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Starting Over

February 23, 2011

When I ran into Sharon a few months ago, she didn’t look well.  You could tell that her health was poor – her teeth were broken, her eyes were dull, she was very thin.  Addiction had taken a toll on both her body and mind.  The drugs and alcohol may have blocked out the memories of the abuse and violence she had experienced, but they also kept her from moving on with her life.  But now she is back at Calvary where she will be able to start over again.

I’ve seen it time and again – the ability to journey back from the depths of addiction to restored health.  Calvary will provide the resources and personal support, but the path to recovery is one that is undertaken only when one is ready.

Sharon’s journey has been a particularly difficult one.  She spent years sober and living in her own apartment until she relapsed after surviving a life-threatening sexual assault.  The road back has been long and Sharon still faces the daily challenge of staying sober and addressing her health needs.

When I saw her last week, Sharon reported that she is already moving forward.  Her eyes are brighter, she’s gained some weight and the dentist appointment is on her calendar.

She is working hard. Her case manager has connected her to a community-based women’s medical program with services specific to her needs for addiction recovery and trauma treatment.  She has started meeting with Calvary’s therapist, and soon she will be ready to move into an apartment.  “I’m gonna do it this time,” she said.  “If I don’t, I’m afraid I’ll die.”

When I talk to people about Calvary or what I do, they often comment that it seems like difficult work.  But when I see the hard work that women like Sharon take on, it inspires me.  Every day, women at Calvary have the courage to start again and to strive to make life better for themselves.  It is amazing to witness the change.

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