Sally is a 16 year old survivor who has persevered despite many personal struggles. She and her twin sister had a difficult upbringing having been neglected by her parents and placed in foster care then later adopted by her aunt and uncle only to be torn apart through their bitter divorce. Both were sexually abused by their adoptive brother. Sally grew up watching drug addiction and mental health problems plague her family and now she too has had to battle these personal demons.

She began self mutilization when she was 11 because “cutting made her feel better”. To help dull her pain, she began abusing drugs and alcohol. Her grades started slipping, she started hanging out with the wrong crowd at school and she was later expelled. When her anger, rebellion and outbursts against her stepmother became too fierce to be normal teen angst, she was admitted to the Center’s Crisis Stabilization Unit where she was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Over the next year, she began seeing a psychiatrist and meeting weekly with a specialized therapeutic onsite therapist in her school. She states, “I have learned that my illness is something I will have to deal with forever and I know I will have to stay on my medications. My therapist has taught me to stay positive and how to cope with my sadness and anger. I now look at myself and the world differently.”

She adds, “Before I got help from David Lawrence Centers, I was at the bottom. I didn’t care about anything. Using drugs ruined my high school experience and I lost a lot of really good friends over the way I acted. I never want to go back to the way things were.”

Sally has been sober for nearly a year and is now a straight A student. Her relationship with her stepmother and father has improved dramatically and they are very proud of how far she has come. She has a new attitude, a new outlook on life and has a bright future ahead of her.

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