For as far back as Tracy can remember, she felt hopeless, full of doom and like she was loosing her mind. When she looks back at what contributed to those emotions, she reflects, “My father had schizophrenia, but never sought treatment for it. When I was 19, I became a single parent, dropped out of high school and my sister died.” In a vain attempt to cope with the pressure, she tried to kill herself and started taking antidepressants; but they never brought her the emotional comfort she was looking for. For the next eight years, drugs and alcohol became her companion, delivering torrential, damaging affects. What started out as naïve experimentation soon became a real problem.

Then one night Tracy, always up for a good time, set out for a party and ended up four days later without any sleep, smoking crack with a prostitute at a “crack house.” Something clicked for Tracy that day which finally led her to seek help at David Lawrence Center’s residential substance use treatment facility. She says, “I realized this young girl wasn’t always like this – selling her body for crack. She started out just like me using drugs for fun. It was a real turning point. I knew I didn’t want to end up like her.”

Tracy new life began the minute she walked in the doors at David Lawrence Centers . She shares, “From the very beginning, everyone made me feel safe and like I could trust them. I never felt judged or intimidated. Since my first day, I began digging myself out of the black hole that my life had become.” While in treatment, Tracy learned a lot about herself. “I had absolutely no coping skills. I realize now that I never processed the death of my sister. In my family we never talked about it and that is how I learned to cope with everything in my life.” Originally seeking help for a problem with drugs, she learned that addiction is a disease and that alcohol was just as much a part of her problems as the drugs. “Once I realized that my addiction was making me do the things I had done and that I wasn’t losing my mind, I felt relieved.” she adds.

Today Tracy has a completely new life. She works on her sobriety every day by attending 12-step meetings and helping others stay clean. She is happy, responsible, has a new home, a stable job and, for the first time in her life, is emotionally available for her son. She says proudly, “His grades have gone from D’s and F’s to A’s and B’s. His life is stress free and we are both in a much happier place.”

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