My life was unmanageable due to drugs long before I ever put drugs into my body. Growing up, I witnessed my mother and father use drugs regularly. I saw the impact it had on them as individuals and as a couple. My younger brother and I often went to different family member's houses during periods of time when my parents were trying to quit. This made growing up difficult, and I felt as if I was never given the amount of attention I wanted as a child.
Later on in life, I experimented with different substances. This seemed to fill the void I felt inside. I overdosed multiple times before even turning 18, and learned that doing so granted me a great amount of attention. I desperately wanted to be accepted by other kids at school and in the neighborhood, and doing drugs gave me the illusion that I finally fit in.
As an adult, I began to notice a physical and mental addiction. It started with not being able to leave my house unless on some sort of substance. I could not go to work or communicate with other people in the world without feeling like I was having a panic attack. Eventually, I would have seizures and hallucinations when I ran out of drugs. There wasn't a drug I was opposed to doing.
For me, the progressive nature of the disease of addiction is real. I broke every rule I had set with myself. I found myself selling my body and doing other unspeakable things in order to continue on my path of self-destruction. I eventually found myself sick, living in the woods, and spiritually broken. I finally reached out for help. I finally had hit my bottom.
I moved into the a Bridge to Life house the day after Easter in 2017. I was absolutely terrified. I was unable to make eye contact with anyone for more than a few moments without feeling like I was going to throw up. I found paraphernalia in my backpack, and gave it to one of the owners. I had fully given up at this point and was willing to do anything to change. I came to the realization that not changing for me meant death.
I was told that I needed to attend 12-step meetings, do my assigned chores daily, obey a curfew, and find a job. They explained to me that if I did these things, I could learn how to live a normal life without drugs. They made me feel welcome, loved, and valued. I could genuinely tell that they cared about me. They believed in me and told me I was worth it. In combination with learning normal adult responsibilities, I found an amazing 12-step fellowship through their guidance and suggestions.
In the beginning, one of the things that I struggled with the most were the weekly house meetings. I was absolutely terrified to have to speak in front of other people, especially about myself. They would go around to each individual woman and ask how things were going in our lives. In doing this, I learned the importance of being uncomfortable in recovery. I spoke with them about things that if kept inside could have been damaging to myself in the long run. I finally started to feel comfortable. I felt for the first time that I had a home.
I eventually moved out after fulfilling my 6 month contract. At 25 years old, I couldn't remember a single instance in which I completely followed through with a commitment. That was such a beautiful feeling. I am still very close with not only other women I met in the house, but with the two owners. Danielle taught me hope. Tim taught me love. I was shown a new way to live, and I am eternally grateful to the Bridge to Life for saving my life.
To whom this may be of use,
My experience in the the halfway house called Bridge to Life.
I came to this half way house some one who thought she knew what recovery held for her. Someone who thought they had it all figured out and the equation to mixing a good life and what I want together. I didn’t, Bridge to Life is where I began to really taste ...ironically Freedom. In the beginning I thought I was someone who was so broken but was so willing I learned there’s ALWAYS room for growth. With that I learned that even though I had to do things I didn’t want to I became willing to do them and then they became apart of me. Like making my bed keeping a room clean doing chores and thinking of the girl after me. I experienced conflicts that taught me I can handle them change and use them to grow every opportunity and experience is what can help shape and changed not my situation but my perception which changes my attitude and actions and then makes me someone I want to be. Look recovery is hard just like living with 6 other women ,watching some go back out, trying to do service, balance a job and meetings and steps and friends and all the things that come with being clean. But I can honestly say through my daughters sacrifice and Gods hands and this may sound cliché but that halfway house helped to save my life. I may not have loved it all day everyday but I’m grateful for every moment I lived there learning how to live and how to be the person I strive to be everyday. Everyday I still pray for god to open every door that needs to be opened and close every door that needs to be closed.
I hope this gives you the insight you need to see Bridge to Life through the eyes of one of the first girls to walk through the doors
I have been in the Bridge to Life house for 10 months now. I could never put a price on how much I have learned and grown as a woman in recovery here. When I first got here, I didn’t know whether I was coming or going or if I even wanted to be here. This home gave me the opportunity to work on myself and learn to stand on my own two feet. I have learned more in these past 10 months here on how to work though trials and tribulations than I have ever know before. I have learned how to smile and start to like the person I am today! I have learned to take things as they come, to try not to take things personally and everything is not an emergency. I currently work full time and have just started school again at 42 years old. I am truly grateful for this experience!
Thank you, Bridge to Life,
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