding he had ever taught me.
It was at that moment I realized that that journal was the outline for my promise. I was going to tell my story by writing a book in special memory of my hero. Chuck Marshall.
Inspired to Recover is publishing soon! I now travel speaking to schools, institutions, jails, podcasts, and news channels telling my story to inspire and save the lives of the addicts still suffering.
I do what I do not for my name to be known, but so that Chucks will never be forgotten.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Absolutely not. Rollercoaster the whole way. I had to learn that addiction is an effect and identify the causes. I had to learn to love myself despite my life’s condition. Because of insecurity and question, I would seek validation through others even if it meant sacrifice.
My condition was not my conclusion. Living is a choice. Healing my inner child was the ultimate battle. Healing became the ultimate goal.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am an Author, Survivor, and Motivational speaker that travels the country telling her story. Helping addicts understand that addiction is an effect, and teaching family unity after the impact of addiction.
I educate young adults, help them identify underlying causes, and inspire those that are currently in addiction.
Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
My goal is to be a Chuck for many. Although gone, he loved me until I was strong enough to love myself. He taught me how to help others while showing me what life can be like after addiction. Healing is the ultimate goal and something our world needs more of.
I will spend the rest of my life healing others, and loving others until they are strong enough to love themselves. I will spend the rest of my life fulfilling my promise to Chuck Marshall.
RIP Chuck. Hope you can see it all. I miss you every day.
- My book Inspired to Recover- $24.95
- My Journey Journal- Everyone has a story. Start writing yours now is on AMAZON FOR $10
- Malory can be booked for speaking engagements anywhere. Price is circumstantial
- Healing Utah Success Summit-Event in SAINT GEORGE AUGUST 20th, Dixie Convention Center 1-5 PM Tickets AVAILABLE at Rueschrecovery.com
- Email: Rueschrecovery@gmail.com
- Website: Rueschrecovery.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rueschrecovery/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GuruMaloryRuesch
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0Py96tMeWc