Introducing Valerie, 2020 Thistle Farms Residential Graduate
I spent 45 years in addiction. My parents divorced when I was a teenager and that loss of my family just broke something inside of me. My parents and my brothers and sisters scattered and I soon found myself on my own.
The last 30 years of my addiction were constant, no breaks just using drugs for 30 straight years. The people in my life only knew me as an addict. That’s just who and what I was, with all of the sad stories to go along with that. I managed to keep a roof over my head by staying with my mother. Even in my addiction we took care of each other. She was my safe place.
For some people, the loss of their closest person drives them farther into addiction, but when my mother died very suddenly I knew that there was no one left to take care of me. I had to do it myself. I had heard about Thistle Farms Residential before, but once I got into a treatment facility I met a graduate of the program, and she told me more. I honestly didn’t know if I could commit to two whole years, but I was so very tired. I knew that if I went back to the drugs I would die out there.
Now I’m a graduate! This community and all of my sisters are the most important things in my life. I love my job in our manufacturing department. It’s my dream job and I can’t wait to get here every morning. I have my own place now and when I get back there after work I feel so happy to be there and to be me.
Today I’m 100% self-sufficient. I have no interest in going backwards because I have too much to lose and life is too good now. I’m a Thistle Farmer and a Sister for Life.