Today, Crystal is over-the-moon excited to go to work and spend time with her sweet baby boy. She finds joy in the little things, like taking walks and exploring nature.

But it wasn’t always this way. Crystal experienced trauma in her life from a young age. She struggled to process her feelings and emotions. She turned to substance use to numb her pain.

“I felt helpless and lost. I didn’t know who I was, or what my goals were.”

Her substance use disorder had taken over her life.

“I’ve struggled with the disease of addiction for a long time. I’ve also had PTSD from a young age. I didn’t know how to deal with what I went through. I couldn’t put names or words to what I was feeling, and it always felt like it was my fault.”

Crystal couldn’t find her light within anymore, and her spirit broke. She knew her son was going to be taken away from her.

She had to make a change.

That’s when she walked through the doors of the VOA Fresh Start Recovery Center. She could instantly feel kindness and compassion around her. She found a strong shoulder to lean on, support, and a safe space to focus on her goals and her family.

“This place helped me find a purpose and a reason to be here in life. I finally felt like I had the space to reflect on who I am as a person. I could take a deep breath to focus on myself. And, my son is my reason to be here, he is my everything.”

Crystal finally had a place where she could heal. And now, she no longer feels lost and alone.

“They taught me very powerful coping skills to help me succeed, like grounding, what to do with idle time, and even anger management. I can now pinpoint and put names to the feelings I’ve had for a long time.”

“I loved the group sessions in the mornings. It was comforting to be around people who were going through similar experiences.”

Crystal now has the tools she needs to rebuild her life and thrive.

“They help you address the challenges you face when you’re dealing with substance use disorder. Things like, what to do around the holidays, or when you get bored. And those are really important skills for someone to have if they want to stay sober.”

Right now, Crystal and her son, Connor, are living their best lives together. They are glowing with love and joy knowing Crystal has the tools she needs to continue successfully in her life’s journey.

“I’m excited for this fresh start. It’s time to walk the walk.”

You can help more mothers, like Crystal, find the hope they need to thrive. 

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