Residential Program, 2012
STC Alumni Association Member
You are a strong woman.
You can be anything you set your mind to.
You are loved.
You are a good person.
You are smart and capable.
These are the messages I had growing up in a loving, supportive family. I was given all of the love and support I needed for a happy, healthy life. For some reason this was not enough for me to realize my worth and value. I spent the better part of my adult life trying to find myself in a world that almost killed me. I started using drugs at a young age “to fit in”. The need to be accepted and valued by others led me on a path of self- destruction for many years. By the time I landed on the doorsteps of STC I was a shell of who I was growing up. I had no significant connections to the world around me. I had been in and out of jail, overdosed countless times and had been living a life that was completely centered on the ways and means to get more drugs. I had built up so many walls around me to keep my heart safe. I had been living a life full of shame and guilt for who I had become and how I was choosing to live.
To be honest, at this point I really did not know anymore who I was or how to be anything different than a drug addict and a criminal.
One of the first days I spent at STC I met a woman who had been living the same type of life as me, yet here she was, working on changing herself and becoming a better person. It was my first glimpse at hope. I spent some time in reflection with her and she shared the saying “Be the change you want to see in the world” . I didn’t fully understand what this even meant at the time, but it stuck in my head.
I began to realize that there was hope. I could be something different. I could go back to who I was, and even better, create a healthy life and be who I wanted to be. I could be that change!
I became to understand that my addiction did not have to define who I was. I began to work on how to fix my relationships with my family. I learned how to be accountable and responsible. I began to believe the words and messages that I got as a child. Maybe, just maybe….
I DO HAVE WORTH. I AM IMPORTANT. I AM STRONG. AND I AM LOVED.
The walls began to come down. I learned the value of one addict helping another in the therapeutic community, and have carried this message of hope to my community. I have taken the things I have learned at STC and incorporated them into my life. I am an active member of a 12- step fellowship in which I continue the recovery journey. I believe strongly that we need to give back what was given to us, in order to stay clean. I am a member of the Stonehenge Alumni, I am a sponsor to other woman and I work as an Outreach worker in my community.
My addiction is a part of my story but it does not define me anymore.
I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am an aunt. I am a friend. I am a strong woman.
For me the message is compassion and hope. No one is too damaged or too far-gone to love. No one is beyond hope.
Stonehenge gave me hope. Stonehenge gave me my life back, and for that I am ever grateful.