We would like to share with you the moving testimony of Tara E. an alumnae of New Directions for Women. She tells her story of hope, forgiveness, and how she was enveloped with love while she was at New Directions. Three months pregnant, Tara was admitted in the middle of the night. She found other women just like her and today she celebrates her recovery as she rebuilds her life with her children. Take a moment to listen to her incredible journey to lifelong recovery. Attached is a transcript of her testimony for you to follow:
My name’s Tara and I’m an alcoholic and an addict. And I’m one of those people who lost everything because of the disease of addiction. I lost job after job in the three weeks prior to arriving at New Directions for Women. I literally jumped out the window during my intervention and ran, and because of this I lost everything, my home, my family, my car, all of my friends, all of my possessions and my marriage. And my biggest loss was Jack, my three-year-old son. And I rolled into New Directions for Women on a razor scooter in the middle of the night, three months pregnant, wearing a small backpack that had all of my possessions. And in that backpack, I had a pamphlet from New Directions for Women that my interventionist, Adrianna, who’s here somewhere, had given me. And I’m not going to lie to you; the first 30 days were really hard. As the fog wore off, my head started to clear from all the drug and alcohol use, and reality began to hit me, and I started to realize everything that I had done, all the guilt and shame of everything I had done.
And the wreckage of my past began to haunt me. During this time, I received a letter from my husband informing me of our upcoming divorce and asking me to terminate my pregnancy. If it weren’t for the women and the staff at New Directions for Women, I would have never made it through the first 30 days. They really wrapped their arms around me, and I can remember lying in bed one night sobbing uncontrollably because of the guilt and shame of losing my son. And my roommate, she went over to the wall, and she pulled this picture off the wall. And she walked up, and she read it to me. She showed it to me, and it said, “One day she finally forgave herself.” And I was – I felt so hopeless, and I remember saying, “How can I ever forgive myself for losing my son?” I felt like I could never, ever do that. But at New Directions for Women, I met other women who had stories that were just like mine, and I didn’t feel so alone. And they took us to 90 AA meetings in 90 days, and there I heard stories from other women who had stories that were just like mine. And some of them had gotten their kids back, and that gave me hope.
And at New Directions for Women they told me I didn’t have to be that person anymore, and I believed them because I had nothing left to lose. They made me get a sponsor, and that sponsor walked me through the 12 Steps, and soon I could laugh again. And in fact, I laughed harder with the women in rehab than I’ve laughed in my whole life. And I cried harder than I had in my whole life, and I knew I was getting better. And my Case Managers and Therapists saw it too, and it wasn’t long before they went with me to court and they were my advocates in court, and they helped me win monitored visitations with my son, and they even did the monitoring, and they provided the parenting classes I needed to help me balance being a new parent with early – or being a parent in early recovery.
And by the time I left New Directions for Women, guess what? I had forgiven myself. And today I’ve regained full parental rights over my son, Jack
And three weeks ago, when I gave birth to my new baby boy, Van, the social worker who came to visit congratulated me and told me to enjoy my new baby boy.
I have a full-time job, where I even won an award for my performance. I acquired a car. I’ve repaired relationships with my family, and I have an army of strong women who are all there for each other at a moment’s notice. I’ve come a long way, but I still have a rough road ahead of me. I’m facing a divorce, and I live in a shelter for women and children, where I’m raising a newborn baby all alone. But because of New Directions for Women, I have the tools that I need in order to face these problems head on, and I don’t have to use drugs or alcohol to hide from my problems anymore.
And when I was asked to speak here today, my first gut reaction was to say no, jump out the window. But I’ve learned enough to know how much New Directions has helped me, and I know that they’re there to help me, and they’re there to help other women who are like me. And when they ask me to do something, I do it. I mean they not only saved my life, but they saved Jack’s and Van’s mom.
Thank you for letting me share.