Cara shares her journey at Fresh Start
I grew up in a pretty normal, loving home with my mom and dad. It was upper middle class. I wasn’t deprived or wanted for anything. My mom was an alcoholic and an addict and in and out of institutions. I decided I would never drink or do drugs because I saw what it did to my mom. I didn’t want to live that way. And then when I was 12 I took my first drink. When I drank I felt like I fit in. It was easier to get drugs so I started smoking weed.
“I didn’t know how to feel. So I would drink and use.”
I first went to treatment at 16, with my mother. We were roommates. I went to treatment several more times but always went back to drinking and using. In 2011, I was told I was going to die to the damage to my body and organs. It still took until 2014 until I got sober. I went to treatment for the 6th time, and then went to Fresh Start.
I couldn’t believe it at first. I could do things and go places, as long as I was accountable I was okay. It took some time for me to open up and ask for things. They had to encourage me. I didn’t believe I was worth things like the donated clothes. I didn’t believe I deserved that. They helped me set goals and said to go out and try what you want, and we’ll be here for you. I lived there for 9 ½ months. I worked on my recovery. I got a job at a drug store, and then was promoted. People trusted me. I saved money and got my license and a car.
“Today, life isn’t perfect but I know how to handle it.”
Fresh Start changed my life. I bought a house in 2019. I’m working. I have a dog. I pay taxes. I still put money aside to be able to go on trips and stuff. I’m healthy and not in the hospital every other week. Fresh Start gave me the tools to do all of this. I’m active in the recovery community. I’m capable of taking the next right action. I’m not a drain on social systems. When I have extra, I share and give back to others. I learned that at Fresh Start. Treatment gave me time to make a rational decision. Fresh Start gave me the tools to be a contributing member of society.