Angelia’s Story

I started drinking around age 12 or 13, and my best friend’s older sister introduced us to marijuana around the same time. I went through high school skipping classes and rebelling against anyone who tried to dissuade my destructive behavior.

At the age of 21, I tried cocaine for the first time. I went on to use it for many years, and at first it wasn’t a problem. But there came a day when I lost all control. I started to deteriorate mentally, physically, emotionally and financially until finally I was a train wreck.

I started going to drug treatment centers, but I would only manage for a few months, sometimes years, but as always, my addiction would resurface. In 2010, I ended up at St. Martin de Porres House of Hope, and by God’s grace I was given a new outlook on life. I had never been able to bridge the gap between treatment and recovery. I had never worked the 12 steps before. I had never believed I could be free before. But something about St. Martin changed me.

I began to employ every resource that was available to me. Through counseling and support services, I finally gained insight to overcome things that had haunted me for more than 40 years.

My dreams began to re-emerge and my confidence skyrocketed.

I was encouraged to go back to school. I decided that I wanted a career helping people. I graduated from East-West University with an associate degree in behavioral science. Currently, I’m a 4.0 student at Harold Washington College pursuing my credentials to become an addiction counselor. Furthering my education has been an exciting, empowering and character-building journey.

When I arrived at St. Martin, I was very badly beaten and defeated and I had almost given up. I needed support, nurturing and encouragement. I received all that and then some. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Sr. Therese O’Sullivan and to everyone who helps her do what she does!