Winds of Change

Changes are an important part of life - a part of life that can be more easily embraced with a helpful hand from your community.

I had the perfect life, a house with a beautiful backyard, a man that cared, a baby boy, a dog, and a cat, all at the age of twenty-three. The one thing I have learned in my thirty-seven years is that change always comes. It can be like a soft breeze or a horrific hurricane that you're not sure you'll survive. 

The change that came from my bad choices was forever life altering, not just for myself but also for all of my three children. Bad choices equal bad changes. At age thirty something I became addicted to drugs. My children went to live with my mother. I have never felt so alone or depressed. At times, because of my own actions, I felt completely violated. I knew change would happen if I just took a few little steps in a new direction. Well change was on the wind for me. 

Sitting in jail for fraud, completely beside myself, I began to change my thoughts. I knew if I stayed in the drug world I was in, I wouldn't be able to be released from jail. I began to talk with a prostitute who was also in jail with me and we talked openly and honestly, which was easy. She told me that the courts would probably release me with a promise to appear because I turned myself in. Being that she knew the system better than I did, I asked for her advice. She told me a place I could go, the Salvation Army shelter in London. I had never heard of it. I did not have a home anymore, everyone I knew then was into drugs. My heart suddenly felt lighter and that soft breeze was blowing. 

Being honest and real about my life when I finally spoke to the judge was one of the first positive things I had done. In return, I received compassion from the judge and he spoke of my future with hope. That was something I needed, but had forgotten that I did need it. Feeding the craving for this positive attitude in others and me became my mission. 

The judge thought it was a good choice to go to this shelter and he signed me over to their care. 

There were the obvious perks to being in their care. Three square meals, which I had not had in a year. This was going to be imperative in my recovery and in regaining my health, both mentally and physically. I had a clean bed and a clean environment. I continued with the honesty, even though it was scary. Positive gets positive! The genuine help that came from some of the staff was absolutely heart warming. Help wasn't always laid softly in my hand; sometimes it was closer to a metaphoric slap in the face. Curfew, lights out, early rise, and clean up. But I knew that this is what I needed to start my transformation. 

It was in January 2006 that I quit drugs and signed into the shelter. I have to say that I have never felt as grateful for any place like I am for this shelter. It was a needed stepping stone in my recovery and I would like to say thank you. Thank you for the help you have brought to my community. 

Changes are an important part of life - a part of life that can be more easily embraced with a helpful hand from your community. 

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