Too often recovery begins with tragedy. We hear stories of a gut-wrenching loss of a family member, of painful separation between mom and child or of losing a home and feeling an overwhelming sense of helplessness. Unfortunately, it can take rock bottom to realize that without help, the disease of addiction is deadly. For Meta House graduate Angela, rock bottom was coming home to find her fiancé lifeless in the bathroom floor. In that moment, she said that everything changed.
Angela is the proud mother to three beautiful children – two girls and one baby boy. She’s bright, hosts a warm smile and shares her story in a frank manner that displays her strength. “When my fiancé died, I realized I had two kids and a family who cared about me. It was a wakeup call,” she said. Angela was also pregnant and knew that she needed help to be healthy and for her baby to be healthy. “Before that, I never wanted the help. I went to treatment before, but I wasn’t really ready. I didn’t think that I had a problem.”
Angela was introduced to cocaine at a young age – she was only 14. She had a good family, but her addiction strained relationships. Angela was in a relationship with her fiancé for seven years and they moved around a lot. The couple was introduced to opiates, leading them further down a dark path of addiction. Struggling as a parent, Angela signed over guardianship of her daughters to her parents. It was painful, but she knew her daughters would be okay.
After the death of her fiancé, Angela came to Meta House. She was pregnant and grieving. She vowed that she would never go back. “I didn’t want to wind up dead,” she said. She credits Meta House’s comprehensive programming to help her on her road to recovery, especially her one-on-one meetings with her counselor and the evidence-based Seeking Safety group. “Seeking Safety was the intersection of coping with grief and trauma. It helped me so much,” Angela said.
Now, a graduate of Meta House, Angela is reunited with her children. She lives with her parents and has a good relationship with her family. At her graduation ceremony at Meta House, she had an outpouring of cheerleaders lining the front rows. It’s been a long journey to recovery, but her family shared that they’ve never given up on her and are now so happy to see the changes within her.
As for Angela, she’s excited for the future. Of course there’s some anxiety. She knows there will be tough times, yet she’s also quick to share her dreams: “I’m proud of myself and where I am today. I was born for better things, and I know that I’m strong. I want to work, provide for my kids and go back to school. I dream of a place like Meta House, but for men, so that men like my fiancé can get the help that they need before it’s too late.”