Where I came from, drinking and using drugs was the norm. Everybody did it, which is why I started at age 14. I’d smoke every day and then drink on the weekends. I was always a good kid and an honor roll student, but eventually I got tired of being the good child.


I tried pills for the first time when I was 19 and that’s when things got bad. I had a three-year-old son at the time and could immediately see the change in him as well. He went from being a very happy, outgoing little boy to a very quiet and reserved one. When I crossed that line and turned into a different person, I saw him cross that line and turn into a different child.


A year before I came to Healing Transitions, I literally lost everything. In just one week, I lost my mom, my house, and was in the process of losing my kids. I didn’t want to live anymore but I was too afraid to die. That’s when I knew I needed help. I knew I was going to die because people around me were dying. It was too much for me to handle.


My caseworker explained to me the steps I needed to take to be around my kids again and I was ready. Healing Transitions took me in immediately. When I first arrived, it was hard for me to admit I was homeless and had a problem. As I processed my situation, I started seeing people around me who were happy all the time. I thought it was fake but realized rather quickly that it was genuine. And I desperately wanted it. For years, I couldn’t do anything without being under the influence. But after my first week at Healing Transitions, I turned a corner. I could finally sweep and mop a floor without getting high, and I was so grateful for that feeling.


I was at Healing Transitions for 16 months before I completed the program and moved into an Oxford House. Six months later, my daughter came to live with me which was much more difficult than I expected, even though it was all I wanted. Thankfully, my roommates, Jamie and Jasmine, were there to help. We all lived together and they showed me how to be a mother again.


A few months later, Healing Transitions connected me with Passage Home. They helped me get a house with my name on the lease which was a huge step for me. During that time, my son came to live with us, and I met my fiancé. As I worked hard to keep my sobriety and continue to practice the principles I learned at Healing Transitions, all of these wonderful things fell into place.


My life today is great! There are still hard days, but throughout this recovery journey, I haven’t once thought about not wanting to live. I face new obstacles every day, but I try to take them with grace and remember that God already has things worked out for me.


We just moved into our new home. I get to pay rent. I have my kids who are beautiful human beings and great children. I’m engaged in their lives, I’m in school and I’m working again. Healing Transitions helped save my life and turn me into the woman I am today!


And now I get to give back to the very organization that rescued me and my family. I now work as the Child and Family Service Peer Support Specialist. As the CFSCPSS, I help mothers who are in recovery from substance use disorder reconnect with their children. Having this position is full circle for me. I thank God for the life that I have today and the opportunity to help other women’s light shine again. 


I am the middle ground between the mothers, care givers, and the social worker (if there is an active CPS case). In addition to moms in recovery, I also help other women in our program navigate the current social service system by connecting them with Medicaid, affordable doctors, and accessing other resources. My goal every day is to break down barriers for mothers and participants so they can focus on recovery.


I’m most passionate about watching the life come back into an individual’s eyes. They have been through so much, and watching someone finally surrender to recovery and begin to fall in love with life again has given my work true meaning.


As a mother in recovery, I know first-hand that this disease does not only affect the parents, but it affects the children. Children notice the change in their parents, so when the parent begins to heal, the child begins to heal. It’s amazing to watch that light come on for participants and their children.


Substance use disorder affects the whole family. Starting with the individual currently suffering from substance abuse is the first step, but addressing the need of the entire family is vital to the recovery process..


During active addiction, trust is broken and hurtful things happen.  As an individual recovers, trust is rebuilt and amends begin, when this occurs the family can all heal together.