First and foremost, I am a mother of three boys. I could go on forever about them. Becoming a mother defined who I am. A lot of my life, I was just a mother and a wife. I didn’t finish school. I didn’t do anything for me for 18 years. After going through some bad experiences, I realized how strong I am and learned what I’m capable of doing and overcoming. It made me realize who I want to be. If I want something in life, I will work for it until I achieve it. Now that I’m in this different chapter of life, and I’m focusing on myself more, I’m starting to realize I can do pretty much anything I want.
I was a mother and a wife for 18 years, so I didn’t know anything other than that from the age of 16 until 8 years ago. I went through a bad divorce, and then I ended up in a few horrible relationships. I went through mental and physical and emotional abuse for years. That’s when my life spiraled out of control. I turned to drugs to numb the pain. A lot of that was also due to the fact that I didn’t have my kids.
My oldest son wouldn’t talk to me because of a relationship I chose to be in, and that took a tremendous toll on me. The drugs numbed me from having to feel or think about everything. I started to hang out with the wrong people. I ended up getting in trouble with drug charges and I went to prison.
People immediately think going to prison is something to be sad and sorry about. But for me, it was a blessing because I was out of control. I feel like it was God telling that I needed a time out before something bad happened to me. So I do feel blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunity to get clean and sober, and get my mind right again. It got me on the right path because I ended up getting accepted into the Take TWO program and getting a job at Women’s Bean Project while I was still incarcerated. That was big.
At Women’s Bean Project, I’ve learned a lot when it comes to production work. But I‘ve learned to be independent, too. I’ve learned how to bond with people differently than I have with people before. Never before in my life have I bonded with people like this. It was always just my ex-husband, my kids and my family for so many years. I went from that to a drug world of knowing nothing but distrust and dishonesty.
Coming from the drug world, you have people that are “friends” – people you see every day and you think you can trust them with your life. But at the end of the day, you realize you can’t trust anyone in that world. It’s a sad, scary reality once you’re sober to realize you have no one. You don’t have one friend in this world when you become sober.
I formed healthy trustworthy friendships at Women’s Bean Project, and I’ve learned how to trust again. I’ve never had that since I’ve been a kid. Trusting people and the bonds I’ve created is the biggest thing I’ve gained from here.
I’ve also learned to be confident in myself again. I lost self– confidence for a lot of years, and I’ve learned how to do that again while working here. That’s probably going to be the biggest thing I will take from here. Just knowing that no matter what I do, I can succeed. Because I’m proof of that. Everything I’ve done is because I’ve been confident, and I’ve had faith in myself and the willingness to want better for myself. Women’s Bean Project has given me all of that.
In the future, I want to be independent; a mother that my kids can be proud of. Career-wise I know I want to be an aesthetician because I want to do permanent make up one day soon. I want to own my own business, too. My son and I recently talked. He’s into tattooing, so we talked about one day opening up a tattoo and permanent make up business together. That conversation really stuck with me, because it’s huge. Just to have a goal that big means a lot to me. And we can really do this.
Also, I’ve always been inspired by people who can reach out to others and share their story. I want to get my story out there to tons of people and try to help them. I want to let them know that if it’s possible for me, anyone can accomplish their dreams in life.
I have so much to be excited about right now. Like going to school, getting my license, receiving my court clearance and having money to save for a car. I’m also seeing my son in a couple of weeks, and I haven’t seen him in almost two years. I saw my son 5 days before I was arrested, and haven’t seen him since. He and his girlfriend are pregnant, and I’m so excited. It’s my first grandchild. I have a lot to be happy about right now.
I’m proud of so much. I’m proud of my sobriety and also my job at Women’s Bean Project. Without WBP, I guarantee I wouldn’t have gotten my GED. I wouldn’t be going to cosmetology school next month. I wouldn’t be on my feet right now. I wouldn’t have my own place. I’m very proud of all my accomplishments. It’s all because of my sobriety and because I decided to change my life. You have to want that or you’re just going to return to your old ways. Women’s Bean Project helped guide me through all of it.
When I was married, I had everything. I had a great marriage, and my kids had everything. My husband and I had our own business. He was a great husband. But I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy with myself. Now, I’m living in a sober living home, and I don’t have much at all. But I’m happy and I feel like I have everything. Because I have the love of my kids, and my family and support from them and everyone here. I’ve learned to appreciate everything that I once took for granted.