Yolanda’s Story

April 2018
Yolanda's Story
In the summer of 2005 I was compelled to check myself into Gaudenzia’s Fountain Springs substance abuse treatment program after my probation officer and Children and Youth Services had learned that I had relapsed after accumulating a little bit of clean time in recovery. My options were: go to prison and lose your children or go into treatment and work harder at my recovery.

I would like to say it was an easy choice to make – but as those who know the nature of addiction, it will strip you of all rationale and void you of any emotional attachment to anything or anyone. The instinct of self-preservation is hijacked, and harm and danger become par for the course so that the addict can preserve his or her high.

During my first 60 days in treatment I was extremely bipolar. Even when I was in a group meeting trying to have a good day, out of the blue, my attitude would just go south. Finally, the staff and the other residents decided it was time to call out my behaviors – and that day is when my recovery really started.

I began to take an honest assessment of my life and what it had become.  I began to take personal responsibility for my behaviors and allowed others to help me. My big sister became a source of strength for me. I successfully completed the program in January of 2006 and it was one of my greatest achievements.

Since completing Fountain Springs, I graduated from college, became a Certified Recovery Specialist and volunteer as an advocate for individuals who need a helping hand. I get to travel the country and share my story of hope with other recovering individuals and use my time and talents in my place of worship. In 2014 while I was on the Community Corrections Board for Gaudenzia, Paula Ruane, Gaudenzia’s Central Region Director, had discovered I had successfully completed Fountain Springs. She encouraged me to become a Gaudenzia graduate.

To become a graduate I had to write a bio of myself and what I have been doing since being in recovery. My recovery sponsor had to write a letter concerning the quality of my recovery.  My employer at that time had to write a letter concerning my character and my work ethic and I had to get a letter from Fountain Springs stating I had successfully completed the program and then those documents were evaluated before I was approved for graduation. It was an awesome feeling to be amongst other Gaudenzia graduates during the ceremony.

Gaudenzia affords people like myself and thousands of others to live a quality of life we could never have imagined. I am so grateful to be afforded the opportunity to live two lives in one lifetime.

I now work for Gaudenzia’s DELTA Community program as the Transitional Housing Case Manager to assist single-parent, homeless families obtain clean, affordable, permanent housing.