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Stepping into Recovery

In the photo, she stands proudly with her case manager a few hours before she moved into her new home. 

She had been an IHSS worker for over 8 years and was a banquet server on the side. She shared a place with her daughter for the past 11 years and had a good life. When COVID struck, her life shifted. Being a caregiver was challenging, but it became more difficult when her hours decreased and the needs of those she served increased.

Her daughter, whom she had a strong relationship with, also decided to move out at this time, inviting more anxiety. As the world shut down and she struggled to get by, she felt the stress worsen. She shared, “I went to work one day, went home and took a shower, and never went back.”  

She had been drinking off and on since she was 25 years old, sometimes trying other substances. It had never significantly impacted her life. She couldn’t describe what happened when she left her house that day, but she found herself living outside, on the same street, for two years. 

She felt as though she had died for those two years. Her friends would drive by to check on her. She would keep the street clean. She only slept on two chairs because she feared bugs. It was as if time had stopped. 

Because she didn’t leave that street, her feet hurt when she tried walking longer distances again. She remembered walking to Walmart one day and described how weird it was being around “normal people.” She felt completely out of place. 

When she stepped into North A Street, she was ready to be part of that world again. She found support in the staff and attended NA and AA meetings. She celebrated every day clean, using the support of those who were rooting for her as fuel. She rested and ate well, feeling stronger and healthier as each day passed. She also connected with mental health services. 

She has remained clean for the last six months, marking her longest stretch of sobriety in about 20 years. She exclaimed, “I’m me again!” and reminded those who are listening, “Don’t do drugs.” 

She moved into shared housing with the support of her mental health provider. When asked what’s next, she shared that she wants to find a part-time job, play a little bingo, spend time with her older friends, watch TV, and cook. 

We are happy to have her back.



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