Just knowing that I can today.
The joy of having a life again
The joy of loving everyone again
The joy of loving me for the first time in my life
The joy of being a mom means more than you would ever know.
To be able to enjoy
birds in the morning
the moon at night.
To have someone to love again and trust with your life.
To see your kids being kids again.
When they smile at you
and hug you just to say how much they love you
for no reason at all.
That’s being grateful to me
To live again and feel again
Life is different today, I love myself today and I
The first time Evelyn used drugs, she had just buried her father. Evelyn was 12 years old. By 22, she started sniffing cocaine.
Although she was using cocaine, Evelyn tried to create a normal life for herself. She got married and later started her own UHAUL business. But Evelyn’s addiction controlled her. “[Life was] smacking me back to back, I went from a 20 dollar bag of cocaine to a 50 dollar bag, from 50 to 200 and 300.”
When Evelyn learned to cook cocaine her addiction intensified. “I was out of control and it was clear that my life was on the line…My bottom was when I brought my babies here on crack.” Evelyn asked child welfare services to take her son.
Evelyn wanted to get clean. “I tried to stop on my own. I went into detox. When I was in detox I was afraid to come back out. I wanted to stay in detox and have the time to learn how to get clean. Detox released me after 5 days. I prayed to God to stay clean. But I was returning to my apartment where there were dealers all around. So I went home and stayed in my house. I stayed in there so I could avoid the dealers. Eventually, I had to come out and when I did, I just started using all over again.”
That’s when Evelyn realized she couldn’t get clean alone. “I called my son’s child welfare caseworker asked for help. The caseworker referred me to a comprehensive family treatment program. I kept telling her to just send me to one program, that if I don’t make it in that program, I’m going to die out here in the streets.”
The outpatient family treatment program that Evelyn entered into created a space for Evelyn, in a treatment period of 12 months, to heal and to address the underlying reasons for her addiction. “The part that also really got deep down inside me was that I didn’t totally accept my father’s death until the program. That’s when I let go and I was thirty-five at the time. They showed me how to let it go. It was a healing process.”
As Evelyn healed as a parent the family treatment program gave Evelyn’s children the special therapy and support services that they needed as survivors of their mother’s addiction. The children are now reunified with Evelyn and they live together as a whole and strong family. On July 11, 2003 , Evelyn will have seven years of living free of drug addiction.
Evelyn works as a security officer and she owns her own home now. “I still go back to the program because of what they gave me, what God gave me I have to give it back. Life is different today, I love myself today and I love what I do.”