I was 51 years old by the time I reached Prelude. Alcohol and drugs were a part of my life for over 30 years.

I’ll never forget the day I walked through those doors. I was so scared and so broken down by then I knew this was my last chance or I would die. The first person I came into contact with was the nurse. She put her arm around me and told me that everything will be okay. I clung to her words; she was so kind and caring. I was then taken to my room and introduced to my roommates. I’ll never forget the fear I felt at that point. I knew I couldn’t live with or without drugs and alcohol and didn’t know if anyone was capable of ‘fixing’ me. All the shame and guilt of my life was becoming a reality and all I could do was cry.

The next day I met my counselor who I immediately felt a connection to. She was so compassionate and I felt like for the first time in a long while I was worthwhile. Everyday got a little easier and I became stronger, really starting to believe what my counselor and other staff were telling me, that I could live and be happy without drugs and alcohol. Every time I saw my counselor the guilt and shame became less and less and I told her everything and how I desperately wanted my children and family in my life. Through the years I had slowly but surely alienated myself from the people who I love and love me. I had lost all their trust and really become nothing more than an embarrassment. My children would not let me have my grandchildren without supervision.

I’d lost count of how many places I lived and how many jobs I’d lost by the time I reached treatment. I only had the clothes on my back and a small suitcase—I’d lost everything. That’s where my addiction had taken me.

Toward the end of my 28 days my counselor suggested I go to a halfway house. By this time I trusted her completely to know what was best for me. I ended up living there for a year. I moved into my ‘first’ little apartment, I had a job for as long as I’d been there, plus I hadn’t missed a day’s work in almost a year’s time. I enrolled into community college and started school. Through this whole process I discovered a passion for helping other women find recovery. I now work for a treatment center and have the privilege of lending my expertise and life experience to others in need. Life comes full circle.

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