I thought I would die using
Rosetta’s first experience with drugs occurred at the age of 14. A year later, her drug addiction intensified after being raped. She graduated from alcohol to heroine. Rosetta’s addiction to heroine continued for twenty-one years. She was nevertheless able to function throughout most of her addiction to heroine, holding down jobs, paying her bills, and caring for her family.But, once Rosetta started to use crack cocaine and heroine, she lost everything. She lost her home and the relationship with her family deteriorated. She was incarcerated on a drug possession misdemeanor, but never offered treatment.
Treatment came, finally, when she begged for help to get clean. “I wanted to stop. I had hit bottom.” Rosetta went into a detox program and after detox she was referred to a family treatment program. In family treatment, she received the support to heal from her addiction. Rosetta’s son also received support and, together, they were able to repair their relationship.
As with most family treatment programs, the family treatment program Rosetta attended was extremely comprehensive. Rosetta’s treatment program is broken into four phases: in the first phase Rosetta was encouraged, for a period of three months, to identify the places of her damage; the second phase extended to seven months and Rosetta worked on healing her damage through individual and group therapy; phase three placed Rosetta for three months in a job training class; and phase four, lasting up to another three months, focused on job placement in a continued a context of support in Rosetta’s recovery process. Throughout, Rosetta and her son received the care and services to heal together.
In treatment, Rosetta was diagnosed with depression. With this diagnosis, she was finally able to receive the proper therapy to address her depression. “I learned that I no longer had to self-medicate to my depression. I didn’t know that I had a choice not to use anymore. I did not know that I didn’t have to use to my pain. I thought I would die using. Now I know that as long as I don’t use, I have a chance.”
Rosetta, like most mothers in family treatment, received Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) during their recovery process. TANF provides critical transitional support for mothers while they are in treatment and the support to achieve self-sufficiency at the conclusion of the treatment program. TANF gave Rosetta the necessary support to pay her bills and rent while she focused on her recovery. Rosetta transitioned off of TANF after she graduated from the treatment program. She is now a full time Division Secretary for the US Department of Labor.
Rosetta now celebrates six years clean and sober. She is a PTA and tennis mom. Her son is a beautiful 17 year old man who aspires to be a veterinarian.
I am a Spirit That
From within my soul.
The raindrops of my mind
Had footsteps of pain
Brought me happiness.
From sweat to perfume
I hear God’s Voice
As the ocean
Of power, laughter and music.
You see I am the Spirit of a woman
I am honey
That used to know fear.
I am strawberries
That the stars and the atmosphere
Can finally be seen
As the rainbow of hope
With a future
You see, I AM the Spirit of a woman.