When I came through Gaudenzia’s doors, I was absolutely broken and hopeless. I never wish to feel that way again. I truly didn’t think I was capable of life without drugs or alcohol. I remember reading the Big Book in the waiting room and seeing this passage: “… there are those to, who are constitutionally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty, there are such unfortunates…” I remember showing my counselor as soon as I got called into her office. “That’s it! This is me! I knew there was something wrong with me, why didn’t I ‘get it?’ It’s been here this whole time!” She just shook her head and laughed a little as I stood there enraged by her response. She explained that passage in detail and I couldn’t have been more upset about it. I wanted the easy way out but I am so grateful that she didn’t allow that. She has been so inspirational to me and I truly don’t know where I would be today without her.
When I completed Outpatient at Gaudenzia I had no intention of completing graduation and absolutely no desire to work for Gaudenzia, but here I am. I was encouraged to apply for work at Fountain Springs, a long-term residential program for women and children. This wasn’t my original choice for a career, but working at Fountain Springs has been an amazing experience every day. I can’t begin to describe the changes one can see in someone working in long-term treatment not only with their recovery but also as a mother. The rewards have been endless. I’ve learned what it is to be in the Gaudenzia family and how important each family member is. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on this year’s Graduation Panel at Sunbury Outpatient, which was an incredible experience! I’ve been drug and alcohol-free since December 5, 2011, and my life today holds so much promise. I’m the mother of three amazing little boys, going to marry the man of my dreams in July, have been a part of advocating for drug and alcohol treatment at the State Legislature in Harrisburg, became a person that members of my own community have reached out to for loved ones struggling with addiction, and so much more. I owe all that to Gaudenzia.
So thank you for believing in me. Thank you for having patience with me. Thank you for loving me, when I couldn’t love myself. I am who I am today because you showed me it was possible.