My name is Kristie and I am 29 years old. This all started at 15 with a pregnancy and from there I went on to get married and had 4 more children. I had graduated from high school but was a stay at home mom and didn’t need to work.
Through the last 5 years of my life I developed an alcohol problem that got really bad. I chose to leave my ex-husband to try to get sober. It didn’t work in the beginning and things went from bad to worse for me. I’m not sure if it was the correlation of not really knowing how to take care of myself and my feeling ‘less than’. But in the end I guess I was not truly ready to stay sober. I tried the rehabs and the intensive outpatient services to no avail.
Eventually my drinking landed me in jail. For reasons I didn’t understand it was a 9 month hit. But that was the turning point for me in my life. That experience really taught me to see where my life was headed without intervention. My faith grew and my hopes and dreams came back. I was willing to do whatever I had to do to not end up back in there and I fought for that to become true.
I started with the career link services to better myself and to be capable of gaining employment. And it was not easy to go on a job interview and then to have to tell them I’m incarcerated and that there would be limits as to what I could do and things they would need to do for me to be able to become employed. But in the end, having faith and persistence paid off.
Two weeks before I was to be released I got a job. And you know what? The employer didn’t even bat an eye that I was in jail. So I got my first job at 29 years old.
Here’s another faith story for you ... I had no idea where I was going to be living when I got out. I don’t have family support and knew I needed to be secure to be able to stay sober when I left. One week before I left I’d made the decision that if I couldn’t find somewhere that was going to be right for my recovery then I would just stay in until something opened up. But two days before I was due to be released, I got the call about TLC and that I had been accepted.
And yes, I was scared. I had no idea what to expect and knew nothing about their services.
From the moment I walked into this program I was overly emotional. It was the best thing that happened to me. In my journey here I was able to get my counseling under way and was able to save money and even got promoted at my job after only 4 months! I’m now a shift manager.
TLC offered me a variety of emotional supports and they were there for me every step of the way. When I knew that I was ready to move out, my caseworker, bent over backwards to help me wherever she could. And I got truly blessed when finding a place to live.
With my credit history, as well as my limited criminal history, it was turning out to be truly difficult to find someone to give me that chance. But my caseworker kept me in her mind and when something became available she got me right on it and did everything in her power to make it happen and it did!!!
I hope my story offers up some hope and faith to never give up and to remember change can happen at any time in your life no matter how far down you have gone.
If you truly want to have something different, do not give up ... work and strive for it.