China’s Recovery Story
Q: When were you at House of Hope?
China: I was at House of Hope in 2005 and I have 15 years of clean time.
Q: How has your life changed from when you started the program compared to now?
China: I think my life has changed because I can see the bigger picture now. Being at House of Hope helped me mature emotionally and spiritually. It took a lot for me to come to terms with my emotions because I have been through a lot but my life has changed for the better because I have matured and learned to let go of the guilt and shame that I used to feel. Before I came to House of Hope I had no relationship with my daughter, even though I thought I did. I kept her with me while I was living in my addiction and I beat myself up for a really long time because I did things around my daughter that I shouldn’t have done. I learned to forgive myself for my past and to keep moving forward.
Now I’ve got 15 years of clean time and I’m working. I also recently enrolled in school, I have an associate’s degree already but I want to go back and go further my education. I like helping people so I want to find a way to help people through my work, especially young women. That would bring me so much joy.
Q: What did you learn or gain from your time at House of Hope that helps you stay sober today?
China: I learned that no matter what I might be going through I don’t have to use drugs to get through it. My motivator at the time when I was living at House of Hope, as hard and stern as she was, was Ms. Ollie. It was hard for me to visit my daughter when I was at House of Hope because she lived outside of the city and one day I was crying because I was upset about not getting to visit he as much as I wanted to. I said to Ms. Ollie “I might as well just go and get high.” Ms. Ollie looked at me and said “China you don’t ever have to use drugs again, no matter what you’re going through.” Hearing her say that helped me to say it to myself in my mind that I was never getting high again.
Q: What advice do you have for a woman who is just getting started in her recovery
China: Stay! Don’t leave before the miracle happens. Stay and get what you can, try to grow, and don’t think everyone is out to get you. You are an addict, but you can recover.
Q: What are you most grateful for?
China: I’m grateful that I am here. I’m grateful for my relationship with my daughter. I’m grateful for Sister Therese. I’m grateful for all the women I met during my time at House of Hope who I’ve kept in contact with and for my sponsor.