New Directions for Women is honored to share this video testimonial from alumna Alyssa. Alyssa shares how, at the age of 18, addiction was winning her life. Through participation in experiential therapies while in residential treatment and working the 12 Steps, Alyssa has begun her recovery journey at the young age of 20. We have transcribed her story for you to read along.
I’m Alyssa; I’m an alumna here at New Directions for Women. Two years ago I quickly went from marijuana which I used for five years into methamphetamine. In a quick period of time, within months, it ruined my whole life. I had a one and a half year old little boy who I lost to my dad. I signed over temporary custody, I walked away from school, work. I had a full time position at school and a part time position at the financial aid office which was a really good thing for me. I lost it due to the use of meth and getting involved with a guy.
I quickly became homeless. I was 18 turning 19 years old, on the streets, not knowing where I was going to lay my head at night, and that was the worst feeling I could ever have. I was hungry, I was poor, and I was homeless. I was in and out of motel rooms with this guy. Eventually about 9 months into the relationship he was arrested for possession of a firearm and I still continued to stay out on the streets.
I did IOP (Intensive Outpatient Therapy) at a place called Alternative Options. Failed out of that. I couldn’t get more than 10 days sober. I just wasn’t ready. The third time I was there, I was eventually in a meeting room saying, “I’m over this, I can’t do this, I’m gonna relapse, I don’t wanna be sober.” The next day I went out and I never came back home. I quickly became homeless again. It was bad.
Finally I called my dad because I was tired of it. Told him I wanted to come home and my dad told me, “If you want to come home you have to go to in-patient rehab.” And I was on the phone like, “Is this my dad? Who is this I’m talking to? He’s never told me this before. Okay, I can get out of this like I always do.”
He always told me he was going to send me to in-patient; I never went. I got myself back in IOP but this time my IOP told me they’re not taking me back either, I gotta do 30 day in-patient. I came home that Friday and the next morning we were driving to New Directions for Women.
I got to New Directions for Women expecting only to be there 14 days; thinking that was all my insurance was going to cover and I told everybody and everyone, “I’m not staying past 14 days! Eff this place, eff these people. I’m gonna leave. I’ll be sober off meth but I’m still going to smoke weed…” And that quickly changed. It quickly changed.
I had a complete turnaround at the Equine Therapy with the horses. I bonded with a horse who was a mother horse. After we did the processing group and I finally started to open up to the girls and that’s where I had my complete turnaround. And I turned around and told my Therapist and my Case Manager that I wanted to do 30 days. And once I did that I had a couple more spiritual awakenings. I did at the Sparrow Drum Circle which helped me.
I surrendered. I stopped trying to live life my own way ‘cause that wasn’t working for me anymore. I put everything in God’s hands.
And the minute that I put everything in God’s hands, doors just started opening for me. Opportunities started coming to me. I liked my meetings. I liked the people that I met.
New Directions changed my life and it changed my life for the best. So I got to do 30 days there. I left still being friends with the girls that I met there. We go to meetings together and hangout outside of the house and outside of meetings together which is really fun. We have sober fun. I’m coming up on my 20th birthday and I’m excited to do it sober. I’m excited to just be with family.
I have my son back and he has his mommy back. And he loves it. And I love it. Tomorrow I’m going to be 60 days clean and sober. And this is the best I’ve felt in 5 years.
I want to go to school to become a substance abuse counselor. I’m looking into Intercoast College. Hopefully in two years I get to come back and be a Care Coordinator for New Directions for Women. That’s another goal of mine. Very excited. New Directions is a great place and it changed my life.
New Directions for Women is a treatment facility located in California that offers help to women of all ages, pregnant women in any trimester, and women with children. Founded in 1977, our courageous and visionary founders asked for the help of Newport Beach Junior League members to fulfill their vision of a tranquil home-like facility that would treat women with dignity and respect. Our caring admissions counselors are available 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you may have on getting help. Reach us by phone at 800-93-WOMEN. We can help. Stay in the loop with New Directions for Women by connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.