For as long as I can remember, alcohol has been in my life. Even as a baby, my family would put beer in my bottle to keep me quiet. Unaware of the impact alcohol would have on the rest of my life, I felt I had a pretty normal childhood surrounded by family. I didn’t know any better then. Everybody drank, and it wasn’t a problem for me yet.
As an adult, I went to college, got married, and had three children. Alcohol remained a part of my life throughout it all but went unaddressed by those around me. I was a functioning alcoholic, able to hold a job, take care of my children, and maintain an appearance of control for years.
That all changed when I lost both my husband and son to gun violence within one week of each other. Faced with overwhelming grief, I faced further despair just a few months later. I was the victim of a drive-by shooting and became paralyzed from the waist down. At that point, my life began to spiral, and alcohol became all-consuming. I hit rock bottom. I moved back in with my mom, stopped working, and drank every day.
For two years, I sank into a deep depression while mourning the loss of my family and struggling with paralysis. But one day, I decided I wasn’t going to give up. I wanted to walk again. With determination and faith, I regained strength in my legs and am now able to walk with leg braces. Despite this achievement, I continued to drink.
Eventually, I made the difficult but brave decision to enter a rehab program, where I stayed for 58 days. While there, I learned about the N Street Village Holistic Housing program, to which I transitioned in 2019.
For 13 months, I stayed in Holistic Housing while I worked towards my recovery and housing goals. As someone that loves to help others, I immersed myself in the Village community, assisting fellow residents in any way I could. I am grateful for the staff and other women in the program. We are like a big family and I wouldn’t have been able to make it without them.
In November 2020, I moved into permanent supportive housing as the very first resident of Diane’s House, one of the Village’s newest locations. I just celebrated two years of sobriety and look forward to many more.
I love having my own home again. I have reconnected with my two daughters, who are extremely supportive of my sobriety. As someone that has always valued paying it forward, I now volunteer my time as a Sister’s Keeper at Diane’s House, helping new residents settle in and access the resources they need. I am grateful that I am not the same person I was when I arrived at N Street Village, I am excited to focus on this new chapter of my life.