Did you catch our alumna Elle F. on the Sober As A Mother Podcast?Elle has been a sober mom since June 6, 2018, and learned she ultimately had to put herself first in order to be the best mother possible for her daughter. Elle talks about:
- How she thought drinking would keep her away from drugs, but what really happened instead.
- Why she believes you can’t get sober just for your kids.
- What the concept of River Rocks is and how it helps you release the past.
- Why struggling with her emotions is easier than struggling with the obsession of drinking.
- Why being surrounded by other mothers is important!
Check out the ‘Sober As A Mother Podcast’ on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play, or visit: https://loom.ly/RzJs3g4 – Elle’s is Episode #32.
“My name is Elle and I have a sobriety date of June 6, 2018. It is on that day I arrived at New Directions for Women. I did not come to get sober, or be a better person, or with any real purpose. I came because I had nowhere else to go.
I was homeless, estranged from my daughter, severely addicted to heroin, and spiritually bankrupt. I remember thinking as I pulled into the gates, ‘Who am I going to have to pretend to be to survive here?’
I was greeted with love from a lot of the staff members that are still here today, and I didn’t have to be anyone but myself. I was given therapy for my trauma, friends, an everlasting fellowship, and an overall sense of security and hope. I got a sponsor and worked the 12 steps, and my life SLOWLY got better.
It was really hard. I had to work extremely hard to get the gifts I have today. But none of those things would have been possible if I didn’t start with New Directions.
I have a home today, I am an employee at New Directions, I am a Mommy to my daughter, and a beautiful life has sprouted up around me. I am eternally grateful for June 6, 2018. I’ve never had it this good!”
Thank you, Elle, for sharing your powerful recovery story and for serving as our alumnae coordinator!
“My name is Alex, and I am a grateful addict in recovery.
On February 7, 2018, I checked into New Directions for Women for the third and final time… after eight years of drowning every feeling and emotion with heroin, being in and out of jail, living on the streets and manipulating everyone in my life.
I was finally completely defeated, tired, angry, and desperate to change my life. New Directions for Women really helped me work through past trauma, and by doing that I began to heal.
Today I am two years and 10 months sober. I am now a phlebotomy technician and currently working toward getting my medical assistant certification. I wake up every morning at peace. My family trusts me again, and my mom no longer loses sleep over me.
The absolute best gift recovery has given me is the ability to be a good and healthy mother. On April 28, 2019 I gave birth to my daughter Freya Jane. Every day, seeing her thrive and grow is my motivation to stay on the right path and to be the absolute best me I can be.”
“Treatment gave me a strong group of women that actually understand me and pass no judgement. It humbled and changed me for life, and I want to pay it forward through my story. Recovery is the gift that keeps on giving.
I plan on staying sober, and using the tools I’ve gained here to help raise my daughter with the principles of recovery as well.”
-Jen, NDFW Patient Dec 2020
“My name is Anna.
I am an addict.
I am an alcoholic.
And today I can say with all sincerity that I am grateful for it.
I am also a Mother.
I am a Daughter.
And I am a Friend.
Addiction does not define me. It did, however, almost kill me.
In active addiction, I couldn’t see past my next hit and my next high. Choosing meth over my safety, my life, my friends, my family, even over my newborn daughter, who was eventually detained by CPS.
The day she was placed in foster care was the day I decided to look honestly at the boarded-up windows of which were once my heart, and see that I needed help if I wanted to stay alive. That was the day I found New Directions for Women’s website.
I looked around the empty room where my daughter’s things were. Clothes she had just been in before she left. It hurt so bad. I packed up my suitcase. And left.
Honestly, I drove around the neighborhood for an hour before entering the gates. I was terrified. The only friend and relationship I had left was the one I had made with drugs. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing my best friend, even though I knew he was slowly killing me.
At that point I had burned every bridge and my parents had kicked me out for the last time. It was either go to treatment or sleep in my car. I pulled in and watched the gates close behind me and was immediately greeted by Victoria. The hug she gave me is something I will never forget.
It was then that a tiny seed of hope was planted in my soul.
As I detoxed, I slowly began to feel myself coming back to life. I didn’t realize how dead I had become in my addiction. I was surrounded by beauty, grace, and love each day at NDFW. I learned to look within, to find the root of my pain. I learned it was okay to have it. I also learned to use it for growth and empowerment. I learned that pain can be the best medicine for healing. Most importantly, I learned to love.
The women at New Directions for Women loved me when I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. And as I saw recovered women laughing, loving, and most of all living, I knew I could do the same. I worked at my recovery. I became willing to change my life. I have since relocated to Costa Mesa, CA and my life today is beautiful. It’s growing in a way I never could have imagined before.
Today I look at my meth addiction as the catalyst for the beginning of a journey I couldn’t possibly have imagined. A journey of self-discovery, and self-love.”
Gail and Sasha’s Story
“Fear pervaded my every thought as my daughter spiraled down to the depths of her addiction. I hid that fear from her and blindly hoped for some sort of internal miracle which would awaken her, make her stop drinking, and lead her back to the good health she enjoyed her entire life.
That was not to be.
My daughter had a full seizure in my presence and was rushed to the hospital by emergency personnel. She had lost her health, her ability to walk without stumbling, and her dignity.
That day, I began my research and found New Directions for Women. I knew that after two prior efforts at rehabilitation for her addiction to alcohol, nothing other than a radical approach could possibly be successful. The woman-centric focus of NDFW and the expertise and caring of its staff and medical personnel has made all the difference in my daughter’s continued journey to wellness and recovery.
My personal journey began and continues separately from my daughter’s struggle and yet necessarily informed by it. Through family group meetings and personal interactions with NDFW therapists and counselors, I have been able to call upon my own strengths and identify my weaknesses while developing successful approaches to this lifelong struggle with addiction and its power over my daughter. Observing my daughter’s growth within the last 90 days and her serious reflections on her struggles has matured my relationship with her and made me aware of my own misconceptions and missed opportunities for the best relationship with her.
‘Life on its own terms’ is a strong and intriguing phrase used by Babbi Anderson [family support group leader] to describe what each of us confronts each day. The stories shared by the women in group and their openness and willingness to show vulnerability and failure inspire my daughter and me.
I see the very best person emerging from the broken and despairing, sad and confused girl who first came to NDFW. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for the chances and choices now given to Sasha which are hers and hers alone to keep, honor, and live by. She, and we, are fortified by the experiences and are armed going forward to make the best decisions possible based on what we know and what we continue to learn about addiction.
This is a life struggle and life commitment. New Directions for Women presents the healthy alternatives and reinforces the gifts of health and life and hope.
“My name is Sarah, and I’m an alcoholic. I came to NDFW in 2012 after a long time of trying to get sober.
At that point I had been addicted to heroin and meth for 5 years, cycling in and out of hospitals, psych wards, and homelessness.
When I landed in NDFW, I learned so much about myself and met women that I still talk to now. I worked with a sponsor and went to meetings.
When I left NDFW and went to another sober living, I still had more to learn about managing my own life. I became miserable and ended up drinking once again.
Finally, I found myself hopeless enough to follow some direction from women who came before me.
For me, my solution to my problem was found in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I went through my steps and now my primary purpose in life is helping other alcoholic women!
I now have a family of my own and a beautiful daughter who I had in sobriety. I owe everything I have and my sobriety to God, Lessons at New Directions for Women, & Alcoholics Anonymous!”